On the hunt for one of the best tattoos for men? You’re in the right place. Whether you’re a sociable pack animal, a solo adventurer with a love for the great outdoors, or someone trying to get in touch with their spiritual side, there’s a wolf tattoo to suit you.
Read on to discover 35 wolf tattoo designs and their meanings to help you pick the right one for you.
1. Lone Wolf Tattoo
If you enjoy having time to yourself or you tend to go against the status quo, a lone wolf tattoo is a great option. Wolves are rarely alone in the wild, making this wolf tattoo design a clear symbol of independence and individuality. The only choice if you’ve paved your own path in life.
2. Tribal Wolf Tattoo
Forget dodgy 1990s tribal ink – tribal wolf tattoos have been brought right up to date. The distinctive bold black lines are simple yet intricate, creating a semi-abstract design with plenty of trademark curves and flicks. Often depicted as snarling or howling, tribal wolf tattoos are popular tattoos ideas for men. Plus, you can even choose a style that reflects your heritage.
3. Geometric Wolf Tattoo
Popular in recent years, geometric wolf tattoos feature varying shapes and angular lines for a contemporary take on the trend. This minimalistic, stripped-back geometric tattoo style tends to focus on the wolf’s face and most often is entirely symmetrical. Ideal if you’re seeking balance in your body art.
4. Traditional Wolf Tattoo
The world’s most recognizable tattoo style, American traditional designs are perfect for lovers of classic artwork. The traditional wolf tattoo embodies everything about the style, including thick black linework, vibrant primary colors, and stylized features. Designed to look ferocious and fearless, they are often paired with other traditional elements.
5. Small Wolf Tattoo
If you’re after something more discreet, a small wolf tattoo may be best for you. Simple black and grey pieces that focus on the wolf’s face work best, as fine details and multiple colors may get lost or bleed together over time. Depending on the placement, these small tattoos can usually be easily covered for work – bonus!
6. Howling Wolf Tattoo
The iconic image of the howling wolf represents the ‘call of the wild’ in its most basic form. A howling wolf tattoo will therefore suit you if you’re in tune with nature or you have a desire to explore far-off places. As wolves howl to communicate, this wolf tattoo design can also symbolize a strong family connection.
7. Viking Wolf Tattoo
If you’re into Norse mythology or have Scandinavian blood, how about a Viking wolf tattoo? Wolves were both feared and respected by Nordic tribes, so this wolf tattoo meaning has two strands. On the one hand, wolves were violent fighters, but on the other, they were powerful, family-orientated, and even seen as protectors against evil. Ideal if you have a fighting spirit.
8. Celtic Wolf Tattoo
Similarly, the Celts saw wolves as protective figures and even spiritual guides that provided a link to their ancestors. A Celtic wolf tattoo with classic knots and twists can therefore be used to pay homage to your heritage or to signify a tight bond between family members.
9. Raven and Wolf Tattoo
Spiritual figures in Norse and Indigenous cultures, the raven and wolf tattoo meanings vary. Both creatures are hardy survivalists and cunning tricksters, with an element of darkness in their nature. The pair were also seen as a good omen for Viking battles, like Odin, the God of War was protected by wolves and informed by ravens.
10. Wolf and Moon Tattoo
Associated with darkness, mystery, and transformation, a wolf and moon tattoo is a great choice for men with a gothic streak or an interest in the supernatural. An illuminated wolf howling at the moon is arguably the most popular design, but werewolves are close behind.
11. Wolf Head Tattoo
This wolf tattoo design lends itself to a range of different sizes and placements, including visible spots like the hands and neck. Focusing on the creature’s face, wolf head tattoos can reflect any emotion you like. They can also be made to look very life-like, with glistening eyes and realistic fur details.
12. Black Wolf Tattoo
Black animals have been surrounded by magic and mysticism for centuries, and wolves are no exception. As a result, black wolf tattoos can reflect anything from a sinister warning to a spiritual connection or even your own shadow. Most commonly, they either highlight your darker side or encourage you to face your fears.
