|Wolves usually breed in late winter and their pups are born after only two months. The alpha female of a pack usually gives birth to 4-6 pups. She’ll give birth in a den, which is where the pups will stay until they’re about a month old.1 These pups go through a lot of transitions as they grow up and learn how to be adult wolves.
When they’re born, they are blind, deaf, and have little sense of smell. They also can’t regulate their own body temperature. The only strong senses they have are taste and touch.2 Once they reach five weeks of age, they’ll be able to explore their surroundings, but they aren’t very coordinated. Once the pack doesn’t need a den anymore, they’ll move to a “rendezvous site”. This is where the pack will meet up after hunting, but also allows the pups to explore more – with a chaperone of course!1
Between 3.5 months and almost 7 months, these wolves will have a rapid growth period, where they’ll gain just over a pound every week.2 Once they hit seven months, this growth slows to about .07 pounds a week for a female, and .4 pounds a week for a male.3
Around 7 and 8 months is when they’ll start to hunt with the pack.3 Around 9 months to a year old, they are fully fledged members of the pack and participate in all the activities adult wolves do. Around 2-3 years, some may decide to disperse, or leave their pack to find a mate and form a new pack of their own.1
Check out our From Pups to Packs article here for more information on wolf packs, family hierarchy, breeding and more!