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So, as we all know, there are a lot of wolves. And it is often proposed or believed that many of these 'wolves' are often other species, and haven't researched enough or realized it yet. There's also a lot of caution to newbies about not letting human stereotypes and misconceptions of animals be how they determine their theriotype. And that's really easy to debunk when the misconception is "I howl at the moon as a wolf" or "I'm the gamma of my pack". But I think there are some beliefs, held by wolf therians, that are still influenced by human stereotypes of wolves, but in a much more subtle way.

Main thesis: There are certain statements by/about wolf therians that seem to be centered on wolf behavior, but are actually stemming from human stereotypes.

1. "I'm a wolf because I'm aggressive!" - Actually, predators mostly aren't.
(I talked about this somewhat here, and much of the text will be directly copied.)
Hunting takes a lot of energy. So to be as efficient as possible, predators will tend to stack up as many advantages as they can before attacking. After all, a failed hunt doesn't just mean not eating, it can mean the predator gets hurt in the process as well. So predators pick "easy" targets: the young, the old, the sick, the isolated. Some, like wolves, hunt in packs. Some use stealth tactics. In areas where humans and tigers share land, humans can prevent attack by wearing a mask on the back of their head- thinking they've been seen is enough of a deterrent for tigers, even though you'd think "but the tiger could easily win!".
In summary: predators are very conservative with their attacks, and will only pick a fight they are sure they can win. Large herbivores are actually much more aggressive. Hippos cause far more trouble for humans that lions do.
To give a wolf example- wolves (and high-content wolf dogs) actually make terrible guard dogs, because they tend to be "shy" around humans and back away rather than attack.

2. "I'm a wolf because I'm independent!" -Most wolves aren't, and you're working from the human perspective of pride.
This is an argument I've seen most when wolf therians are defending why they aren't dogs. So many of the statements will be things like "I would never be subservient to anyone". I've literally seen a wolf therian say dogs were slaves to humans.
Let's put aside how dismissive/rude it is to classify an entire species (and the therians of that species) as enslaved or weak-willed. (And that's not my relationship as a dog-therian to humanity...at all). Let's just look at wolf behavior:
  • Wolves are literally pack animals. "Lone wolves" aren't nearly as much of a thing as people think.
  • Wolves have much stricter dominance relationships than dogs, so 'subservience' is still a wolf trait.
  • This pride in individualism is a human cultural thing (especially an American thing). Wolves do not have a concept of pride in the same way. When wolves and dogs diverged, it wasn't a conscious, ego-based decision about being "free" and not being "subservient to humans". That's an incredibly anthropomorphized narrative, it is how humans romanticize wild animals, and this prideful emphasis on it is really a human cultural value.
Hi,

1. @LycanTheory The point I could never explain to you. Tongue

2. I very much agree with everything that is stated in this post. A very good resource if those who would wonder about these things would choose to read it.

3. As always I have to pick problems with something... sorry. Tongue

I think it's important to note that a wolf therian always experiences therianthropy from the wolf's perspective. There are certain phases in a wolf's life that most wolves experience at some point, and us therians can experience those same ones.

(2018-05-13 12:01)Vyt Wrote: [ -> ]Wolves are literally pack animals. "Lone wolves" aren't nearly as much of a thing as people think.

When wolves are exposed to circumstances in which there isn't enough food for them, they have a tendency to want to split and leave the pack. This is based on a feeling, if you are often hungry or the food you are eating is not good, you may feel like you want to leave your family. If the problem is worse, the feeling will be more intense. If the problem is not so great, you are more likely to feel a lack of confidence that will make you rather submit / adapt to the requests of your family members than split.

I am saying this so litterately, because this is also the way it is experienced. Wolf therians can do things as trivial as try loosing weight or try going vegan, and end up doing drastic changes in their lives because of the way these instincts work and because people usually don't question why they feel like doing something.

Wolves who do split, travel a great distance in a relatively straight line and are on the lookout for a mate. During this time, they are alone. Many die. They are not accepted into other packs and are seen as a bit of a nuisance by wolves of the same sex.

[Image: 8854405e-f888-4d3f-9d09-788f224ff2c4-Wol...201511.jpg]

When a wolf finds a mate, they establish a new territory that they stick to (the little crumbled lines with blue regions over them), as is needed to create an environment where pups can be raised. This is once again the point where the pack settles down in a set territory and sticks together and cooperates. You can expect your feelings will change accordingly.

Although I've never heard of a therian experiencing the following things (probably because this part is fairly similar in humans and human cultural norms regarding the cirucmstances take care of it well enough), the pregnant female wolf will find a den, a safe and typically underground spot where to raise the pups. Female wolves consider taking care of pups to be a "social status" kind of thing, because they do not have to hunt while taking care of pups, they are entitled to expect the males to take care of this. Because of this female wolves will compete for the privilege of taking care of pups and will also have fake pregnancies if status is desired but not afforded and stuff like that.

