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PostSubject: WOLVES: Communication   WOLVES: Communication EmptyFri Jan 05, 2018 5:35 pm

WOLVES: Communication

This guide will help you understand how wolves communicate with each other, using body language and facial expression.

The Relaxed Wolf
When a wolf is in a relaxed and neutral state, its tail hangs loosely, its ears are upright but neither perked nor pulled in either direction, its face may either be neutral or panting with calm, relaxed eyes, and its head will be carried low and horizontal to its body. [NOTE: While dogs may carry their head upright normally, wolves generally do not; for them, a head held high is a signal of dominance.]

Image Examples:

How a Wolf Expresses...

Tail Postures
WOLVES: Communication 1 A tail raised high like this is often a signal of dominance. if held stiffly, it may be a sign of intense aggression
WOLVES: Communication 2 A tail stiffly held horizontal to the body is a signal that the wolf is about to attack or is hunting.
WOLVES: Communication 3 When a wolf's tail wags, it is in a calm, pleasant mood. If the wag is more intense, it may be excited and feeling playful.
WOLVES: Communication 4 A tail held like this is partially relaxed, but not quite
WOLVES: Communication 5 If a wolf's tail is fully drooping like this, the wolf is fully relaxed
WOLVES: Communication 6 The tail is half-tucked, and is combined with a partially arched back. It is a submissive posture, used by a wolf to humble itself to another wolf.
WOLVES: Communication 7 A fully-tucked tail with a highly arched back is a sign of intense submission or fear

Scenting is an extremely important part of canine communication. Wolves have many scent glands in various places in their bodies. They are located on the anus, on top of the tail ( which is covered by a dark mark [image from]), behind the ears, on the bottoms of the paws, and on the cheeks near the mouth. The scent glands serve an important purpose while communicating, providing each wolf with its own unique scent that tells other wolves everything they need to know about it.

To claim a territory, a wolf will mark the territory with its scent, to alert other wolves coming into the area that it is claimed land. They mainly use the scent glands in their pads and excrement (which is scented by the anal glands). A dominant pair will 'double-mark', with one wolf urinating over the other's scat and vise-versa. It is thought to strengthen the bond between the two wolves, and have them come to associate their union with each other with their combined marks.

Wolves also enjoy scent-rolling. If they find anything that has an interesting smell, be it carrion, flowers, or dung—anything that smells interesting to them—they will roll in it, collecting the scent in their fur so they can share the scent with their pack.

While wolves use their bodies and scent as the main form of communication, they also vocalize and these sounds can be just as important to communication as their body language.

The most famous of vocalizations. Howling is primarily about togetherness in some way, whether it's to get the pack together for a hunt, mourning a lost pack member, or establishing a territory. Howls are primarily a pack activity, with one wolf initiating the howl and others joining in, exciting the pack with a rally. It appears the wolves find it obligatory to participate, even if the excitement results in some minor scuffles. Lone wolves will also occasionally howl, possibly to seek company. Howls can be heard from miles away, and can vary in length, pitch, and tone. It is noted that wolves often pause directly after a howl to listen for a response.
[NOTE: North American and Eurasian wolves howl differently; Eurasian howls are more protracted and melodious, while North American howls are louder with stronger emphasis on the first syllable. Despite this difference in "dialect," their howls are mutually intelligible and North American wolves have shown to respond to Eurasian-style howls and vice-versa.]

Wolves also bark, which is rare. A wolf may bark to its pups or pack to warn them if it senses danger, or it may bark or bark-howl to show aggression in defense to the pack and its territory. Growls are also used as a warning, but from the wolf to a threat. Growls are meant to ward away conflict and warn the threat that the wolf can and will bite if the threat does not go away. It may also be used to show dominance. Wolves can also whimper, usually used to show submissiveness to a dominant wolf, or it may be used by a mother to show its willingness to nurse its pups.

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