Wolf Pups Educational Facts

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Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Sintact » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:37 pm

Since I have seen a lot of questions about pups around, and in the users writers I also see that many individuals don't really know how wolf pups develope, I decided to make this topic for posting some facts. Please note that I'm not that experienced with wolves, if I have wrong information don't hesitate in correcting me. I'm ready for future discussions.

Wolf Pup Developement - General Facts

---> When the moment comes the pups are born after 60-65 days of gestation inside the mother. The litter is conformed usually from four to six pups, the pups only weith one pound more less and they are born with their eyes closed. In this time the wolf mother will be alone in a den (small place where there's barely enough space for an adult wolf and the pups) for several days, they will not let other wolves from the pack come in.

---> After two weeks the pups open their eyes and they start to walk (or try to), what they eat is only milk from the mother. Pup's eyes are going to be of a dark blue (which this color will disappear when they grow).

---> When they are three weeks the milk teeth start to appear, exploring the den is always a fun activity and excercise for the pups, that's why at this age, and because they are now strong enough, they walk around inside the den.

---> When they are four weeks old they start going out from the den and explore around, this walk outs are really short and usually not far away. At this age the adult wolves from the pack will start brining meat for the pups; they will regurgitate the meat for the pups. Here agression between the pups gets to the highest point; the most dominant pup will try to get more food from the adults, the one that shows more aggression or perseverance for getting food, will be the strongest of the pups. Sometimes the pup from the litter that is more submissive may die because of starvation.

---> Between five and six weeks the pups start adventuring further more from the den, they can walk for a mile or two, but always with an adult wolf protecting them.

---> 6-8 weeks, the wolf mother will not give more milk to the pups; now the pups will only eat meat, and they are going to be moved to a rendezvous site (meet up point with the pack members). In this (6-10 weeks) age pups might have their grown up eye color (amber/brown or gold, also in hues of brown, gray, yellow, and green.)

---> Now the pups look more like real wolves, they start going to hunts with the pack when they are 12 weeks, but they don't really participate in the hunt. They just no longer use the den, and they are strong enough as for moving to place and place.

---> When pups are between 15 and 25 weeks old, they start nibbling on wood, bones and other hard items since their milk teeth are being replaced with their grown up ones; hard and sharp. Wolves have 42 teeth.

---> When they reach seven months or eight they start hunting with the pack.

---> A wolf will be sexually mature when they are between 2 and 3 years old, that's when the cycle begans once again.


(Information about their fur developement and ear developement is needed)

More will be added soon (more detailed information), if you have more facts please note them down. If you have any question just ask.

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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Fawn » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:50 pm

Excellent job collecting these facts; hopefully those who do not know much about wolves will take the time to read it.

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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Distant Star » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:55 pm

Thanks for posting this Sintact!This is really interesting to know all these extra little things about wolf pups! :mrgreen:
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by SolitaryHowl » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:00 pm

Not that I doubt you, but please quote your sources.
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Sintact » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:17 pm

Oh, for this I used several pages, runningwithwolves, wolfquest, pawnee in some posts, a book I have about wildlife and a wolf program which I took some notes about wolf reproduction. But most of the information I just wrote it down from what I remember of all the studying I have made about wolves, that's why I'm missing a lot of information... rather than that this document is not copypasted, so no quotes are needed rather than just mentioning the learning sources I used.

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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by -Glacier- » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:02 pm

Sintact wrote:(Information about their fur developement and ear developement is needed)

More will be added soon (more detailed information), if you have more facts please note them down. If you have any question just ask.
There's a page of detailed information and facts about wolf pup development at the International Wolf Center's website, including information on fur and ear development, found here:

http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/ ... opment.asp
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Tracer » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:05 pm

Thanks for the post Sin, this can come very helpful for many users.
Nice work :3
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Sintact » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:37 am

Thanks Tracer.

Glacier, I will sumarize that information and try to put some of it here. Not many members will read outer websites than this ones for learning about wolves.

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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by pawnee » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:05 am

lol when did I become a reliable source of information? :D d'awwww

anyways some books that deal with wolf pup development are

Man and Wolf-online from wolfpark on captive rearing of wolves
Of Men and Wolves-barry lopez. last few chapters deal with Prairie and river-his own wolf pups.

Arctic Wild and Captive Wild by Lois Crisler-chronicles a 'first timer' wolf rearing and really dwells on the mistakes of keeping captive animals.

Living with Wolves- the book and film by Jim and Jamie Dutcher. Follows a research documentary about raising wolf puppies. You can see the video on my YouTube post (sorry for the commercial)

Growing up Wolf- animal planet DVD about Minnesota Swildlife centre. Follows a dedicated woman and her husband on rearing wolf pups.


