Can A Golden Retriever Kill A Wolf? Explained

Golden Retrievers were originally bred as hunting dogs or gun dogs. They work with hunters in the field and help retrieve downed games.

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Can a Golden Retriever kill a wolf?

A Golden Retriever cannot kill a wolf. In a fight, a dog will likely sustain serious injuries or be killed in a confrontation with a wolf. Although they are strong and skilled hunters, Golden Retrievers lack the strength, skills, and physical traits to either kill or withstand wolf bites.

Looking at the physical characteristics and hunting skills of Golden Retrievers and wolves, it’s evident that a Golden Retriever can’t kill a wolf in a fair fight. We will explain why your furry friend can not kill a wolf based on dog owners’ experiences.

Difference Between Golden Retriever and Wolf

A Golden Retriever differs from a wolf in many aspects, although both are distant relatives. Golden Retrievers are domesticated canines, while wolves are wild predators purely adapted to hunt.

A predator mostly hunts prey that is smaller in size and weaker in its environment. Size, skill, and striking power enable hunters to choose and kill prey. 

Golden Retrievers help to retrieve fallen game when hunting with people. As predators, a Golden Retriever can hunt small prey and birds. The dogs can hunt independently but target smaller prey than themselves.

Is A Golden Retriever Weaker Than A Wolf?

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Dogs and wolves relate but have great differences. Wolves are wild, and they are the ancestors of our domesticated dogs.

Initially, wolves existed in most parts of North America, but their wide hunting by man and destroying their natural habitat led to their decline. Currently, wolves are prominent in about 5-8% of the area in the lower 48 states.

In North America, there are Gray and Red wolves, having six distinct species – 5 Gray Wolves and a Red wolf.

  • Red wolves (Canis rufus)
  • Great Plain Wolves (Canis lupus publis)
  • Arctic Wolves (Canis lupus arctos)
  • Northwestern Wolves (Canis lupus nubilus)
  • Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi)

The above six are fierce carnivores and can become a threat to a dog in a fight. Wolves rarely attack dogs unless they feel threatened by their territory or food source.

How Does A Golden Retriever Fair Against A Wolf In A Fight?

When animals fight or attack, some key factors determine a winner. The same applies when a predator is hunting. These key factors will help a fighter overcome an opponent.

  • Strength: An animal’s strength depends on size, body weight, and agility. Wolves are larger than Golden Retrievers, and the beast will surely outdo the dog in a brawl.
  • Size: Height in a fight gives the taller animal an advantage. At between 21 – 24 inches in height, Golden Retrievers are shorter by a couple of inches than wolves at 26 to 33 inches.
  • Body weight: Golden Retrievers weigh an average of 55 to 75 pounds, while an adult wolf may weigh between 80 – 180 pounds.
  • Biting force: A predator’s power to inflict an injury using its mouth is known as the biting force expressed in PSI (Pressure per Square Inch). Generally, a Golden Retriever will have a bite force of 200 – 250 PSI, while a wolf’s bite comes at a force of 400 – 1200 PSI, depending on the intention of the bite. 
  • The difference tells you that your Golden Retriever can get a fatal injury when fighting a wolf.
  • Skills and diet. Golden Retrievers love eating meat and will contend with vegetables, fruits and grains. Domesticated dogs don’t get thirsty for raw blood and can be slow to kill prey unless trained. Wolves are alpha predators, and their diet consists of flesh only. They have better skills in killing prey to get food.
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Are There Dog Breeds That Can Kill A Wolf?

Any domesticated dog bred to hunt wolves is known loosely as a “wolfhound.” These dog breeds are physically stronger than wolves, and bite force is higher than wolves’. 

These breeds require early training in wolf hunting, or they might not fare well in an encounter with a wolf.

Dog Breeds That Can Kill A Wolf

A dog capable of killing a wolf has to be larger than a wolf and have a higher biting force. Your dog also needs more exposure in attacking and defeating equal-sized or larger opponents.

A large size alone doesn’t qualify your Golden Retriever to kill a wolf. A dog that can truly face and kill a wolf must possess the following traits:

  • Higher level of protective instincts
  • Physical strength – has a muscular fit body, not just being big.
  • Strong jaws for higher biting force
  • Agility since wolves are aggressive  hunters
  • Courage and endurance

The following dog breeds have the physical structure and power to kill a wolf. Your puppies need early training and exposure to face a larger adversary.

There are over 10 dog breeds that can kill a wolf and some of them include:

  • The Boerboel
  • The Kangal
  • The Gamper Armenian Wolfhound
  • Presa Canario
  • The Alabai breed
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Irish Wolf Hound

How To Keep Your Golden Retriever Safe From Wolves?

Wolves don’t prey on dogs, but a Golden Retriever intruding in their territory is a potential threat, especially if your furry friend’s pet becomes a competitor on potential food. 

It would help if you took the following precautions when outing with your Golden Retriever furry friend.

  • Be aware of the wild territory you are in: Give wildlife the respect they deserve. Learn facts about the area you are visiting to avoid trending on wolf territories.
  • Equip yourself with knowledge concerning wolves: You can start by knowing how to identify their tracks which are bigger and mostly in a straight line. Keep away from an area where you can spot the tracks.
  • Never leave your Golden Retriever alone in the wild: When camping in wild areas known to inhabit wolves, don’t let your dog out of sight or leave your puppy outside when camping.
  • Secure your puppy’s food and yours against wildlife: While in the wild, ensure both your food and the dog’s food is in a secure, out-of-reach place from wild animals. You should also never feed your dog outside and never feed wild animals, even the leftovers.
  • Carry equipment that can scare away wildlife: a Golden Retriever’s bark may not be enough to scare a wolf. You can arm yourself with a whistle and blow it as you back away while looking at the wolf’s eyes. During the night, a bright torch can become hardy.

The only way to protect your Golden Retriever from a wolf is to avoid a confrontation. If you are traveling, gather information on the site and stay far from known wolf territories. You should be conscious of your surroundings and avoid doing things that can attract wolves. Take your dog to a vet in case they sustain injuries from a wolf fight.

Key Takeaways

  • A Golden Retriever’s size and mass are less than a wolf’s. A wolf is a larger animal with more advantages than your furry friend in a fight.
  • A Golden Retriever’s hunting skills can’t equal those of a wolf, making them weaker than wolves.
  • Wolves are not a common  threat to Golden Retrievers. They rarely attack dogs and will shy away from human presence.
  • When in a group, well-trained Golden Retrievers are a formidable force and may be capable of killing a single wolf.

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