Tame vs. Socialised

The wolves at the Trust are not tame, they are socialised.
Tame and socialised are both used to describe ways in which animals interact with people.

A tame animal is generally accepted into society and believed not to pose any threat or danger to us. A tame animal is naturally used to people and accepting of us, usually as a dominant partner although some cats certainly only give this up grudgingly if at all.

To take one of the dictionary definitions of tame;

From this definition alone we can accept that wolves are not tame. Other definitions are;

Again, wolves do not fit in with these ideas either. In the wild they are most definitely naturally afraid and will do all that they can to avoid human contact. They instinctively know that we are a more ruthless predator than they.

The definition of socialised is;

This is how our wolf packs have been raised. They have been with people since before they could see at 9 days old. The first thing they saw was a person so that they would accept people as their natural pack. We have removed the element of being naturally afraid, but they are still very cautious and evaluate every new 'pack' member as they arrive and they make their own choice as to whether you are allowed to be a part of their pack or not. Once they have accepted us we then have to stake our claim to dominance through careful handling and communication with the wolves in a way they understand.

We have to gain acceptance from the wolves, not them from us.

One other thing of note is that unlike dogs that have now been bred to maintain a childish state, even into maturity, wolves do gain an adult mode of thinking. At this time they will instinctively attempt to raise their dominance within the pack whilst pushing out other pack members. This means that as wolves become older the fewer people are able to handle it.