To be blunt, wolves do not make good pets. They belong in the wild and need a lot of land to live on. People want to own them because of their beauty and because they're exotic and wild. But that's why they wouldn't make good pets. They're too wild. Wolves kept as pets don't get the exercise they need. In the wild they travel about 20 miles. They can't get that kind of exercise in a human house. They need territories which range from 18 sq miles to over 1,000. Also, not many vets will treat a wolf when it's sick and a penned wolf will experience mental problems and become stress if kept from interaction with other wolves. Pet wolves may wound or kill other dogs by disciplining them as if they were pack members.
Wolf Hybrids (Wolf-Dogs)
There are many stories of wolves being just "wild dogs" that could be tamed. While wolves and dogs do share many biological traits, they are very different from each other. The dogs we have as pets have been bred to be gentle companion animals to humans. Wolves are still wild animals and should be treated as such. Sometimes wolves and dogs interbreed, and the pups are called wolf hybrids. However, these hybrids usually do not make good pets. There is another myth that some breeds of dog, like the husky, are part wolf. But huskies are just another breed of domestic dog, like a poodle or a golden retriever.
The most common wolf hybrids are either, malamutes, huskies, or German shepherds bred with wolves. Hybrids are usually taller, heavier, and stronger than most domestic mixed dogs. Mixing wolves with domesticated dogs is believed to dilute the wild nature of the wolf. This is not true, hybrids are known to be more aggressive than wolves. The mixing actually produces an animal that has lost its fear of man. Hybrids find small children as suitable prey. There have been a lot of attacks on humans including six deaths from hybrids. There hasn't been one documented case of a pure wolf killing a human. They usually are resistive to training and confinement. They are usually timid of humans and may bite (fear-biters) or attack if they feel threatened or cornered. Hybrids are basically "unpredictable and dangerous". Also as they grow older they become more independent and will want to set out on their own and leave their "pack" like a real wolf.
I have heard of people who have successfully raised pure wolves and hybrids, but that's because these people were experienced and were able to provide them with the land they need. A lot of U.S. states make it illegal to own a pure wolf or even a hybrid. In my opinion, wolves can make good and loyal friends, but dogs were domesticated to be owned and raised by humans and can still give you that companionship. I sometimes daydream of owning a wolf, but that's how I would like to keep it: a dream. I'm quite satisfied with my little Chihuahua