Do dad wolves actually use dens?

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-Wolfdog-
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Do dad wolves actually use dens?

Post by -Wolfdog- » Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:06 pm

It's a strange question , but I have always seen videos of the female wolf who is the one primarily going inside of the den and interacting with her newborn puppies. I don't think I have come across a video where the male wolf will go inside of the den, and interact with newborn pups. In Wolfquest, it seems like male wolves can go inside of the den pretty frequently. Is this behavior accurate? Mom wolves might protect their pups from the dad, so maybe that's why dad wolves don't use dens that much? Or maybe mom wolves are more in tune with their maternal instinct?
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Re: Do dad wolves actually use dens?

Post by PeanutSoup » Fri May 20, 2022 1:24 pm

As far as I know, they do not go into the den that often. From reading Rick McIntyre's books, I only remember it mentioning the females going into the den. I think the males would probably be out hunting/scavenging, and seeing as they can't feed young pups before they are weaned, I'm not sure if there would be a reason for them to go inside. I might be wrong though.

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Re: Do dad wolves actually use dens?

Post by DaniBeez » Thu May 26, 2022 10:08 am

I think it's a combination of need for a den and parental roles in the early stages of pup-rearing that change which parent is using the den and how. Adult wolves regardless of parental status don't need structures like dens outside of pup-rearing. But when there are pups the mother is busy suckling and keeping the den tidy from their waste, so will be in the den more than the father by necessity. That leaves food and territory monitoring to the other parent and any other pack members, until the pups are old enough to venture outside and eat solid food.

I can't speak too much to the modern game and features, but I think I recall a demand for players to want to see the inside of the dens; before you couldn't enter or view the inside of the dens at all. Now you can also sleep in the den with your pups, and there are in-game benefits and consequences (fleas) to this action.

So with respect to the in-game behaviour of you and your mate being able to rest inside the den with the litter, "is it realistic"? I'd say yes-ish. I would have to look further into the specifics to cover the nuances that probably exist with that assumption, but I think it's fair to assume that if mum is out for whatever reason, the father in particular can enter the den and be with the pups until she returns. Not so different from in-game activity!
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