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
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
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
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, begin 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 to travel with the pack on hunts (with adult wolves)
15 - 28 weeks: milk teeth are replaced
7 - 8 months: begin to hunt with the pack

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
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
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.

Responses to "PHOTOS - Beautiful Wolf Pups : They Are The Future"

  1. Anonymous says:

    they are beautiful long live the wolves :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    soo beuatifull and very the pictures.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The world would be a sad place with out wolves :-)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the pictures and information. The more educated we are about wolves just makes me love them even more (if that's possible). We are intruders on their land. Blessed are the wolves ~ with love and respect, Chey

  5. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is Beautiful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great information and great pictures. Long may the wolf live.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing. The part about wolves burying their own and mourning is so touching They are better than most humans. Long live the wolf!!

  8. FulviaChristine says:

    The photography and information given was simply amazing. I was fascinated with it all Thank you so much !

  9. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful and informative... 'God bless the Wolves..May they soon be able to live protected and in peace'

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wolves are amazing creature and should be treated with respect. So many humans blieve the wwolf to be a very evil animal and all they do is kill. In truth, HUMANS are the ones that are animals. They are they ones that have damned theses magnifacant cretures to go extenct becasue humas are afraid of them. It was humans that brought the desises that mad the wolf go mad. Now very few with wolves are alive today. I recommmend the book Never Cry Wolf by Farly Mowat. Its about a man going to do research in the artic to see why the carabu population is decreasing and to learn about the wolf and carabu relationship, if its the wolf's falt for it. He learns that it was becasue of man kind. Read it please, its a true story and very well writen.

    If you would lik to learn more, my e-mail is

    Thank you for your time, Lyra Cross

  11. Must be nice to be around Wolves all the time. I wish i had one

  12. Karla says:

    These animals are so very beautiful!!!! They are a symbol of our Country, as the Bald Eagle is. Stunning pictures, thoroughly enjoyed!!!

  13. Unknown says:

    We have 8 new pups in Oregon, four each in two of the Oregon packs. So excited!!!

  14. Thonas says:

    Wolves,eagles are much a part of the USA as we are.... they earn to run free, just like the dog. So let them roam and live free.....

  15. cathy lavery says:

    I love the pictures they are so beautiful. My husband and i would love to be around some wolf pups and we would love to own one.Thanks for sharing

  16. Anonymous says:

    Cool. I love wolves!!!

  17. Unknown says:

    Thank you for this lesson and the gorgeous pictures! Simply háve to love these gorgeous animals.... I know I do!

  18. Anonymous says:

    So beautiful and important to the way of things. Keep them safe. Love them

  19. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful pictures and story, love the wolves. Alberta still hunts and traps them with poison and snares because they are in way of the tarsands development and pipelines. Alberta is not wildlife friendly.

  20. Unknown says:

    I just have always had a love for wolves. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Unknown says:

    Thank you for not only sharing these beautiful babies but also for educating and advocating for them.
    There are too many misconceptions surrounding these awesome and ecologically important creatures.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wonderfully detailed story/information and GREAT pictures. Love, Like & Thanks, Pam Adams (Facebook)

  23. Anonymous says:


  24. cowpatti says:


  25. Anonymous says:

    so cute!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for share of wolves and their precious pups! I have always loved them and have fought for them despite all the negativity and misunderstood mindsets. They are a part of this Earth just as we are. We need to provide them with adequate habitat where they can live in wilderness. I love what you have posted. Wolves will always be a priority to "petition for their continued safety and preserve habitats for them. Once mankind has "killed" everything on Earth, I suppose then maybe that they will understand Mother Nature, but they cannot eat dirt. Sarah Carolann McCleskey Broaddus …. for love of the wolf ….

  27. Anonymous says:

    I love that they are so cute

  28. Anonymous says:

    it is so gross that they eat regurgitated meat

  29. Anonymous says:

    they are so cute, and they have an impact on the ecosystem. They are really great creatures! I love them with all my heart.

  30. Unknown says:

    wolfs are my lifeeeeeee

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