LP,
Dusty
I can add that there have been many threads on were forums as to how theriotypes tend to be more anthropomorphized versions of animals than the animals themselves. We're affected by the culture around us.

My impression has always been that weres tend to be more mobile than Mainstreamers. Most of the ones I know have bounced around all over the country. Some move in groups; some alone.

I've been alone most of my life, stationary for 20 years due to work. When I retired, I joined my pack. We've lived in three places in five years because of circumstances. (Woof! I'm getting too old for moving every couple of years. Smile )
(2018-05-13 14:32)WolfVanZandt Wrote: [ -> ]My impression has always been that weres tend to be more mobile than Mainstreamers. Most of the ones I know have bounced around all over the country. Some move in groups; some alone.

I meant the whole thing more in the state of mind sort of thing. What might cause a wolf to leave their home and run straight for 350 km accross country, may cause a human to leave everybody behind and go for another field of work in another part of the country.

It's always hard to say what is on my mind, but then a fellow wolf therian going trough the experience might understand.

LP,
Dusty
"Lone wolves" are absolutely a thing, just not how people think they are. Usually around the age of two, some wolves will become what are called "dispersers", in which they go off to try and find a mate of their own. It's not a "look how badass I am for being alone", like some people think, but more of a "oh god I want a family" thing haha.

I think adding a bit on how their social structure is not purely based on aggression, and more so to do with parental ties would be a good thing to add. Considering how many therians I see who still don't understand basic pack relationships, this might be something to try and dispel.

Also how the terms "Alpha" (as in, fight to the death for leading role hehe) and the like only apply really to captive wolves in most situations, though Beta is sometimes used to describe a male or female who gets to mate outside the parental pair bond.

Really I could go on forever. Wolves are misunderstood in the most odd way. People want them to be aggressive, noble animals with super cool social ranks and all that, when the reality of wolves is much more interesting.

EDIT: I also think it is very very important people realize that sometimes, individual animals do break the mold. I encourage people to research into wolf #42, or "Cinderalla" from Yellowstone, and her radically different behaviour that shocked everyone at Yellowstone. In fact, her mother, and sister too behaved so differently! It's an amazing thing to read about.

All animals are individuals, and while we can paint them in generally accurate terms, not all members of a species fit the mold.
(2018-05-13 15:13)MountainKing Wrote: [ -> ]"Lone wolves" are absolutely a thing, just not how people think they are.

Hence why i said not "as much of a thing as people think." Both you and Dustwolf have pointed out natural time periods where wolves might be alone/on their own for a matter of time. But (as both of you said) the goal of that period is generally to find a mate (thereby starting a new pack). And furthermore, none of that is what people mean when they say "lone wolf", which is part of what I am trying to address here. It's become it's own mythos in human culture.

(2018-05-13 15:13)MountainKing Wrote: [ -> ]I think adding a bit on how their social structure is not purely based on aggression, and more so to do with parental ties would be a good thing to add. Considering how many therians I see who still don't understand basic pack relationships, this might be something to try and dispel.

Trust me, I've been fighting the hierarchy misconception every time I see it. But if you want to, feel free to elaborate on things here. That's what this thread is for, after all.
Aye. The Cinderella wolf is one of the ones I think of when people start talking about "how wolves behave" as though they were some kind of automatons.
(2018-05-13 12:01)Vyt Wrote: [ -> ]Large herbivores are actually much more aggressive. Hippos cause far more trouble for humans that lions do.

Just chiming in to say that hippos aren't has herbivorous as previously thought. They will eat meat off of carcasses, including from other hippos.
(2018-05-13 20:54)coyote_soul Wrote: [ -> ]
(2018-05-13 12:01)Vyt Wrote: [ -> ]Large herbivores are actually much more aggressive. Hippos cause far more trouble for humans that lions do.

Just chiming in to say that hippos aren't has herbivorous as previously thought. They will eat meat off of carcasses, including from other hippos.

To my understanding, lots of animals labeled herbivores are opportunistic carnivores (i.e. they don't hunt, but will eat meat if its easily available). https://io9.gizmodo.com/field-cameras-ca...1689440870
@Vyt they are opportunistic carnivores, much like deer in that article you linked and cows (there have been a few instances photographed of cows eating kittens). Wouldn't that mean they could be reclassified as opportunistic onmivores rather than being labeled as herbivores? I know something like that would take many years off study and research for a dietary reclassification.

Also, sorry for derailing your thread. If you want to continue the discussion, I'd be happy to do so via a new thread or PMs!
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