Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

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Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by DaniBeez » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:47 pm

Take a look at this image of a canid:

Image

This post made the front page of Reddit today, titled "Black wolf". If you didn't know, Reddit is a popular online website for news, discussion, and rating media content.

Anyway, the top comment in the thread--so the comment that the most people gave a "like" if you will--thinks that this is a picture of the widely publicized wolf Romeo. And from what I could see, most of the top comments on the the post also thought this was a wolf/Romeo.

I don't think so though. I initially reverse image searched to try and find the original source of the image, but did not have meaningful success.

Here's why I personally think it's a black german shepherd:
  • Long tail length. This canid's tail extends well past the tarsus of the leg. In this picture of a wolf mid-gallop, with the lower hind leg well bent, the tail doesn't come close to the ground:
Image
  • Coat color. This animal is a solid black color. There are solid black german shepherds, as well as other dog breeds with this coloration. Black wolves have brown tones to their fur, and sometimes white hairs too. Romeo in particular had a white chin anyway!
  • Ear shape. Wolves have rounded ear tips, whereas this canid has pointed ears.
But those are just my observations... What do you guys think?

(Also: I posted my thoughts on the Reddit thread too, hopefully they will be seen. I'm pretty confident based on what we can see here that this is definitely a dog, or maaaybe a low content wolfdog.)
Last edited by DaniBeez on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by Sambhur » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:27 am

yeah the moment i saw that i instantly thought of a dog. pointy ears with a lack of dense fur inside were what first caught my eye. the legs made me think of a gsd, and the rest of the head features like the cheek fur and all that just don't feel entirely wolf-y. also it's not exactly easy to get a photo like this of a wolf in the wild lol
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by paperpaws » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:31 am

I'm not under any illusion I'm good at things like this, but my mind immediately jumped to "dog" as well, largely because of the colouration and the ears. I think it also helps that the interaction with the stick just reminds me of any dog distracted on a walk.

That's definitely a gorgeous canine and photo either way, though!
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by Isela » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:11 am

I agree, it looks more like a German shepherd or, possibly, a wolf-dog hybrid. You made some good points about the ears and tail. German shepherds have longer tails that can also appear thin, with pointed ears.

Image

This is Romeo. Note the more rounded ears and how his tail is shorter and less visible.

I've also read the book about Romeo and have done further reading on him, and have never seen this particular photo in your post before. But I agree with Anduril, it is beautiful!
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by DaniBeez » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:02 pm

Glad I am not the only one who sees it :D ! It goes to show our above-average interest in canids pays off :). Unfortunately, the way Reddit organizes comments means mine will likely never be read or up-voted enough to be seen before the post falls off from the top. The misinformation continues...

I used that pic of Romeo in my Reddit comment Isela to illustrate the ear differences!

I see a lot of mis-IDing on Instagram as well. I was following an Australian Shepherd account there, and they posted a picture of Bernese Mountain Dogs with a caption implying they were Australian Shepherds :roll:! Like come on. The account didn't even acknowledge my comment, even though it was only one of 7. There is a lot of dog/wolf mis-IDs on Instagram too.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by Koa » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:15 pm

It's important to note that the back appears sloped as well, which is characteristic of German shepherds.

To me, the animal you shared, DaniBeez, seems unnaturally black for a wolf as you mentioned. Perhaps the angle of the photo prevents one from best discerning the animal's fur coloration, but that tint of black aligns more with the regular dog pictured next to Romeo that Isela shared, than Romeo himself.

At the most, it's a low content wolfdog, and either a German shepherd or some other mix of dog, at the very least.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by Black Burn » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:45 pm

This definitly looks like a wolf-dog, it has some dog points like you said, but it also looks
Like it has the big paws and thick fur of a wolf. It looks nothing like Romeo, I've seen pictures of him and his fur was not that dark.



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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by DaniBeez » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:59 pm

Agreed about the sloping back Koa; paired with those hind legs, it must have some shepherd in it.

I also noticed in the Reddit comments that many thought the animal was "big" or "huge" in size. The camera angle is definitely contributing to this idea I think!

It could be a wolf dog BB; When I reversed search the pic, I got hits for gsd, wolf-dog, and wolf. We may never know for sure I guess :s. The pose is also bad for looking at the face.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by Echodream » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:28 pm

And this, this is why I love WQ and the users on it. You guys are interested in wolves enough to be able to tell the difference between them and other canines that look similar. I admire that interest, and seeing threads like these only fuel me to learn more about these wonderful creatures. Thank you guys.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by DaniBeez » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:13 pm

You're welcome :) ! Your post is a wholesome reminder of how nice it is to have this forum to chat, create, and share about our common interest in wolves and nature.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by noir_187 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:36 am

that picture's pretty hard to tell for certain thanks to the pose and angle (the snow also makes it difficult to see some details too), but imo that's definitely not a wolf. as said before the ears are too thin and pointed and don't appear to have dense fur inside, the tail is much too long, and the fur is a pure black not naturally found on wolves. The legs look too short and robust (wolves tend to have longer, slimmer legs) and it may be the angle of the image but the hind legs are way too short (sloping back? the body seems shorter than it should be too but that may just be the angle).

i notice there is some slight feathering near the paws of the forelegs, while wolves typically have smoother wrists, but that might not mean anything. The fur on the neck and back looks a bit too smooth and plush imo, i notice most wolves' neck and back fur doesn't really look like that, but again that might be nothing.

the shape of the muzzle looks rather dog-like to me as well. it's kind of hard to describe but here are a couple of pictures of wolves with their snouts from a similar angle and there's a definite difference:
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/imag ... KwqNSO0GOq
http://stmedia.stimg.co/mjmckinney_1419 ... JPG?w=2000
https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/state- ... /816910483
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6e/da/e5 ... 7f7e6d.jpg

the "wolf" in the picture you show has a somewhat short, blunt muzzle and the way it connects with the face is more abrupt (? if that's the word i'm looking for). but it's mainly the boxy shape of its snout that stands out to me, even the wolf in the last example which has a blunter muzzle than the rest, has a smoother profile than the dog does.

at most it may be a low-content but i'm pretty sure it's just a GSD mix
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by LamarWolf » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:03 am

It's a dog or a low content. If that was a wolf it would have to be a camera trap but the photo is in the middle of a road were there are no trees and a wolf would not let a person get that close. So definitely not a wolf.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by DaniBeez » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:48 am

It's nice that this post still generates discussion!

That's a good observation LamarWolf about the cameras; I agree a wild wolf would not get this close unless it was a camera trap, and the middle of a pathway seems like a pretty bad place for one.

I disagree about the road usage aspect though, only because there is evidence that wolves will use roads to get around and hunt.
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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by x1103 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:51 am

Definitely not Romeo that's for sure. The first thing I noticed was the ears too and that the animal is simply too silky black. His body is pressed down so the pose could make the tail appear longer, but anyway I still agree with everyone that this is probably not a wolf.

This drives me nuts I hope we'll get the truth someday. :lol:

EDIT: Oi, does anyone else see the same picture in this before playing? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a--LYvESaRg

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Re: Do you think this is a wolf? (Discussion)

Post by DinoDogDude209 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:09 pm

I know this is an older post, but I think it looks like a wolfdog. While at first glance, I thought it could be a wolf, but looking at it again, and the location it's in, I doubt it's an actual wolf. Most likely a wolfdog. The camera angle and the snowy setting do make it difficult to tell though. However, having seen pictures of Romeo, I can tell you right now that it is definitely not him.

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