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Are these wolf tracks?

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  • Are these wolf tracks?



    Is there a solid way to tell the difference between wolf and large dog from the track? I was in an area where it could be a domestic dog but I also saw tracks from a caribou calf about 100 yards away. Anywhere the caribou show up, wolves might show up too, right?


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    Alaskan expat, civil engineer, FAA consultant.

  • #2
    Originally posted by highestview View Post
    Is there a solid way to tell the difference between wolf and large dog from the track?
    Size. Not much for scale in the pic, but I don't see anything there that cries wolf. Maybe coyote. Most likely a medium sized domestic dog.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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    • #3
      Something for perspective would help a bunch, might be a Chihuahua. Far as I know there is no way to tell the difference in canines by there foot prints.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by highestview View Post


        Is there a solid way to tell the difference between wolf and large dog from the track? I was in an area where it could be a domestic dog but I also saw tracks from a caribou calf about 100 yards away. Anywhere the caribou show up, wolves might show up too, right?


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

        No they are not.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by magpie View Post
          No they are not.
          Yes they are.

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          • #6
            I wouldn't think so either. From most wolf tracks I've seen in snow or soft mud, the toes are usually splayed out more than those. You know....like a BIG dog's would......lol
            Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 4merguide View Post
              I wouldn't think so either. From most wolf tracks I've seen in snow or soft mud, the toes are usually splayed out more than those. You know....like a BIG dog's would......lol
              What if its a young wolf? Are all wolves big?

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              • #8
                Young wolves are bigger than young dogs.........lol.

                BTW......don't argue with yourself.....you can't win.
                Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by magpie View Post
                  What if its a young wolf? Are all wolves big?
                  That was actually why I wasn't sure. I should have put something in the picture for scale. I know what a 70 lb German Shepherd paw print looks like and that seemed at least as big, maybe a squidge bigger. Could be a young wolf or a big dog. I was leaning towards dog but then saw the caribou tracks just in front of it that looked about the same age and thought, 'why not?' Nobody knows any characteristic other than size to tell them apart?


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  Alaskan expat, civil engineer, FAA consultant.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by highestview View Post
                    Nobody knows any characteristic other than size to tell them apart?
                    Look for a publication titled Tracking Canids: Track and Trail Synopsis by Jim Halfpenny.

                    Reasonable comparison image here:http://westernwildlife.org/gray-wolf...gns-of-wolves/
                    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
                    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
                    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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                    • #11
                      When identifying wolf from dog tracks, size does matter. Wolf tracks are very robust (4-5") on average. Whereas your typical dog track is medium sized (2-3" possibly 4" for a very large breed dog). The other thing I always take into consideration is location. Obviously if you are on a well traveled path that is commonly occupied by humans, my first guess would always be a dog, although not always the case. If you were in a very remote location where humans seldom travel, my first guess would be a wild canid. The fact that you said caribou tracks were also present could be a clue that the possibility exists that they were wolf tracks, but more info is needed. Also, does there appear to be multiple tracks from other canids close by? If so, that could be a clue that it was a pack traveling together. You have to take all things into consideration.

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                      • #12
                        Wolves usually have a significantly longer stride than even a large dog.

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                        • #13
                          It can't possibly be a wolf if there are caribou tracks nearby. Don't you guys know that wolves and bears kill off all the game?

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                          • #14
                            I have a lab that scales close to 100 #s. Even in mud/soft ground, his tracks are no where near the size of most wolf tracks I've seen.
                            I probably have an average sized hand and in mud, a wolf track will hang out either side of the palm.

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                            • #15
                              Agreeing with others here- my impression is they're dog tracks. Without something for size reference it's impossible to tell but it seems very much like a regular dog track.

                              My 120# Labrador doesn't have feet even remotely as big as a wolf.
                              "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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