I am trying to write a paragraph and I need to describe the sound that a wolf's paws/footsteps will make whilst running. Can anyone recommend me a word?
I suggest "padding" on the sand, on the gravel, or "thudding".
- pad - (verb) to walk so that one's footsteps make a dull, muffled sound.
I could hear the wolf's paws padding on the sand.
The sound of heavy paws padding on the stairs.
I could hear the wolf's paws padding across the soft ground.
- thud - (verb) "to make a heavy, dull sound"
She heard the wolf's paws thudding against the ground and she strained herself to run faster.
I could hear the wolf's paws thudding against the ground close behind me.
I'm not sure there's a word that specifically describes the sound of wolves feet colliding with the ground. Maybe you're looking for thump or thumping?
Here's a word that may be useful in describing the sound. Although this word is usually associated with horses, you can use it for other four-legged animals:
a fast gait of the horse or other quadruped in which, in the course of each stride, all four feet are off the ground at once.
"I knew the wolves were getting closer as their galloping was getting louder and louder."
A couple of wolf-related websites say that "gallop" is an appropriate term in this context.
Gaits: Wolves are built to travel long distances. They most often travel in a trot (equivalent to a human jog), either a side trot or a direct register trot. Wolves can also walk, lope and gallop. They will use different gaits according to their needs.
Wolves walk, trot, lope, or gallop. Their legs are long, and they walk at about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) per hour, but can reach speeds of 35 mph during a chase. Their usual mode of travel is to trot, which they do at various speeds, generally between 8 to 10 miles (12.8 to 16 kilometers) per hour.
Also see a list of potentially useful terms on this Wikipedia page: Canine gait