More info: The mating season of wolves is in late winter with the alpha female having only five to seven days of oestrus. During this time, the alpha pair may move away from the wolf pack temporarily to prevent interruption from other pack members. Generally the alpha pair is the only pair to mate and the alpha male has dominance over the entire pack including the alpha female. Lower-ranking female wolves are sometimes so afraid of the alpha female that they do not even go into heat. Male and female wolves which mate usually stay together for life. They are devoted parents and maintain sophisticated family ties.

The female wolf has a gestation period of nine weeks and gives birth to a litter usually consisting of 4 to 6 pups. Wolf pups are born both deaf and blind and weigh only one pound. A wolf pup’s eyes are blue at birth, turning yellow by the time they are eight months old. When the pups are born, they are cared for by all of the adult wolves in the pack. Young pups start off drinking milk from their mother, but around five to 10 weeks they will start eating food regurgitated from adult pack members. At six months, wolf pups become hunters, and at 2 years old they are considered adults.

On average, a wolf will live four to eight years in the wild.