Everyday matters from the life among dogs and wolves

Anectotes from the daily life among dogs and wolves: our students, trainees and collaborators cover the newest ongoings at the WSC.

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  • A day in the fog

    (15.12.2015, Friederike Zenth)

    Thick fog covered Dörfles the last week and also wrapped the WSC, so that everything more than five meters distant disappeared in the clouds. A calm, mystic mood was lying over everything. The ground was muddy and the coat even of our otherwise always snow-white Kenai was covered in grey tinge. In the calm mood, the days are passing by as usual. We all are quite busy, a bit more than usual even since we are just six Students at the house currently instead of eight. The new students will  be coming next year only.

  • Research with the Wolf

    (09.12.2015, Daniela Fiedler)

    To do research on and with a wolf can be approached in different ways. You can, as some people have done already, live with wolves out in nature. This method is rather extraordinary, because it requires a high degree of fitness and durability as well as a strong will. Another possibility is to observe wolves living in the wild. For this purpose GPS equipped collars are put on the wolves, so they can be found. Using this method it can be determined where the animal is, how far it walks in a day or how big its territory is.

    But what do you do when you want to know more? If, for example, you want to know if wolves can tell different amounts apart, you could try to find out by observing their behavior. Though to verify if they possess this ability mere observation is not enough. To answer this and similar questions it is essential to conduct scientific experiments on the wolves. Now you could say that wolves in captivity behave different from those in the wild. That is partly true, but the cognitive attributes of the animals should not change because they live in captivity. In humans a change of their environment might change their behavior, but it does not change their basic cognitive attributes. To understand how captivity changes the behavior of the animals, you can observe and then analyze how both, wolves living in the wild and in captivity, behave. But if you want to learn more about cognition, cooperation and domestication of wolves, you have to do more than merely observe.

  • Fascination in a wet nose

    (25.11.2015, Judith Zembrot)

    I arrived at the WSC 3 weeks ago but I have already had so many experiences that I have the feeling, that I have lived here forever. Especially in the beginning, everything seemed new and exciting but I would like to tell you about my most important experience at the WSC.

    On day two, I was supposed to join a wolf walk. This is a visitor program, where people can go on a walk with a wolf, a trainer and one student. The wolf Amarok was supposed to come with us on the walk. He is known as ‘the Grinch’, and is famous of destroying everything and of doing a lot of mischief. But at this time I didn’t know anything about his character.
    The first 5 minutes were similar to a normal walk with a dog on a leash. But that changed very fast. I started to ask myself, who was in control. The trainer or the wolf? If Amarok stopped, then the whole group stopped. If Amarok tried to destroy a rubbish bin, then the trainer convinced him that the food in her hands was more interesting.  

  • Capturing a wolf's personality

    (18.11.2015, Caroline Haas)

    Doing an internship at the Wolf Science Center is a great chance and an unforgettable experience. You get the opportunity to live together with up to eight other students in a house which is located right next to the wildpark. Living together with so many different people and personalities might get a little bit chaotic but it is also a lot of fun. Although we all have a different background, come from different countries and pursue different goals, we still have one thing in common: our fascination and love for wolves and dogs. Nevertheless, each and every one of us enjoys and appreciates something else of our animals.   

  • My way to the WSC

    (10.11.2015, Lars Burkert)

    Wolves are my favorite animals, they are extremely fascinating. They are one of the most adaptable and prosperous species on our planet, and can inhabit anything from deserts to frozen wastelands. They are highly intelligent and more social than some hominids. But I also like dogs, they are an important part of our lives - either as working dogs in animal husbandry or hunting, as therapy dogs, companion dogs, search-and-rescue dogs or just as family members, which give us attention, love and consolation. So what would have been better than working with both wolves and dogs?