13. Simple Wolf Tattoo
If you’re looking for a simple tattoo design and you like fine linework, a simple wolf tattoo will be right up your alley. Stylish and modern, these minimal designs feature an outlined silhouette of a wolf rather than a detailed depiction. This makes them perfect for people who prefer straightforward, fuss-free ink.
14. Wolf Skull Tattoo
Despite obvious links with death, wolf skull tattoos have surprisingly positive connotations. They can signify your overcoming of grief after a loss, a personal transformation, or even your acceptance of the inevitability of life – and in turn, serve as a reminder to live life to the full.
15. Wolf Pack Tattoo
As wolves live in close family packs, they are associated with unity and loyalty. Wolf family tattoos, therefore, represent your commitment to your pack and your protectiveness over your loved ones. You can further personalize the design by adding the names of your children.
16. White Wolf Tattoo
In contrast to black wolves, white wolves are usually seen as a more positive omen. Also known as arctic wolves, they are highly adaptive in tough environments. As a result, white wolf tattoos can be a symbol of good luck, adventure, and even the overcoming of obstacles.
17. Native American wolf tattoo
Wolves feature in many Indigenous legends and in the body art of warriors. They were seen as protective figures and as spiritual totem animals. If you’re looking for a wolf tattoo with meaning, Native American wolf tattoos signify courage, strength, and loyalty, as well as a connection with nature.
18. Japanese Wolf Tattoo
Japanese folklore also deems wolves protectors – specifically of travelers and children. Now extinct, native Japanese wolves were thought to represent Gods or be their messengers. If you love Asian artwork and big colorful ink, choose a Japanese wolf tattoo for good luck.
19. Wolf Paw Tattoo
More subtle than wolf head or body designs, wolf paw tattoos can have a host of different meanings. Depending on the wearer, they can reflect a determination to carry on in the face of adversity, a passion to progress in life, or a desire to walk your own unique path.
20. Angry Wolf Tattoo
A symbol of strength and fearlessness, angry wolf tattoos are another popular tattoo idea for men. They may focus on the wolf’s snarling face or portray it in a predatory stance, but either way, these designs are always bold and highly expressive. Some even feature horror-inspired red eyes for extra shock factor.
21. Dire Wolf Tattoo
Larger and stronger than wolves today, dire wolves were once fearsome predators. In recent years, the dire wolf tattoo has gained popularity thanks to hit TV show Game of Thrones. A dire wolf features on House Stark’s coat of arms and each child has their own loyal wolf companion.
22. Wolf Eyes Tattoo
If done right, a wolf eyes tattoo can be pretty haunting – almost as if it’s looking right at you (yes, we’re funny). Replicate the focused gaze of a skilled and determined hunter, express your feelings with an angry frown or create a mysterious, ghostly design by giving your wolf striking blue eyes.
23. Wolf With Rose Tattoo
This design is great for guys who aren’t afraid to get in touch with their feminine side. Wolf with rose tattoos suits a variety of different styles and can reflect two sides of your personality – one fierce and independent, the other gentle and affectionate. If dedicating your tattoo to someone special, position it on your chest and choose red roses to signify romantic love.
24. Alpha Wolf Tattoo
Actually a common myth, alpha wolves are thought of as strong leaders who fought for their position. In actual fact, wolf pack leaders are typically just the parents of younger members. Whichever way you look at it, alpha wolf tattoos are an ideal choice for family-orientated men with bold personalities and competitive natures.
25. Wolf Yin and Yang Tattoo
The yin and yang symbol is all about dualism and opposites that balance one another. Think, bad and good. In this respect, a wolf yin and yang tattoo can reflect the wolf’s dual nature – aggressive predator vs. loyal and protective parent. In turn, this wolf tattoo can represent your own inner battle as you strive to make the right choices.
26. Wolf in The Woods Tattoo
Perfect for nature lovers, the wolf in the woods tattoos feature trees and other natural elements such as the moon and mountains. Depending on the style and specific design you choose, your wolf in woods tattoo can signify peace, mystery, rejuvenation, self-healing, or steadfastness.
