The Wolf has evolved through natural selection. Those that were unfit for the “at that present time” environment simply perished and their genes became a lost thing. Survival of the Fittest prevailed. Natural selection of mates, usually dominant dark wolves, selecting from agouti typical colored wolves, keeps the domination factor at a moderate level. The weaknesses of the race was bred out as far as survival in that phase of ecology was and is concerned.
However, while evolution and selectivity was producing this superior race, Nature forgot to put any semblance of compatibility with mankind in the net results. Man himself alienated the Wolf by striking back against the harvesting competition and as Man developed more and more modern weapons, the Wolf became pathologically fearful of Man, thus setting up the instant response of escapism.
The one and most important psychological factor that makes it possible to attain a good relationship with pen raised wolves is the supplanting of the parent-infant bonding with the creature before it has ever consciously known its natural parents and/or been warned by them. Thus, in its development it either considers us as wolves or itself as human.
Wolf cubs in the right hands can and do adjust to human society to a tremendous degree; in fact, much better than we can adjust to their few necessary evolutionary behaviors. However, cubs must be isolated from the adults from 4 to 6 months of age or they will learn that they ARE WOLVES and begin training as a Wolf, leaving us as just friendly suckers, and not pack leaders and parents. This isolation does not bend or maladjust the psychology of the wolf unless it is neglected, abused, or teased excessively. In fact, it can achieve a bit of superiority in reasoning powers by this process.
They must have company, either human or a compatible animal of comparative size and age. They CANNOT live happily alone. This is due to their evolutionary pack society. Once psychologically bonded to humans, dogs, or wolves, these bonds cannot be broken but are retained for life. Much more than we can claim for us humans, eh?
Being isolated from compatible companions will usually warp the personality of a wolf and it will become neurotic and either become withdrawn and timid or sullen and aggressive. Thus, the success or failure in hand raising wolves is really within the knowledge and caring of its human counterpart.
There are people who claim that the only good wolf is a dead wolf. I say, “There are NO bad wolves, only people fit into that category.” Taken at 17 days at the latest, raised according to my instructions — THERE JUST ARE NOT ANY BAD WOLVES. One does not need to be a genius in order to raise a wolf right. One needs only to sensitive and well instructed and adhere to the few simple absolutes that are needed.
As one goes along with an observant eye and follows the simple rules that are needed, the Wolf itself becomes a teaching experience. Through this, one should keep in mind that there are slight moderations of treatment and handling between individuals and comply with these differences, adjusting somewhat as the Wolf adjusts to our differences of personality.