One of the biggest problems when I hear people talk of wolf babies is by calling them 'cubs'. Even adults I know do this and it sends a shiver down my spine. Cubs are bears, big cats, and hyenas. Pups are canines...wolves, dingos, dogs, foxes, african wild dogs, etc.
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Songdog » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:49 pm

I also find this site rather reliable for detailed wolf development and growth.

http://www.yellowstonepark.com/MoreToKn ... ?newsid=15

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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Karasu85 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:12 pm

Pups are born completely blind and deaf (but have a keen sense if smell), depending on the their mother and other members of the pack. The whole pack takes care and raises the pups (non-breeding females produce milk and males compete to baby sit).Usually four to six pups are born together. This is called a litter, and the pups in a litter are called litter mates. Pups are born inside a den. A den is sometimes a small cave or a hole dug out of the ground.The den must be big enough for the mother and her pups. It shelters them from the weather and protects the pups from other animals that may want to hurt them. Packs sometimes use the same den year after year. At other times, they make or find a new den each year.Wolf pups at this age may be preyed upon by Golden Eagles, Bear can also prey on young pups. There are several records of a number of adult wolves decoying bears away from their pups' den until they left.
Gestation Period

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Pups grow inside their mother for about 63 days before being born. At birth they weigh only one pound, and their eyes are closed. Pups grow quickly. About 12 to 15 days after they are born, they open their eyes. By two weeks of age, the pups can walk, and about a week after that, they may come out of the den for the first time. At first, they live only on milk from their mother.
The Birth and Nursing
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After birth the female wolf will lick the fetal sac from the puppy's head (she will also swallow all of these membranes), this allows the pup to take its first breath. The placenta attached to the pup by the umbilical cord will be delivered along with the pup. The mother severs the cord and eats the placenta (eating the placenta provides a valuable meal when she is unable to hunt).

The female wolf will lick the puppy dry and encourages it to nurse. The pup will instinctively move to the warm underbelly and nuzzles around to find a teat. The mothers mammary glands secrete colostrum, a watery milk which contains important antibodies. During nursing the mother will clean the pups and stimulates them to urinate and defecate by licking the genital region. She swallows all of their excretions, keeping the birthing area clean and odor-free.




Stages of Development
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* 10 - 13 days: the eyes open
* 3 weeks: the milk teeth appear, they start to explore the den
* 4 - 5 weeks: short trips outside the den, began to eat meat
* 6 weeks: moving up to a mile from the den (with adult wolf)
* 6 - 8 weeks: pups are weaned, traveling to rendezvous site.
* 12 weeks: begin the travel with the packs on hunts (with adult wolves)
* 15 - 28 weeks: milk teeth are replaced
* 7 - 8 months: begin to hunt with the pack



Mortality
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Pup mortality ranges from 30% to 60%. Pups die from diseases, malnutrition and starvation, life in the wild can be difficult. Wolves being very social animals are known to bury the dead pups, In R.D Lawrences' "In praise of wolves" pack members "mourn as deeply as might a human family".



The Early Years
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In a few weeks (4-5 weeks), the pups start eating meat. This is brought to them in the stomachs of the adult wolves. The pups lick around the mouth of the adult, and the food comes back up into the adult's mouth. This sounds terrible to us, but wolf pups love it!

All the wolves in a pack help take care of the pups. When the pups are very small, other pack members bring food to the mother so she does not have to leave the den. When the pups are a little bigger, pack members "take turns" bringing them food, playing with them and even "baby sitting." Once the pups are about eight weeks old, they leave the den and start using "rendezvous sites." These are meeting places where the wolves gather to sleep, play and just "hang out." Until the pups are old enough to go with the adults, (when pups are six months old, they look almost like adult wolves. Around this time, they start hunting with the rest of the pack) they stay at the rendezvous site. Often, one of the adult wolves stays with the pups to watch over them.Wolf pups love to play. They chase each other and roll around the way dog puppies do. Many of their games appear to be a sort of practice for the things they will do as adult wolves. Pups have been observed playing with "toys" like bones, feathers or the skins of dead animals. They "kill" the toys over and over again and carry them around as "trophies." As they get bigger, they begin to hunt small animals, like rabbits. This is all good practice for the day they join the pack for their first real hunt for large animals.



Eye Color
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Most wolf pups are born with blue eyes, which gradually change to a yellow-gold color by eight to sixteen weeks, though sometimes their eyes can change color much later. Occasionally, a mature wolf will be found with blue eyes.
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Sintact » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:41 am

Thanks to everyone that gave a information source, I will be reading all of the information and hopefully make a small summary for posting it here.

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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by StoneRose » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:16 am

This is the most helpful topic ever. ;3
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Aurora Alaska » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:21 pm

This is very, very helpful. It's good to get facts straight.

On the note of the summer rendezvous site: They meet up with the rest of the pack. Did the rest of the pack leave them?
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Re: Wolf Pups Educational Facts

Post by Gloria Crystal » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:23 am

YaY!!! This help me, i really need to know more about the pups :mrgreen:
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