Head, Muzzle, Nose

The angles of a wolfs head

WOLVES: Wolves’ heads are large in comparison to their bodies. The head is wedge-shaped in appearance and very similar to the angles and shape of a kite. Wolves also have distinct skull measurements, one of which is a 40 to 45-degree angle that is measured on the side of their head from their eyes to their ears.

Wolf head

A basic example of the orbital angle on a live high content wolfdog
correct measurements must be done directly on the skull

The skull (top of the head) should be relatively flat with only a slight slope from the back of the skull/bump on the back of their head (occipital bone). There should be a minimal or slight stop— the point on the forehead where the muzzle meets the head. In addition, a wolf's muzzle should be the same length as the distance from the eyes to the base of the skull. Lips should be black and close fitting and the nose should be large, black and well textured.

shape of dog heads

DOGS:  Dogs' heads are usually slightly smaller or average in size in comparison to their bodies. Their heads can range from very round or broad to very narrow.

  • Siberian huskies - tend to have heads that are more rounded in appearance with muzzles of medium length and pronounced stops
  • Alaskan malamutes - have large, wide/broad heads with shorter, thick muzzles and pronounced stops (as seen above—top and bottom photos on the left)
  • German shepherds - can have a more wedge-shaped appearance to their heads and longer muzzles with minimal stops (as seen above—bottom middle)

In comparison to a wolf, their heads are considerably more narrow. A dog’s orbital angle is usually larger too, ranging from about 50–60 degrees.

Dog nose vs Wolf nose

Dogs' noses can be black, liver/blue (dilute), snow (pink stripe down a black nose) or spotted. Lips on dogs can be black, pink/liver or spotted black and pink. Lips can be close fitting or loose and jowly.