Largest Wolf Breed

Wolves have captivated people’s attention for thousands of years. Even though wolves are smaller than lions or bears, they nonetheless frighten people. These social creatures can take down prey that is significantly heavier than them because they hunt in packs. They have a range of hundreds of miles, and their packs may number up to 20 adults.

Wolves are among the top predators in nature thanks to their muscular legs, powerful jaws, and lethal instinct. They can sprint up to 30 kilometers per day, allowing them to follow and pursue their prey for extended periods of time.

When motivated, wolves can bite with forces of up to 1200 pounds per square inch, easily cutting through bone. Although wolves are patient predators and prefer group attacks, they should not be taken lightly even when acting alone.

Wolves may be found all across the planet, from the Siberian tundra to the uninhabited interior of Alaska. Wolves are divided into more than 30 different subspecies.

Wolf Population

The number of wolves in existence today, across all subspecies, is unknown. The number of grey wolves, the most prevalent subspecies, in the lower 48 states is in the neighborhood of 6,000.

Ever since the world’s creation, wolves have existed. They have been known to kill deer, elk, moose, and even livestock since they devour flesh. Due to that final one, they are now on the kill list of farmers.

Wolves were once on the verge of extinction owing to overhunting, but conservation efforts have helped to restore their population to a healthy level. In 2020, they were removed from the “endangered species” list. Whether they are still in danger is a matter of debate.

The Largest Wolves in The World

Ethiopian wolves, red wolves, and gray wolves are the three main species of wolf. Within these categories, however, variations of wolves are distinguished and put into subspecies. There are about 40 recognized wolf subspecies, with gray wolves making up the majority of them.

Many people group all gray wolf subspecies together and refer to the gray wolf as the world’s biggest species. There is space to be more detailed because there are so many distinct wolves that need to be examined within that group. Let’s examine five of the biggest wolf subspecies in the world and discover a bit about each of them.

Himalayan Wolf

The Himalayan wolf (Canis lupus chanco), which is larger than the Indian wolf in terms of size, is around 3.75 feet long. The shoulder height of a Himalayan wolf is 30 inches.

It weighs around 77 lbs on average, about the same as an adult male German Shepherd. They eat Himalayan marmots, wooly hares, pikas, and Tibetan gazelle as their main sources of protein.

Himalayan wolves may be found all throughout the Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, and Central Asian highlands. Unlike the majority of wolves, who favor lower, more oxygen-rich habitats, they are evolved to thrive at high altitudes. Although there is disagreement about the classification of the Himalayan wolf, some scientists contend that it is a separate subspecies.

The IUCN now classifies the Himalayan wolf as Endangered. Wolves’ numbers are still under danger from international commerce even though hunting is prohibited in China, India, and Nepal.

Mackenzie Valley Wolf

The biggest wolf breed in existence right now is the Mackenzie Valley Wolf, often known as the Canadian Timber Wolf. They are known for congregating in the Mackenzie River Valley, a particular region in Canada. They can also be found in Alaska and other regions of Western Canada.

These wolves may grow up to 7 feet long and weigh roughly 175 pounds. They need these characteristics to survive at high altitudes, which frees up more space for larger organs like their lungs.

Great Plains Wolf

Like their relatives, Great Plains Wolves are proficient pack hunters and consume a variety of deer, moose, beavers, and birds. Despite being the most prevalent subspecies of wolf in the United States, the typical pack size for this subspecies is only five or six wolves.

Only a few wolves remain near the Canadian border after hunting and trapping reduced the Great Plains Wolves population to the point of near extinction. The population has been helped to recover via efforts, and it is still growing now.

Have You Heard? It has been established that this amazing and extensive subspecies of wolves includes species like the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf, which was formerly designated as a different subspecies.

Interior Alaskan Wolf

The Alaskan grey wolf is another contender for the title of largest wolf. From paws to shoulders, they may reach a height of 33.5 inches (85 cm) and weigh up to 130 pounds (32 kg).

Average male weight is 124 lbs (56.3 kg), whereas average female weight is 85 lbs (38.5 kg).

