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I don't know how your grizzly can be dying in one hit..mine has like 9k life after bo and oak, and does about 400 pvp damage.
In fact, I recently got cussed out by a necro for using a bear because it stunned and tanked hits, but I guess 'strategy' makes me a newb.
The bear is normally the best tank. For it to be effectful you need to place points in dire wolf, and maybe some in oak sage. +skills helps a lot. A well made grizzly can have thousands in life, and deliver good damage as well.
The dire wolves, as I see it, are only handy when a lot of bad guy's comes running at you from different directions. In such a situation use the dire wolfs.
Here's the difference: if you're a pure summoner, and not fighting a superunique or act boss, they have about equal tanking abilities. The difference is that wolves keep more monsters at bay, but they take a long time to kill anything. Then again, a grizzly isn't much more capable of killing monsters in hell difficulty, but he can tank an act boss much more efficiently. So you should use wolves when you're fighting regular monsters, and grizzly for the really tough superuniques and act bosses.
If you only have a few points in the summons though (elemental or shifter primarily), then definitely go with grizzly. Any way you look at it, grizzly has more life, but does less damage total than 3 dire wolves. If you don't expect your summons to kill anything, then grizzly has more life so he is the better tanker.
If you're picking point distributions... I saw a lot of people suggest 20 bear 5 dire 5 spirit, and 5 oak sage. Personally I prefer to switch the Bear and Dire points. The reason being is that if I want damage I summon the wolves... If I need a tank then out comes the grizzly. But Really, I'm working on maxing them both.
Where are your other skills? If you're just looking to take heat off of a Shapeshifter or an Elemental then you may want to go with max (or lvl 16 ala Proudfoot) Ravens instead. They aren't tanks but all the normal monsters will be blind so you should be able to take out the Uniques and champions without any distractions.
Lvl 16 grizz (base)
3412 life(before oak or bo)
Lvl 16 dwolves (base again)
598 life each (x3 is 1794)
125-137 damage, x3 is like 375-390ish
Any more questions about which is a better tanker?