So here’s something I never really planned to do a werewolf fact on, but – hey, I get asked things like this all the time, so let’s go ahead and talk about it!
How about werewolves and mates? Or mating in general? How about all that stuff? Was that even a thing in folklore?
The answer is very easy and straightforward, so there you have it. No. Werewolves needing a particular kind of “mate” or having some kind of mating seasons or rituals was never, ever a thing in folklore whatsoever.
Werewolves in folklore are perfectly ordinary individuals with an unusual curse. This doesn’t stop them from being an entirely ordinary spouse otherwise. We see werewolf men with good wives and plenty with bad wives (like Bisclavret, among others), we see werewolf women with husbands and we see werewolf women seeking husbands (ordinary, human husbands) or werewolf women who are grandmas and have entire ordinary, un-cursed families.
Long story short, werewolves in folklore “mate with” un-cursed humans, get married to them, and often try to live normal lives in spite of their curse, because werewolves are human. That is, of course, if the werewolf in question wants a significant other; they don’t always want one (because there is no weird instinctual drive to have one, as they are people who make that decision for themselves).
Something that a lot of very modern media seems to lose track of is that werewolves are still human, themselves. They are humans with a curse, not just animals or some new alien species with totally different biology and instincts. And their personality doesn’t change. What a werewolf might do would depend entirely on the individual’s personality, not some predetermined “werewolf instinct” or something to do with packs or whatever. They aren’t animals – they’re people.
They are people with spouses/significant others (if they choose to have one; they do not have to have one like some modern pop culture implies), not animals with mates and some kind of mating drive.
And while we’re on the biology thing, since I get so many asks about this: no, folklore never talked about werewolf genitalia, because that really wasn’t on anybody’s mind. And no, I cannot imagine a single reason why werewolf bits down there would be altered except someone is into that and wants to write something kinky about it. You do you, I guess. Personally, I think that has no place in a werewolf story (especially if you want them taken seriously), but I’m not into werewolves in that way.
And as for the popular Alpha/Beta/Omega trope – I mean that both in relation to werewolf pack stories and in relation to A/B/O as a genre – that is also a pop culture thing, which got its start from misconceptions about wolf packs.
Now, obviously, all of this is in relation to folklore. Not that pop culture had anything like this for a very, very long time, either – it’s a pretty recent development.
So… you do whatever you want with it! And I’m sure various settings you enjoy have done whatever they want with it, too. I’ve seen so many takes on it that it makes my head spin. But if you want to ask from a folkloric perspective, there’s your answer. I also personally like the folklore answer best, because I like werewolves as people and as characters, not as animals or some kind of animal-people species that exists in a setting just to explore somebody’s weird subversive lore take on it… and then, more often than not, to be promptly killed off unceremoniously, which – unfortunately – is what werewolves mostly are today. Anyway…