Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Listening Point - General Discussion :: Dogs and Wolves
It'd be pretty unheard of for a wolf to come in camp at night and try and snag the dog out from under you.
You hear of a lot more dogs wandering away and getting lost than of wolf depredation. But if it happens occasionally in the back yards of canoe country, it probably happens while camping out too.
As with all the approaches we take to backcountry recreation, let's frame the conversation around factual risk-taking instead of "hoping for the best". We can argue the facts, and the facts change as circumstances change, but you'll sleep better knowing you at least have a plan based on risk management as opposed to hope.
The risk of Luna depredation by a wolf (or pack) in the BWCA while she's in her pup tent under your hammock is low - I'm going to even say, very low. This risk of her contracting blastomycosis is higher, the risk of a nasty cut on a sharp rock, or other paw pad injury - pretty high, and the risk of her sitting on a treble hook in the canoe - well, that depends on how sloppy you are with your tackle. ;)
So, one tries to assess and mitigate risk. If I were going to take a dog (Lena is too old now), here is how I would manage it (which is my own way, not saying it is what you should do): keep her close, don't go into known wolf-dense areas, and move on if you hear a pack.
The wolf biologists will tell you to stay away from wolf rendezvous sites and dens (as if we all know where those are located), and keep your dog close at side (which - when you're using dogs to track bear or other hunted animal - isn't going to work out for the intended purpose, hence the higher risk of depredation).
And then there is the interesting case of the fellow hunting sheds with his dog in Duluth City limits in May, 2019:
One morning on the final day of the trip I went back to use the latrine at our site on Caribou (the one near Lizz) and Echo would not leave my side while I was sitting there. He was staring in one direction and was really eager to get out of there. We had seen wolves a couple of days earlier while paddling Horseshoe which is one lake over.
One time as I got to the end of a portage on the 1st day of a trip he got really anxious and ran to the edge of the water and was shaking as I tried to put the canoe in the water. He was flipping out and looking at me like "hurry up, what are you waiting for". He tried to jump in the canoe before I had it all the way set down. He has never entered the canoe before being given the command other than this time. Once we pushed away from shore he relaxed and we sat there watching and waiting while hoping to see what made him freak out, but they never showed themselves. I thought I could hear multiple animals rustling around on the dry leaves. This was at the last portage into Fourtown from Mudro.
A few days later we were camped on Sandpit and that campsite is less than 1/2 a mile from the Fourtown portage as the crow flies. Echo would not leave my side the whole time we were at this campsite. When I was cooking, eating, looking out at the lake he was next to me looking back into the woods. The next morning when I went back to use the latrine we found a beaver paw that was still wet, slimy, and bloody. Other than at the end of the Fourtown portage and the Sandpit campsite, the rest of that trip Echo acted completely normal.
The above trips were both right at the very beginning of May and right after that year's ice out. There really hadn't been other people traveling in the areas yet. The Caribou trip I only saw 2 other people and it was the last day of the trip and the Mudro trip I saw 9 people but 7 were the last morning while I was going back to the EP.
nctry: "Most dogs I’ve known have good instincts for knowing when danger is near. My current dog is a good case in point. She will smell other animals such as wolves and stick pretty close. Chances of even a pack of wolves coming near you to grab your dog are very slim.
A man who knows his dog: I like that!
Plenty of wolf dog attacks in northern Wis.
But that said it is a low risk situation especially if you keep your dog close.
I would make sure the dog was tied up at night.
If a wolf shows up dog chases wolf good chance your dog is wolf food.
Spending time with your dog, which I know you do... you get a real sense of what your dog is capable of and whether your pup understands his or her surroundings.
if wolves aren't hunted, they become more preditory.