This program is about the Dire Wolf and the comparison between that animal and the modern wolf. The shepherd breeds are meant to show the lighter modern wolf’s attack style. The Dutch shepherd attacked the same way that the Fila Mastiff and the American Bulldog did. It’s funny, but the Dutch Shephered is often judged by the same standard as the Malinois. I wonder if a really hardcore Malinois were used, one that came from heavier breeding, that the results might have been different.
The Dire Wolf had a bigger head than a modern wolf and much more massive teeth. It may have been slightly dumber than the modern wolf, because many of these animals were killed in the La Brea Tarpits. But that’s horrible speculation.
Head sizes are key to dog bite strength, as this video points out. Wolves, for example, have a bite strength twice that of a similar-sized German shepherd. Wolves have massive heads, especially those races of wolf that have evolved to hunt large game like Moose. Mastiff dogs often have very strong bites. I know this because I had a cross between a golden and boxer, with the boxer predominating. When we fed our dogs bones, the boxer cross could crunch the strongest bones, while her retriever friends could not. Working retrievers don’t have large, muscular heads when compared to the Molosser breeds. (They probably have bigger brains, though!).
This program is excellent. If it’s ever on National Geographic, I highly recommend it.
No dog or wolf alive, though, has the bite of the Dire Wolf. Even our big mastiffs and big wolves can’t equal that bite force of that animal. It must have been a site to behold! (BTW, the Dire wolf was only about a hundred pounds in weight, roughly the size of the average male wolf from the Northern and Western subpecies).