A dominant wolf is approached by a subordinate one that usually starts licking the former as an expression of submission. It also lays back its ears in deference, and lowers its body relatively to the dominant wolf.
|Fighting and Pin-down
In fight or play, when one wolf pins down another, it shows its dominance. To emphasize its control, the dominant wolf may hold the subordinate's snout between its teeth for a short time. An even more aggressive way to show dominance is to grip the subordinate in its throat or neck, as they do with a preys or enemies. Another indication of dominance is its raised tail. The more vertical the tail is raised the more it wants to impress.
The subordinate wolf lies down on its side or back to show its total submission to the dominant wolf. The latter has its tail raised, which is a dominant gesture, and, in addition, it stares at the subordinate one to affirm its dominance.
The forelegs are stretch before it, flat ot the ground, and the hindquarters are thrust upwards. This posture expresses an invitation to play.
|Running in Fear|
The wolf expresses fear by flattening its ears, and holding its tail between the legs. Its head is also lowered as a sign of anxiety or submission.
A yearling is always subordinate to an older and mature wolf, and shows its proper place by lowering itself and laying back its ears in submission. The older wolf, however, shows his higher status by erecting its ears, raising its tail and shackles, in order to make itself appear bigger.