Wolf Tattoo Meaning: What Does This Animal Tattoo Symbolize


Whether you consider yourself a lone wolf, leader, or pack member, you’ve gotta admit wolves are ferocious beasts. With their powerful legs, a strong sense of smell, and huge size, they’re not an animal you wanna come across as unprepared in the wilderness.

So a tattoo of these wild wolves is usually reserved for the free-spirited, ferocious, and aggressive lot who see traits of themselves within these wolves.

But before you get inked with your own wolf tattoo, here are the meanings behind a wolf tattoo.

Wolves, Unpacked

Also known as gray wolves, wolves are wild animals in Europe, Asia, and North America. They’re a part of the Canis genus, making them a distant relative of dogs and coyotes. They’re also a part of the Canidae family, making them an even more distant relative of animals like foxes and raccoons.

As “Game of Thrones” says, wolves survive in a pack.

Their physical features and behavioral characteristics suggest that wolves are meant to live in groups. A typical pack consists of a mated pair and their offspring; when one of the offspring reaches sexual maturity, it leaves the pack to find a mate and create a new pack.

Thus, wolves are often associated with family or loyalty, as a pack needs each other to survive in the wilderness. There is the concept of the lone wolf (aka the matured offspring that go off to start their new pack), but if they take too long to find their mate and grow their own pack, they’re more vulnerable to other predators and natural elements.

Wolves are carnivores and usually feed on other animals in the wilderness. Because of their features, some wolves prey on animals bigger than them, especially larger herbivorous animals like zebra and moose.

Wolves are the social butterflies of predators, meaning they survive through socializing with other wolves. But not just any wolves: the wolves they consider family. If you’re a lone wolf that happened into another pack’s territory, you’re probably going to get chased away.

Wolf Mythology

These fierce beasts have many symbols and meanings over history and mythology. The Ancient Greeks associated wolves with Apollo, the god of archery, music, truth, healing, and more.


But the Romans connected wolves with Mars, the god of war and agriculture. According to legend, the founders of Rome were nursed by a female wolf which reveals the softness of these fierce animals for family. While the wolves fiercely face threats, they are equally tender when it comes to nurturing their own.

The Dacians (an ancient Eastern European tribe) saw wolves as noble creature lording over animals because it was the only animal to defend against evil.

According to the Pawnee tribe, wolves were the first animals brought to Earth. Those who killed them faced severe punishment in the form of death and destruction.

Chinese culture had negative views of wolves. They were associated with greediness, cruelty, mistrust, and lechery. The Bible supports this and other literary takes worldwide that depict wolves as untrustworthy and evil creatures.


Wolves are strong and enduring, so these creatures can survive in cold tundras and locations that most people cannot survive in. Their ability to thrive in the toughest condition can resonate with many, thus the popularity of wolf tattoos.

Not many people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Even those who grow up in an average home may not have certain privileges or access to things most people take for granted.

Maybe you grew up in a family that was less than supportive of your goals. Or you feel like you’ve gone through hell and back because of your education. Or you’ve lived in a place that made you tougher, and a wolf tattoo reminds you that if you can survive that place, you can survive anything.

Familial Ties

Wolf packs act like the traditional nuclear family: you have a mated pair and their younglings that leave when they’re old enough to start their own packs.


The wolf tattoo represents robust family bonds. These animals can thrive in harsh environments and bring down formidable prey, but only when they work together as a pack. Similarly, you cherish your family and prioritize their needs over your own.

The concept of family extends beyond blood. It includes people you choose to surround yourself with: friends, loved ones, neighbors, and anyone you’d go the extra mile to safeguard.

Caution to the Wind

Despite their predatory instincts and ability to kill, wolves are cautious and only kill when necessary. When they feel like someone is an intruder to their territory or they need to feed, that’s when the claws come out, and they become deadly.

But wolves practice caution when it comes to their pack and well-being. They are strong and fierce but don’t jump into a fight when unnecessary. When wolves enter another pack’s territory marked by their scent, instead of trying to fight the pack, wolves opt to avoid the territory to avoid a fight.

You may consider yourself strong but in that silent and unassuming type. Some may think it is a weakness, but you call it caution. You understand that strength and power are not attacking the first person you see and ending up in prison (and for that, you may want to consider a different tattoo for prison).

For you, strength means choosing your battles carefully. It means knowing when to leave a fight and understanding that it’s much better to diffuse a situation than escalate it. You are physically and emotionally cautious, and you still choose peace despite your strength.

The Wild Child

Wolves are incredibly difficult to domesticate, unlike their smaller relative, the domesticated dog. Despite their links to dogs, wolves learn to socialize mainly based on smell, the first since they develop as younglings. When they develop all their senses, anything that doesn’t smell familiar causes fear. And because of their size and predatory nature, being unfamiliar to a wolf can be dangerous.


On the other hand, dogs learn to socialize after they develop their senses. So even if they don’t recognize your smell or what you look like, it is possible to domesticate them.

So think of wolves as the wild child of the canine family. They run free, hunt, attack, and live however they want. You see yourself similarly: you’ve never been a stickler for the rules and now prefer to live a free and wild life doing what you want.

Strong Instincts

Wolves have survived this long thanks to their sharp instinct for survival. They are not the beast to mess within the forests as they can perceive threats regardless of what that threat’s form can take.

Similarly, you have survived this long because of your instincts. You know how to search a sea of false friends and keep close to the few who will stand by you. You’ve made important decisions in life that have led to your own financial success. And, against all odds, you’ve survived storms and lived to tell the tale.

Interested in Getting a Wolf Tattoo?


Unleash your wild spirit with the artistry of wolf tattoos, brought to life with the assistance of the tattoo guns. Symbolizing strength, loyalty, and independence, wolf tattoos are a powerful expression of individuality. Precision and quality tools are indispensable to capture this design’s mesmerizing intricacies and raw energy. Machines designed with adjustable needles and ergonomic features make it easy to capture the essence of the majestic wolf for tattoo artists. So, without further ado, give it a try on your shoulder, arm, or back with the wolf tattoo and give yourself a rugged look.

Should you choose the wolf as an animal tattoo, take heed that wolf tattoo designs are not for the faint of heart. It’s the perfect tribal tattoo to get, whether you’re a boy proud of his ferocity and devotion to family or a girl who wants to show off her free spirit and sharp instincts.

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