Does Pepper Spray Work on Wolves

Does Pepper Spray Work on Wolves

If you are an active lifestyle enthusiast who hikes, rock climbs, and does other outdoor activities like jogging in the woods, and you might suddenly find yourself surrounded by a pack of wolves. Wolves are dangerous, muscular predatory animals. They usually do not show hostility towards people, but it never hurts always to be prepared.

Panic can set in and behave in all manner of fear,  but this is not the appropriate moment.  You should be brave, follow the tips below, and use pepper spray.

Using Pepper Spray on Wolves

Pepper spray works on wolves and has a higher capsaicin percentage that can render the animal helpless. The effective type of pepper is the one formulated for use against bears. Those canisters are larger and more concentrated.

Again, choose the kind that shoots a stream rather than a “fan” pattern. The stream type gives you a more extended range and is not degraded or disbursed by the wind.

It’s better to carry both the bear spray and pepper, as sometimes the pepper canisters may fail to spray as you intend. But you get the right pepper, more concentrated, and shoots in a stream. It works excellent on wolves and will scare them away. But the pepper only slows them down for some seconds, and then they will be back after you.

How to Survive Wolf Attack

When you encounter a wolf, here are steps you should take to get out of the situation.

  • Stay Calm – Wolves, unlike confrontational herbivores like moose and bison, are smart and cunning; they will test its prey for weakness. Wolves can sense your fear. If you panic, you risk freezing or running, thereby losing your ability to fight to save your life.
  • Don’t Run– running makes the animal know you are prey and can’t run faster than the wolf. You will make the wolf more aggressive, and it will attack you.
  • Let them Know You’re Dominant– Wolves tend to attack small prey. Try to make yourself big by waving your arms or placing them on your head. Also, maintain eye contact to show them you are not weak.
  • If you have your dog, bring it to your side and leash it immediately. Stand between the dog and the wolf, which will end the encounter. Wolves see dogs as competitors and are more likely to provoke an attack.
  • Use poles, rocks, limbs, or other handy items to keep off wolves from approaching for your defense.
  • Climb a tree if needed for protection; wolves cannot climb trees.
  • If there is more than one wolf, move back away slowly while maintaining eye contact and disappear from them. Be careful not to trip; falls could encourage the wolves to strike.
  • Yell out and make loud noises; you can even use air horns.
  • Stay strong if a wolf attacks you and fight in any way possible, you can use stones, sticks, rocks, ski poles, fishing rods, or whatever you find.
  • Use bear spray or firearms if necessary by making a shot safely on the ground

How to Prevent Wolf Attacks

  • It’s best if you don’t feed wolves or leave food outdoors, including pet food.
  • Ensure you keep off fresh wolf kills, dens, or rendezvous sites.
  • To ensure that there is no chance for your child or your pet to encounter the wolves when camping, do not allow children to play away from camp or alone. Keep them close to adults at all times. Keep pets leashed and under control.
  • When hiking alone, always have a Swiss army knife with you. It will help you in self-defense. But, if possible, don’t be alone in the woods.
  • Avoid areas reported with wolves before; there is a likelihood of other wolves around.
  • When camping, make fires around, and light a smoky fire to keep them at bay. Wolves dislike smoke, and this appears dangerous to them. You can apply sap or resin to the branches, light them, and then waft the smoke towards the wolves.
  • Make a defensive shelter, using branches, sticks, sharp sticks, and other objects to create a barrier on your campsite.
  • If in a group of people, it’s best to band together. Ensure you keep the old, injured, and children at the center. Keep watch of the wolves in every direction and make a lot of noises.  Wolves mainly aim to find the weakest link in a prey, so hiding the old and the children is a good tactic


As an outdoor person, it’s best always to be equipped with pepper spray, a whistle, or a firearm for your safety as you ride or jog in the woods.  It’s rare for wolves to attack, but if such an incident occurs, you will be armed.  

But the best protective measure is avoiding confronting wolves in their dens or even when you hear them. They are cunning animals and will detect when you are a threat to them.