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largest wolf breeds

5 Biggest Breeds of Wolf in the World

As one of the most unique animals in the world, the humble wolf is something we can all enjoy looking at. They are mysterious, majestic animals that just seem to carry off a certain charm and energy. For that reason, many people love spending time around wolves. They are energizing and exciting animals, but they can also be quite fearsome. After all, wolves have long been antagonists in media for years for a reason – they are very powerful and, when needed, fearsome!

However, one thing to note about wolves is that some breeds are simply larger than others. Just as dogs seem to come in all shapes and sizes, wolves are no different at all. When it comes to determining the largest wolves, though, you have lots of choices to consider. So, which breeds tend to power above the rest?

Finding the largest wolves in the world

Of course, you aren’t exactly likely to see a wolf running down the street of a private estate or around a public park. The closest you will likely find in society would be a husky. Wolves come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. As you might imagine, grey wolves are the most common breed of wolf that you will find in the world. Thousands of them are present across the USA especially.

However, wolves are not just found in America, and they come in colors far beyond the standard grey. Indeed, wolves have been around for as long as we can tell. Their meat-heavy diets mean that they have long been predators who live on everything from deer to livestock. For that reason, many fear wolves – especially those in rural communities and those who run farms.

Despite their relative prominence today, wolves have been a species that was hunted close to extinction. Thankfully, an understanding of how much harm was being done to the wolf population meant that a slowdown took place. Today, they are back to normal levels worldwide and thus you should not worry about wolves being a creature of the past.

That being said, wolves come in all shapes and sizes. If you want to make sure that you find wolves, you can find them all across the world – America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are capable of living just about anywhere, from frozen tundra spaces to verdant grasslands and forests. What, though, are the largest of their kind?

The largest wolf breeds in the world today

Eurasian Wolves

The first on our list would be the humble Eurasian wolf. These rank among the largest wolves in the world today and are commonly found in colder parts of Europe. Northern Europe is home to many of these creatures, especially in areas like Russia and across wider Scandinavia. That being said, though, these animals are also found in Asia – hence the name – especially across China.

The Eurasian Wolf is a highly impressive animal, though to look at one you might think it appears gangly and thin. They are quite wiry, yes, but there is no reason to think of Eurasian wolves as anything other than fearsome predators. They might not be the largest wolves in the world, reaching around 5ft in length and around 160lbs, but they are surprisingly powerful. Their lean frames and relatively small size lend them an advantage in confrontations, as their foes might believe they are not strong enough to stand up for themselves.

This breed of wolf can be hard to tell apart from other breeds, though, purely because they have coarse fur that is variable in the colors it appears in. Highly interesting and exciting wolves to view, but do not get too close to one!

Great Plains Wolves

These gorgeous animals are probably what many think of when they consider the humble wolf. Great Plains Wolves are quite large and can easily reach lengths of around 6ft. However, they tend to keep very sleek and lean bodies as they have a fraction of the bulk and weight that one would expect. This comes in part from a very active and aggressive lifestyle that sees them skulking, planning, scouting, and hunting.

The Great Plains wolves are most commonly found if you spend time in America. They also tend to be smart in that they stick to packs and groups. This will be in large part due to the previous history of being hunted down. If you see a pack of these wolves, you should definitely be on your guard. If they see a weakness in just about any prey, they will not hesitate to get ready for a potential attack.

Sadly, these wolves tended to be one of the most commonly hunted during culls in the past. This means that Great Plains wolves are far less common today. Even though numbers have improved, they are still nowhere near as numerous as they once were.

Dire Wolves

The next breed we wish to look at is one with arguably the best name of them all – the Dire Wolf. Dire wolves are very much a thing of the past, though, as they are now an extinct breed of wolf. That does not stop them from holding a large presence for wolf representation in books, movies, and more. They were regarded as immensely powerful creatures.

At its pomp, the dire wolf was the largest breed of wolf in the world. They could be as large as 175lbs, making them an absolute unit within the wolf world. These might no longer be something that you can find in the world, but they were an apex breed of hunter at their peak. It was only through extensive culling that these majestic, if dangerous, animals were eventually made extinct.

Out of all of the breeds of wolf that we know about, though, few could match the dire wolf when it comes to hunting prowess, power, or strength. They are highly exciting animals to look into, as their history shows something that fits in very much with the atypical human understanding of wolves. Energetic, ferocious, powerful, and more than capable of hunting larger prey – the dire wolf was truly a leader among the largest wolves.

Tundra Wolves

While you are not likely to come across the beloved tundra wolf unless you go looking, they are respected animals. They have long been seen as one of the largest wolves in the world, capable of being as much as 7ft in length. However, compared to other wolves on this list, they tend to be quite lightweight in terms of their overall weight. This makes them less ‘meaty’ than some of the competition out there. In general, though, if you are looking at pure height and size, a tundra wolf can easily outsize your standard man.

They are also very hardy animals as they reside in the coldest places in the world. The frozen tundra destinations that can make up their habitat are often found across Russia. They come equipped with immense coats to help keep the weather from being too uncomfortable.

They tend to eat quite powerful food, too, including bison, so you should never underestimate a tundra wolf. Due to the conditions, they live within, though, these wolves tend to be smart at looking for the weakest animals in a herd so they can get their food with minimal effort.

Mackenzie Valley Wolves

The last wolf on our list would be the Mackenzie Valley breed of wolf. Some know them as Canadian Timberwolves. They are very strong, and they are also the largest breed of wolf that you can find in the world today. If you want to see one in person then you need to go to the Mackenzie River Valley, Canada. This is where you will find them residing mostly.

However, trips to other parts of Canada, especially Western Canada, can lead to finding more of these stunning creatures. They are also found, albeit in much smaller quantities, in Alaska.

They are as large as 175lbs in size and can be as long as 7ft. So, you would probably need to be an NBA basketball player size if you wanted to give a Mackenzie Valley wolf a run for its money in terms of its size. As naturally elite survivalists, Mackenzie Valley wolves are experts who are capable of living at high altitudes and thus have incredible lung power and capacity.

Most would say that this breed of wolf should not be trifled with, so always be cautious if you come across one; they have the pace and power to match their size.

Understanding wolves

Now that you know what the largest breeds of wolves are, you know what to look out for should you ever come across one in public. Wolves are not creatures that waste time; if you threaten them or put them on the back foot, they will react. However, as far as being creatures that you can care for and respect, wolves should sit high up on that list.

Just remember, then, that the above breeds could match most men, so do not take their presence lightly.