Interior A subspecies of the Canis lupus is the wolf found in Alaska. With a coat of gray fur, they resemble an ordinary gray wolf.

Although huge wolves are known to carry up to 20 pounds of meat in their stomach, one tale of an interior Alaskan wolf cites a wolf weighing 202 lbs (96 kg).

This wolf’s natural habitats include forests, alpine, subalpine, and Arctic tundra. It is endemic to Alaska, the United States, and Canada.

Mongolian Wolf

The Mongolian wolf (Canis lupus chanco) is between three and five feet long from snout to tail. The largest Mongolian wolves may reach heights of over 35 inches. Although weights can fluctuate, most examples fall between 57 and 82 lb.

In comparison to European wolves, they are smaller in size and often have a thinner nose. It resembles the Himalayan wolf in appearance, and there are continuing discussions over its classification.

Mongolian wolves are indigenous to Mongolia, Russia, and central and northern China. Due to the growth of populated areas and the fall in the number of Siberian tigers, its main food opponent, its range has changed recently. Saiga as well as domesticated cattle serve as prey.

Wolves, known in Mongolia as “the sheep’s assassin,” are periodically slain by herders to safeguard their cattle. The populations of Mongolian wolves are threatened by the trafficking in their fur, retaliation killing, and hunting. The number of Mongolian wolves is unknown, and they are currently not protected.

Eurasian Wolf

Northerly areas of Europe and Asia are where you may find the Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus), which is not native to North America. These species’ largest wolves may weigh up to 190 lbs.

Usually grey, brown, or white in color, they have long muzzles and dark eyes. They average 70 to 110 pounds in weight and 31 to 33 inches in height (80-85 cm).

The Eurasian Wolf is an opportunistic predator that mostly targets ungulates like deer, wild boar, and elk, however it may also consume smaller prey like rabbits and rodents. [1]

When feasible, they are known to scavenge, and they have even been seen hunting in bands of up to 12 people.

Tundra Wolf

The Tundra Wolf is evolved for an exceptionally cold temperature, as you could infer from its name. It has a thick coat that develops in rusty, gray, and black tones that is very insulating. These cunning hunters hunt in groups like the majority of wolves do. Additionally, they engage in selective predation, removing the caribou and bison herds’ weak, ill, and elderly members.

Have You Heard? These beautiful wolves previously covered a larger region of Northern Europe, but human hunters reduced their population. The diminished Tundra Wolf population is concentrated mostly in the northern arctic and boreal Russia after being hunted for their exquisite pelts.

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf

One of the largest wolf species in the world is the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf (Canis lupus irremotus). They get their name since they are indigenous to the Rocky Mountains.

Males of these wolves are bigger than females, and they range in weight from 70 to 150 pounds (32 to 68 kg). They stand between 26 and 32 inches tall (66 to 81 cm).

They have gray fur on their legs, ears, and nose, with black tips. Although they occasionally live alone or in pairs, Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves normally reside in packs of six to eight animals.

They were listed as an endangered species in 1978, but the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan caused this listing to be lifted in 2000. [2]

Elk and deer are their primary food, although they will also consume rodents and smaller animals like rabbits.

The NRMW is not regarded as a particularly violent animal in comparison to other wolf species; it typically only attacks people when provoked or threatened.

Red Wolf

A separate wolf subspecies that is a hybrid of the gray and red wolves is known as the red wolf (Canis lupus rufus). Although wolves’ hues can vary, their recognizable crimson tint is how they got their moniker. Red wolves typically measure 4.5 to 5.25 feet long and weigh 50 to 85 pounds. Due of their long and thin bodies, some scientists compare them to greyhounds.

The southeastern parts of the United States are home to red wolves. They are less friendly than gray wolves despite being more sociable than coyotes. Rodents, rabbits, white-tailed deer, and nutria make up their food.

Red wolves were previously common throughout the southern states, but owing to habitat destruction and killing, they became extinct in the wild. Red wolves are currently classified as a Critically Endangered species by the IUCN. The majority of them are kept in captivity or in approved wildlife refuges. Red wolves that have been released into the wild are still under danger from hunters.

