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Difference between Dog and Wolf

Dogs and wolves both belong to the order Carnivora. Both the animals have a lot in common but also have many differences. People often confuse dogs with wolves as they look alike. Let us see how they differ from each other!

Dog:

The dog belongs to the order Carnivora. They are believed to be domesticated for the first time in East Asia thousands of years ago. There are around 800 different species of domestic dog all over the world. Dogs are characterized by their wide hips, broad chests and short legs. They have soft pads on the bottom of their feet that allow them to run quietly and quickly. They also have strong claws suitable for digging and to grip while running.

Dogs are generally carnivorous but due to thousands of years of domestication, they have adapted to a more omnivorous lifestyle and thus can feed on a wide range of foods. They can be trained and domesticated easily as they can easily adapt to changing situations. Dogs tend to bark and do not howl like wolves. The female dogs come into heat twice in a year. The average life span of a dog ranges from 8-16 years.

Wolf:

The wolf belongs to the order Carnivora. It is believed to be an ice age survivor dating back to around 300,000 years ago. It is also believed to be an ancestor of the domestic dogs. There are three species of wolves found in the world: the gray wolf, the red wolf, and the Ethiopian wolf. The grey wolf can easily adapt to changing situations and environments so it can be found in all kinds of terrain.

Wolves are characterized by their large heads, long legs and narrow chests. The colours of their eyes generally include shades of yellow or amber and are never brown. They are carnivorous as they exclusively feed on other small animals like deer, goat, sheep etc. The female dogs come into heat twice in a year. They are wild by nature so cannot be domesticated easily and tend to howl instead of barking like dogs. The average life span of a wolf is around 10 years in the wild.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between dog and wolf are as follows:

Dog Wolf
Dogs are generally smaller than wolves. Wolves are generally larger than dogs.
Dog's eye colour range from blue to brown. Wolf's eye colours are shades of yellow or amber. It is never brown.
Their coats can be of multiple colours. Their coats are generally white, black, brown or gray in colour.
Dogs have smaller heads, broad chests and short legs. They have large heads, long legs and narrow chests.
Female dogs come into heat twice a year. Female wolfs come into heat once a year.
They are carnivorous, but may be omnivorous. They are carnivorous.
Dogs bark, do not howl. Wolfs howl, do not bark.
It can be domesticated. It is a wild animal, cannot be domesticated.
Some species may have dropping or hanging ears. All species have erect ears in the adult stage.
They have smaller brains than that of wolfs. They have larger brains than that of dogs.
They have smaller jaws as compared to wolves. They have larger and stronger jaws as compared to dogs.
Their teeth are smaller than that of wolves. They have larger teeth as compared to dogs.
Dogs have a prominent stop, i.e. the indentation in their skull is more visible. Their foreheads are generally straight from head to nose.
Female dogs generally reach sexual maturity around 6 to 9 months of age. Female wolves generally reach sexual maturity around 18 to 24 months of age.
They can easily adapt to changing situations. They are less likely to adapt to changing situations.
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