How long do wolves live?

live wolves

It is misleading to say that wolves in the wild live an average of a certain number of years. There are so many variables. Some wolves die soon after they are born, and others are killed or die in early or middle adulthood. Members of the dog family like wolves and domestic dogs can live to be 15 or 16 years old – sometimes even older. Dogs and wolves in captivity have a better shot at making it to a ripe old age because they usually receive routine veterinary care and regular meals. However, wild wolves have a tough life filled with pitfalls (see question #19). Many pups don’t make it through the first winter of their lives. Those that survive the first two years have a pretty good chance of living another two to four years if they can avoid fatal injury and if they can get enough to eat. Some wild wolves do live to be 9 or 10, and there are verified records of a few living into their early teens.


Up to around ten years in the wild but they usually die a lot younger. They can reach around fifteen years in captivity.