Differences from wolves

Physical characteristics Further information: Wolf Compared to equally sized wolves, dogs tend to have 20% smaller skulls, 30% smaller brains,[181] as well as proportionately smaller teeth than other canid species.[182] Dogs require fewer calories to function than wolves. It is thought by certain experts that the dog's limp ears are a result of atrophy of the jaw muscles.[182] The skin of domestic dogs tends to be thicker than that of wolves, with some Inuit tribes favoring the former for use as clothing due to its greater resistance to wear and tear in harsh weather.[182] Behavioral differences Dogs tend to be poorer than wolves at observational learning, being more responsive to instrumental conditioning.[182] Feral dogs show little of the complex social structure or dominance hierarchy present in wolf packs. For example, unlike wolves, the dominant alpha pairs of a feral dog pack do not force the other members to wait for their turn on a meal when scavenging off a dead ungulate as the whole family is free to join in. For dogs, other members of their kind are of no help in locating food items, and are more like competitors.[182] Feral dogs are primarily scavengers, with studies showing that unlike their wild cousins, they are poor ungulate hunters, having little impact on wildlife populations where they are sympatric. However, feral dogs have been reported to be effective hunters of reptiles in the Galapagos Islands,[183] and free ranging pet dogs are more prone to predatory behavior toward wild animals. Domestic dogs can be monogamous.[184] Breeding in feral packs can be, but does not have to be restricted to a dominant alpha pair (such things also occur in wolf packs).[185] Male dogs are unusual among canids by the fact that they mostly seem to play no role in raising their puppies, and do not kill the young of other females to increase their own reproductive success.[183] Some sources say that dogs differ from wolves and most other large canid species by the fact that they do not regurgitate food for their young, nor the young of other dogs in the same territory.[182] However, this difference was not observed in all domestic dogs. Regurgitating of food by the females for the young as well as care for the young by the males has been observed in domestic dogs, dingos as well as in other feral or semi-feral dogs. Regurgitating of food by the females and direct choosing of only one mate has been observed even in those semi-feral dogs of direct domestic dog ancestry. Also regurgitating of food by males has been observed in free-ranging domestic dogs.[184][186] Trainability Dogs display much greater

tractability than tame wolves, and are, in general, much more responsive to coercive techniques involving fear, aversive stimuli, and force than wolves, which are most responsive toward positive conditioning and rewards.[187] Unlike tame wolves, dogs tend to respond more to voice than hand signals. The gray wolf or grey wolf (Canis lupus) is a species of canid native to the wilderness and remote areas of North America, Eurasia, and North Africa. It is the largest member of its family, with males averaging 4345 kg (9599 lb), and females 3638.5 kg (7985 lb).[3] It is similar in general appearance and proportions to a German shepherd,[4] or sled dog, but has a larger head, narrower chest, longer legs, straighter tail and bigger paws.[5] Its winter fur is long and bushy, and is usually mottled gray in color, though it can range from nearly pure white, red, or brown to black.[4] Within the genus Canis, the gray wolf represents a more specialised and progressive form than its smaller cousins (the coyote and golden jackal), as demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting large prey, its more gregarious nature[6] and its highly advanced expressive behavior.[7][8] It is a social animal, travelling in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair, accompanied by the pair's adult offspring.[9] The gray wolf is typically an apex predator throughout its range, with only humans and tigers[10][11][12][13] posing a serious threat to it. It feeds primarily on large ungulates, though it also eats smaller animals, livestock, carrion, and garbage.[14] The gray wolf is one of the world's most well researched animals, with probably more books written about it than any other wildlife species.[15] It has a long history of association with humans, having been despised and hunted in most agricultural communities due to its attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected by some Native American tribes.[14] It is the sole ancestor of the dog, which was first domesticated in the Middle East.[16] Although the fear of wolves is prevalent in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people, mainly children, but this is unusual, as wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have been taught to fear humans by hunters and shepherds.[17] Hunting and trapping has reduced the species' range to about one third, though its still relatively widespread range and stable population means that the species is not threatened at a global level, and is therefore classified by the IUCN as Least Concern.