Dire Wolf

The Dire Wolf deserves honorable mention because, while being an extinct species of wolf, it was once the biggest wolf in the world. It may reach a weight of 175 pounds. Despite their close kinship, researchers are discovering that Dire Wolves require their own species category.

Northwestern Wolf

There are several names for the Northwestern wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis), including Mackenzie Valley wolf, Canadian timber wolf, and Alaskan timber wolf. The typical male weighs 137 lb, while the average female weighs 101 lb, making it the biggest wolf in the world.

They weigh between 79 and 159 pounds, with some particularly huge individuals reaching 175 pounds. The Northwestern wolf is the biggest wolf species in the world due to its size. They dwarf most of their relatives, growing up to 7 feet long and almost 36 inches tall.

Northwest wolves have a range that extends from Alaska to western Canada and into the northwest United States. They are known to stampede a herd to remove young elk from their parents because they hunt on elk. Although they typically primarily hunt the weak or young in a herd, wolves in the northwest are also known to hunt bison.

The Northwestern wolf is not under any immediate threat. Wolves can be hunted and trapped, although their numbers are generally constant, particularly in Canada, where they are most prevalent.

Arctic Wolf

Due to its nearly all-white coats, the Arctic Wolf is one of the most well-known and easily recognized subspecies of wolves in the world. They originated in Canada’s Arctic tundra.

It is still a large wolf, although it is much smaller than the wolf found in the Northwestern United States.

The average weight of a boy is 75 to 110 lbs (34 to 46 kg), while that of a girl is 80 to 85 lbs (36 to 38 kg). They might weigh up to 175 lbs.

The thick white coat of the Arctic Wolf makes it easier for them to blend in with their icy surroundings. These wolves spend the most of their time hunting caribou, deer, and muskoxen on the tundra where they inhabit. When required, they also scavenge.

Arctic wolves are considered to be extremely gregarious creatures and frequently live in groups of six to twelve people. Nevertheless, some packs have been known to include forty or more members! They can kill prey that is considerably bigger than themselves thanks to their size, including adult caribou, muskoxen, and moose.

Steppe Wolf

Steppe wolves (Canis lupus campestris), often called Caspian Sea wolves, typically weigh between 77 and 88 lb. Their hair is shorter and sparser than that of Eurasian wolves, which are their closest relatives in size. The steppe areas of Eurasia, where this subspecies is a native, are where the steppe wolf derives its name.

The lower Volga area, southern Kazakhstan, the Caucasus, and the Caspian steppes are all home to steppe wolves. On rare occasions, communities would retain them as watchdogs. Rodents, fish, and Caspian seals are all part of their diet. To live, though, hungry steppe wolves may also consume berries and other flora.

Steppe wolves typically prey on cattle since they frequently reside close to human settlements. Steppe wolves are threatened by hunting by herders attempting to preserve their livestock since it is allowed to do so in some areas. The IUCN has listed steppe wolves as an endangered species as a result of hunting, which is the main cause of the fall in population.

How Big Are Wolves?

As was already noted, an adult wolf’s size is controlled by both genetics and environment. Some wolves, such as the Great Plains wolf, will never grow to the enormous size of an Alaskan wolf that has been well-fed.

Anything above 140 pounds, according to wildlife specialists, is enormous. Wolves are one of the largest woodland carnivores, reaching lengths of 6 to 7 feet. They are not quite as large as, for example, the Great Dane and the English Mastiff, which are domestic dog breeds.

The largest wolf ever recorded was captured in 1939 by renowned Alaskan wolf catcher Frank Glaser, who hauled in a 175-pound male from the Mackenzie Valley.

There are also unconfirmed rumors about a 230-pound giant in Alberta, Canada. In our human eyes, wolves are essentially big canines with strong hunting drives and inborn natural instincts.

Conclusion

The largest wolves in the world include those found in the Northwestern United States, Interior Alaska, Europe, Asia, Northern Rocky Mountains, Arctic, Tundra, Steppe, Great Plains, Mongolia, and Himalayas.

These are all larger than typical wolves, with the majority weighing between 80 and 160 lbs. This relies on a variety of circumstances, including gender and the availability of food.