US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Mech, L. David. 2017. Extinguishing a learned response in a free-ranging Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). Canadian Field-Naturalist 131(1): 23–25.


This work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0).


Learning and extinguishing learned behaviour (Thorn dike 1911; Skinner 1953) have been well studied in domestic dogs (Miklosi 2015). Some investigations of learning have been conducted with captive Gray Wolves (Canis lupus; Packard 2003; Frank 2011), including one study that included extinguishing learned behaviour (Cheney 1982). In addition, considerable research has been done comparing social learning be - tween dogs and captive wolves (Range and Viranyi 2013; Marshall-Pescini et al. 2015). However, to my knowledge, only Packard (2012) has studied learning in free-ranging wolves, and no one has investigated extinguishing a learned response in such wolves. The purpose of this study is to provide a detailed account of how I extinguished a learned response in a free-ranging wolf.