In looking at this question What is a Dire Wolf I was amazed to learn that it was once real and subsequently became extinct.
In God Emperor of Dune Frank Herbert introduces the D-Wolf

Is there any relation between a Dire Wolf and a D-Wolf?

D-wolves – Guardians of the Sareer on Arrakis in the time of Leto II Atreides; ferocious wolves descended from Gaze Hounds and ordinary wolves, "noted for their keen eyesight."

From their description

... largest dire wolves would have been considerably larger than any modern gray wolf. The dire wolf is calculated to have weighed 25% more than living gray wolves.

  • Are you looking for confirmation sourced from Herbert? Dec 20, 2015 at 3:30
  • if theirs no comment by herbert your SOL since hes ded.
    – Himarm
    Dec 20, 2015 at 4:55
  • I was hoping for something in the new books. Dec 20, 2015 at 14:02

2 Answers 2



According to the Dune Encyclopedia, the D-wolves were created by cross-breeding a range of living wolf species to each other. This (along with Leto's inherent disgust at genetic engineering) would have precluded using the extinct Direwolf as a template:

Leto was forced to begin elsewhere. The earliest ancestors of the D-wolves were wolves imported from a dozen worlds chosen variously for speed, size, endurance and efficiency in hunting. In addition, Gaze Hounds (dogs whose visual acuity had long since made them the most popular watch animals in the Imperium; native to Centralia) were bred with the second-generation hybrids and with several of the later generations. This cross produced wolves that could perform as sight- hunters and were thus less dependent on scent-tracks which their human prey might be. able to disguise or obliterate.

Leto had originally chosen some of the largest species of wolves available to him, and he continued to increase the shoulder- height of the average litter by breeding the largest animals back into the mix. By the end of the first half-century of the program, he had succeeded in producing wolves that dwarfed all other known species.

  • And yes, I'm happy to admit that the Encyclopedia is a bit of a wobbly source of info before anyone starts in on that.
    – Valorum
    Dec 21, 2015 at 12:46
  • 2
    It's better than Brian's non-canonical work. :P
    – Lighthart
    Dec 28, 2015 at 20:01

As a Dire wolf was an actual species of wolf that has subsequently gone extinct and a D-Wolf was genetically modified from Gaze Hounds and ordinary wolves then logically they cannot be the same thing as there is no link between them.

The source you quote states explicitly that it is a hybrid creature, and mentions the two creatures it is derived from. No mention of Dire Wolf ancestry.

A closer link would be between the ordinary wolf or a sight-hound, such as a pointer, from which they are bred.

I assume the thought that they maybe the same comes from the D. One would hazard a guess that this Stands for Dune? or possible DNA?

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