Wolves are smaller in Japan, but Ōkami wolves are still larger than usual. They can shapeshift into Humans like most animal-typed Yōkai.
They may prey on Humans or, instead, protect them, so their personality really depends on their wish to help or devour mortals.
Like the dogs that live in human habitation the wolf may be seen as a protector of humankind while in the wilderness. It is a supernatural creature spoken of in the south and central parts of Honshū and Shikoku, which follows people walking in the mountains and protects them, often from other wolves. It is sometimes said that there are two sorts of wolves or Ōkami, those that follow people in order to protect them and those that stalk and devour them.
Alternatively these may be different behaviors of the same wolves, depending on the action of the person involved. Falling over is thought to invite a wolf's attack, while not showing resistance to the wolves and asking for them to spare your life will invoke their protection. People in Ōkami stories often reward protective wolves with their favorite foods (salt or azuki beans and rice) once they reach their destination, further ensuring the positive relationship with these creatures. Often revered like Gods, Ōkami are rare but powerful creatures.