29. The Wolf as Teacher and Student
I believe I have given you the essentials. I know I have not given you
a complete biography of the Wolf. That would take a book of over 1,000
pages and I cannot afford to make that book. With actual contact,
actual hands-on raising of the Wolf, this booklet should provide the
essentials. The learning process provided by the expressive creature
should give you the rest.
Let it be a LEARNING PROCESS. Study the individual. Remember that they
are all a bit different from each other as we are all a bit different
from each other. The generalities are expressed here with minor
variables. Don’t let my emphasis concerning the important facets of
Wolfology discourage you. By quietly observing the complexity of Wolf
ownership, you will become very proficient. It just isn’t that tough.
Follow the evolutionary, instinctive laws of the Wolf. Modify those a
bit; observe the important ones completely:
- Don’t run up and grab a possession.
- Teach them to release the object at an early age.
- Do not expect immediate obedience while they are performing
a natural function.
- Do expect obedience after the natural function is completed.
I, after observing that, for instance, JR is defecating, and upon
wishing him to return to his pen, simply state, “JR, when you are
finished there, come on in.” This method works very well.
Deliberate disobedience is met by a rapid walk towards the creature and
a harsh command of, “Better get your ass in there you bastard or I’m
gonna get you.” A few of these lessons are enough to instill the
obedience factor and I have very little need for the threat of
discipline after 5 to 8 months of age. Don’t overdo it.
Don’t expect constant impossible compliance to every little whim that
one has. Don’t nag; when you say it, mean it, but avoid too many
demands. They are not servants. They are equal or slightly less
dominant in their needs and desires.
They want to get along with you. You want to get along with them, but
our differences in social order and expectations do remain a slight
gulf between us. You do your part in bridging the gulf and I assure you
that they will meet you more than half way.
The rewards are great. To think that this magnificent creature will and
can bridge one hundred million years of wildness towards our
expectations with only MINOR differences of status and opinion is
absolutely miraculous. You should feel honored that this can happen.
Could you go to the wilds and bend your abilities and psychology to
living with and being adopted by our wild creatures? I am sorely afraid
These are the DOs and DON’Ts — your success or failure now is your
responsibility. Don’t let old Canis Lupus down. Don’t let Mankind
down. Don’t let our environment down. And don’t let me down. I’ve
spent too much time and money and sacrifice for you to let us down.
Hang in there.
Gordon K. Smith