27. Wolf Dreamcatcher Tattoo
Inspired by Indigenous folklore, dreamcatchers were traditionally used to protect against nightmares. Similarly, spirit wolves were thought to keep you from harm. Combined, wolf dreamcatcher tattoos promote positive energy and protection for the wearer. Plus, the intricate details make them very eye-catching! Go big on your thigh or forearm for impact.
28. Eagle and Wolf Tattoo
Representing balance within the natural world, eagle and wolf tattoos are powerful symbols. Traits such as courage, power, determination, and agility are apparent in both of these creatures. If you’re American, the wolf and eagle tattoo combination is also highly patriotic and signifies freedom. Display proudly on your forearm or go big with a full backpiece.
29. Wolf Headdress Tattoo
Another Native American-inspired design, the wolf headdress tattoo usually features a woman wearing a wolf’s head and hide as a sort of crown. Headdresses or war bonnets were traditionally worn in battle, so these tattoos represent strength and protection. They can also suggest that you share the wolf’s innate qualities – as two have become one.
30. Half Wolf Tattoo
Half wolves are slightly abstract tattoos, but are increasingly popular and very varied. Usually designed to represent two sides of your personality, you could opt for a half-wolf half-lion piece, or half a realistic wolf and half a geometric wolf if you like mixing tattoo styles. It’s entirely up to you!
31. Wolf Scratch Tattoo
Love wolves but don’t want a full one etched into your skin? How about a wolf scratch tattoo instead? If you’ve got a fighting spirit, opt for realistic claw marks filled with red ink to mimic blood. Or choose a simpler scratch revealing a wolf’s eyes behind it, to reflect the hidden wolf traits within you. If going for a small design, place it on your forearm, chest, or calf.
32. Running Wolf Tattoo
A running wolf tattoo epitomizes the wild and free nature of this magnificent animal. Designs may include other natural elements or even a pack of wolves running together to signify family ties. Either way, if you’re a free spirit who can’t be tied down, this is the tattoo for you.
33. Mandala Wolf Tattoo
Mandalas were one of the most popular tattoo styles of the last decade and they’re still going strong. Due to their spiritual connections, mandala wolf tattoos can be used to represent your journey through life, with the webbing and wolf acting as your guide. Choose either a half-wolf half-mandala design or a realistic wolf backed by mandala patterns and dot-work.
34. Werewolf Tattoo
A legend of European folklore, werewolves have become a popular horror trope in various TV shows and movies. A transformative creature that turns from a man into a wolf-like figure under a full moon, werewolves are powerful, feared, and misunderstood. A werewolf tattoo can therefore symbolize an inner battle with your demons or deeper qualities hidden within.
35. Wolf and Dagger Tattoo
Wolf and dagger tattoos combine two traditional elements to create a striking and colorful design that grabs attention. While the dagger appears to enhance the violence of the piece, it can also represent protection, bravery, and the overcoming of hardship. If you’ve won your fair share of battles in life, a wolf and dagger tattoo could be a no-brainer choice.
Wolf Tattoo FAQ:
What does a wolf tattoo mean?
Wolves are famously known to be pack animals, surviving together through the elements and hardships that may come their way. It’s easy to see the translation carried over in many popular wolf designs. As tattoos can be an outward expression of how you feel and think, so showing the world around you that you care deeply for your loved ones, are loyal, and trust yourself to guide yourself out of even the toughest situations, isn’t a bad look at all.
What does a howling wolf tattoo mean?
Wolves tend to howl at the moon to communicate with their pack, but images of a howling wolf often look to express free spritedness and a deep connection to the wild. However, in recent years, a moon and wolf have also been popular imagery to show werewolves, if you’re a science fiction fan this tattoo can also represent strength and curiosity.
What’s a lone wolf tattoo mean?
The lone wolf is someone who can survive without the pack, often someone with a fiercly independent personality. While there is strength in numbers the lone wolf knows that they can face any adversity alone. This tattoo is a perfect symbol for anyone who has gone through life surviving and succeeding on their own. Even if you rely on those around you for support the lone wolf can still be a symbol of your desires.