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Ok, long story short, after watching a gray wolf documentary with a few mates, we were having a discussion as to whether a German shepherd would be able to live with a gray wolf pack.

Lets say a genetically and anatomically healthy GSD from good lines was given to a wolf mother as a baby from day one, and she accepted it and cared for it like her own and so did the rest of the pack.

our results ranged, a couple guys said **** no, others thought it could do well.
im on the fence, i think it stands a better chance than any other breed but to many factors. i think if it made it through the first year then the GSD should be able to hang with the pack.

i never really thought about it until today but id love to get others opinion.:hug:
 

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I would think that any larger breed dog could live with a pack, if it was accepted at a young age. I think smaller breeds could very well become dinner. The problem with any of the breeds being accepted into a pack is that another opposing pack doesn't have to accept them and the dog could become a liability to their pack.
 

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If the GSD was female, I'd think the timing of heat cycles may cause issues within the pack. Wolves cycle once a year around the same time, GSD can be random I think.
 

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I'm not sure if a german shepherd could keep up. Wolves are much bigger, stronger, and have much longer legs. They also have bigger paws that are pretty much like snow shoes. Their ears are also thickly furred while a german shepherd would probably get frost bite if it was in a northern wolf pack.
Wiki also mentioned the bite strength of wolves being twice that of GSDs. I'd think that would factor into which canine got the best bits of the deceased elk/caribou/deer. In harsh climates getting the fatty bits is essential and if the GSD had to work longer and dodge the higher-ups in the pack while working a bit of meat it would be a huge disadvantage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would think that any larger breed dog could live with a pack, if it was accepted at a young age. I think smaller breeds could very well become dinner. The problem with any of the breeds being accepted into a pack is that another opposing pack doesn't have to accept them and the dog could become a liability to their pack.
i think many would struggle. i can see climate and endurance being a massive struggle with most big breeds maybe with the exception for a husky, malamute, gsd.

i think the gsd stands a good chance considering it is similar to the wolf in many ways. strong smell sense, can trot away for hours, good endurance and can sprint when needed, i think the prey drive will help also.
 

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there is nothing special about what a wolf does. It survives like any wild animal, nothing more or less. Most wild dogs or strays look nothing like a wolf or a gsd, a gsd is probably too hairy for most climates, but it could fit in where wolves do.
 

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Wolves are the result of natural genetic selection. Survival of the fittest.

That means only those individuals best suited to survive to pass on their genes to the next generation by having the best genetic makeup to maximize the environmental niche in which they live.

This often boils down to trade offs. Bigger and slower, or smaller and faster..........?????? Etc.

The dogs genetics are determined largely by humans. Humans are not selecting according to environmental survival(although some breeds like herding or sports breeds might be better suited to survival in the wild than others).

Feral dogs(dogs gone back to the wild to live and breed) in time would end up evolving back to resemble other canids within the environment they live in. The same environment that evolved wolves in the first place would cause feral dogs to have to compete with wolves for survival and end up taking on more and more wolf or coyote like traits over time in order to survive as a species.

The question isn't so much, could a particular individual or breed survive----the question is, does that particular individual or breed have all of the traits needed to survive best in all the conditions the environment creates. If so, those traits are passed on, if not, those traits are lost.
 

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The main disadvantage is GSDs have gentle temperaments - as domesticated animals they have no aggressive drive and are dependent on humans for food and water, love and protection. So they wouldn't stand much of a chance in the wild fending for themselves.

Wild canids are shy and aggressive and they know how to kill and consume their own food and they look to their own kind for social bonding and protection. Wolves and coyotes are very different from domestic dogs. If humans ever ceased to exist, dogs would vanish and I imagine any canid would evolve to have the habits and temperament of a wild animal.

GSDs superficially resemble wolves in appearance but they don't have the complex pack behavior wolves do and they love being with us and they love to please us in a way wolves will never do - even tamed wolves.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The main disadvantage is GSDs have gentle temperaments - as domesticated animals they have no aggressive drive and are dependent on humans for food and water, love and protection. So they wouldn't stand much of a chance in the wild fending for themselves.

Wild canids are shy and aggressive and they know how to kill and consume their own food and they look to their own kind for social bonding and protection. Wolves and coyotes are very different from domestic dogs. If humans ever ceased to exist, dogs would vanish and I imagine any canid would evolve to have the habits and temperament of a wild animal.

GSDs superficially resemble wolves in appearance but they don't have the complex pack behavior wolves do and they love being with us and they love to please us in a way wolves will never do - even tamed wolves.
I do agree with you. However I think the gsd being an excellent all rounder and extremely intelligent and adaptable might give them that competitive advantage. I think they won't be that great straight off the bat, but throw 1000 gsd in the wild and if 100 of the fittest, strongest and best equipped assets survive, and continue to breed who knows if in many generations time they might even match or exceed the wolf.
Or am I looking into it to much???


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