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   Wolf Training & Socialization   

An important aspect of life that all captive wolves should enjoy
Miska getting a drink from a bottle
Miska gets a drink of water. As a yearling, like all children, he really wanted the bottle that he found in the bison field to crunch as a toy. Because he was trained to sit and "ask" first, what might have been a confrontation with a wolf known to guard things became a fun time to enjoy a drink of water on a hot August day in Indiana.
Why socialize and train a captive wolf?
Unless they are candidates for a release program, wolves in captivity should be socialized and trained. The socialization, involving many hours of hand rearing pups beginning at only two weeks of age, gives a captive wolf many advantages over those which are unsocialized. However, socialization through hand rearing needs to be much more than simply removing fear through association and bonding with people. They also need to be trained, to ease handling and make working with them much safer.


Socialization will:

  • Make captive wolves better ambassadors for their species for they will show an interest in people rather than show avoidance and fear.
  • Enrich their lives though handling and even routine management.

Training will:

  • Increase the social bond and trust between the animal and the handler.
  • Make is safer to work with a socialized animal through the training of cut-off signals and controls.
  • Allows animals to be humanely given medical care with little to no stress.
  • Make it easy to enrich the animals' lives by breaking up the boredom of captivity.
  • Emergencies, such as escaped animals or downed fencing, become far less serious when the animal can be called over and leashed by a handler.

A Few Examples of Training Wolves



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Last revised: Sunday, March 26, 2000