Are Wolves Bigger Than Hyenas? (And Do They Mate?)

Wolves and Hyenas are huge dog-like creatures that roam in their respective packs to hunt down prey and steal from their enemies. Both of these animals are deadly carnivores that are known for their ferociousness. They are pack hunters who co-existed in Asia and Europe during the Ice Age. 

Although they can co-exist, they are not friends and they do fight on some occasions over prey or to show dominance. But which one is bigger? And who would win in a fight? In this article, we will be looking at the difference between their size and who has a better chance of winning a duel, and more. So, read on.


Are Wolves Bigger Than Hyenas?

If we talk in terms of the size of the two animals, then we get to know that hyenas weigh up to 190lbs whereas wolves weigh up to 150lbs. Both the animals have an average length of around 5 feet and at shoulder level, they are inclined to a length of 2-3 feet. 

Although they are roughly the same size, hyenas are a bit heavier than wolves. Spotted hyenas are found to be larger than the most common species of wolves, which is a Gray Wolf

13000 years ago, there was a species of wolves called the Dire Wolves which was 25% heavier than gray wolves and bigger than spotted hyenas. Unfortunately, they went extinct. 

Hence, we can conclude that hyenas are larger in terms of size than wolves nowadays. 

How Big are Hyenas Compared to Dogs?

In terms of weight, a hyena can weigh up to 190lbs, while a wild dog cannot weigh more than 80lbs. In terms of length, a hyena can grow up to a length of 5 feet, while dogs have the capacity to grow up to a length of 3.5 feet. So, hyenas are definitely much larger than dogs. 

Hyenas are not members of the cat or dog families. Instead, these are unique animals that have a family of their own, the Hyaenidae family. Although hyenas look similar to dogs, there are a lot of differences between the two animals. 

Even a wild dog wouldn’t have a chance in a fight against a hyena. The reason is that hyenas are much stronger and bigger than dogs. Also, their bite strength is 3x times stronger than a wild dog’s bite. 

Are Hyenas Smarter Than Wolves?

No, wolves are slightly smarter than hyenas. They have a better system of communication and that is why they succeed to win against hyenas if they fight as a part of their pack. Wolves are known for their cunning and intelligent behavior. 

Wolves roam around in their respective packs in search of prey and if they were to hunt in their packs, wolves would turn out to be slightly smarter than the hyenas. 

Although hyenas are considered to be more deadly, a pack of Wolves is more likely to be stronger than a pack of hyenas. A wolf pack can organize themselves and co-operate to bring down larger enemies like hyenas or any other prey. 


Hyena vs Wolf: Who Would Win in a Fight?

If a hyena and a wolf were to be engaged in a fight alone, the hyena is more likely to win the fight because of a lot of factors like their size, defense, and offensive capabilities to be precise. 

The physical aspects of the two animals would play a great role in determining the winner between the two ferocious animals. We should look at a variety of features before we arrive at a decision. Features like size, speed, offensive capabilities, and their defenses play a significant role. 

1. Size Difference

Hyenas weigh around 190lbs and wolves can weigh around 150lbs. Both the animals can reach a height of 5 feet and they can stand 2 to 3 feet at shoulder length. 

So, hyenas have an advantage in terms of size and weight. 

2. Speed

Wolves are known for their great running skills and they are believed to be proficient in maintaining a high speed while running for a long distance. They have a closing speed that helps them to catch up with their enemies which makes them faster than the other animals. 

The wolves can reach a speed of 35mph. However, hyenas can run even faster. Hyenas can run at a speed of 40mph. Even hyenas have the same endurance level as that of wolves which makes them the better runner of the two animals. 

3. Offensive Capabilities

A hyena has the only major way to kill its enemies- by biting them with its powerful and sharp teeth. The hyena is good at running which gives it an advantage over its prey. After the hyena catches its prey, it gives it a powerful bite making it weak or even dead at times. 

Hyenas have sharp, strong claws that help them to inflict serious wounds on their enemies’ bodies. Even though hyenas have a sole method of attacking their foe, they still manage to win because of their powerful bite. 

The offensive capabilities of a wolf are almost similar to that of a hyena. They too have strong claws and teeth which give off a powerful bite to their foe but the hyenas have an advantage over this. They have an even more powerful bite than that of a Wolf. 

4. Defenses

Both the animals have a similar type of defense system which saves them from their enemies. They have a good running speed and they always remain with their packs which saves them from any attacks from their foes. 

Conclusion – Which One is Stronger? 

Thus, after looking at all the significant features that make the two animals different from each other, we conclude that hyenas are stronger than wolves and they have a better chance of winning against wolves. 

The hyena is heavier, faster, and has a stronger bite power than that of a wolf which makes it the better and the stronger competitor between the two. Although they have a similar running speed, it would depend upon which animal can deal with fatal damage. 

Moreover, hyenas are more ferocious animals than wolves as they are indulged in fights with lions daily. Hence, they have a methodical approach to capturing their prey. Hyenas sometimes emerge victorious in their tussles with lions which makes them stronger than wolves. 

But, if they fight in packs, wolves could have an advantage because of their intelligence and superior communication skills. 

Do Wolves and Hyenas Get Along?

Wolves and hyenas do not get along with each other. They aren’t allies and are often opposed to each other. They don’t even get along with other carnivorous animals existing in the wild. 

It is considered unusual for either of the animals to become companions as hyenas are known to be brutal scavengers. Wolves are also known to be ferocious animals that can kill many dogs, coyotes, and sometimes, even their close relatives. 

Hence, it is very unlikely that the two animals will become friends. They often remain at constant war with each other and do not get together. These animals are often at a competing level and thus they remain opposed to each other. 

Can Wolves and Hyenas Mate? 

A mate between a hyena and a wolf is unlikely to happen because hyenas are related to cats whereas wolves are related to dogs. Hence, it seems impossible that any mating would take place between a Hyena and a Wolf. 

Both hyenas and wolves have violent personalities but still, both of them are genetically different animals. Hyenas are closer to the feline family whereas wolves are closer to the canine family. Cats and dogs are parts of the feline and the canine families respectively. Hence, Wolves and Hyenas are not likely to mate. 

Are Hyenas More Dangerous Than Wolves? 

Yes, hyenas are much more dangerous than wolves for both animals and people. Even a lion may not be able to survive an attack from a hyena pack. 

For people, hyenas are still much more dangerous than wolves. A wolf’s bite can be survivable but a hyena’s bite is deadly. Hyenas can crush the heaviest bones with their teeth and their bites are triple as strong as that of a wolf. 

Can a Hyena Be a Pet? 

If you are considering petting an adult hyena, then this might not be the best decision. Adult hyenas cannot be petted due to a variety of valid reasons.

Adult Hyenas are prone to attack other animals. They often attack animals that are bigger than them, which includes humans. They can even pounce upon human beings if they try to be dominant. 

But, if you are considering taking up a young hyena as a pet then this might be okay only if you are an expert or you know how to deal with them very well. 

If you are an experienced caregiver who can easily understand the behavior of a young hyena then it would be considered a wise decision. 

Final Thoughts

After evaluating all the significant features of a hyena as well as a wolf, we get to know that both these animals have a lot of differences as well as similarities. 

The two animals differ in terms of their size, their defenses, their offensive capabilities, and more. Thus, we conclude that hyenas are stronger than wolves and if they were to get into a tussle, the former animal is more likely to win. 

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.