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"Standing Over" and "Hugging" in Wild Wolves, Canis lupus

L. David Mech


Abstract: During six summers, I observed "standing over" (SO) and "hugging" in a pack of wild Wolves (Canis lupus) habituated to me. In SO, one Wolf positions its groin above a recumbent Wolf's nose. I observed SO among all yearling and older Wolves for 1-180 seconds (mean of X = 69 ± 46 S.D.; N = 16). SO appeared to be primarily female-oriented and may inform each Wolf of the reproductive status of the other. I observed "hugging" five times and only during years when food competition was minimal.

Key Words: Wolf, Canis lupus, behavior, standing over, affection, reproduction.


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 1140):
Mech, L. David.  2001.  "Standing over" and "hugging" in wild wolves, 
     Canis lupus.  Canadian Field-Naturalist 115(1):179-181.

This resource should be cited as:

Mech, L. David.  2001.  "Standing over" and "hugging" in wild wolves, 
     Canis lupus.  Canadian Field-Naturalist 115(1):179-181.  Jamestown, 
     ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/standovr/index.htm
     (Version 30SEP2002).

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L. David Mech, Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, 8711 - 37th St., SE, Jamestown, North Dakota, 58401-7317, USA
Mailing Address: North Central Research Station, 1992 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA
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