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Basic Wolf Behavior
Topic Started: Feb 17 2011, 06:33 PM (1,592 Views)
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Please, for the sake of all of us, read the entire thing. :D

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The Omega Wolf
(The wolf in the center is the “Omega” of this pack, as seen by submissive posture in the unemotional tail, crouching body posture, squinting eyes, flat ears, and licking behavior)

This is the job of the Omega. Although many think it is simply the wolf that is picked on or has somehow wronged the pack (treachery, committed some forbidden act), the most submissive wolf in the pack is not only respected, but highly necessary. The Omega’s job is to always be ready for play, whether rough or gentle. They are the jester of the pack, and serve as the individual that calms aggression and other uncomfortable emotions of other pack members.

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Dominant: Mouthing
This is not aggressive behavior on the part of the wolf doing the mouthing. Instead, mouthing is a non-violent and extremely common way of putting disrespectful or disruptive subordinates back in there place. Any wolf who is higher ranking then another is responsible for quickly quieting them down.
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Dominant Behavior: Force-Rolling
The behavior pictured above (I call it “force-rolling”) is used when non-violent means of dominating another wolf is not responded to. Whether when play is getting too rough, or a wolf has stepped out of line, one way to put them back is to rush/charge at them with a stiff posture and flaring tail. If the other wolf doesn’t fall to the ground and roll to its back immediately, the dominant wolf might actually push them down, forcing them into rolling.
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Dominant Behavior: Stare-Down
This adorable picture is a very common and non-violent “warning” that nearly every canine of every species does. I couldn’t find a good wolf one, so be happy with whatchya get, okay? When first meeting another wolf (after circling them and taking in their scent), a dominant wolf will stare directly into the new wolf’s eyes. The lesser wolf is supposed to look away first, or squint their eyes and lick the dominant wolf’s throat. This is not a matter of pride- your wolf will not be looked down on if you have them look away when a superior does this. If the lesser wolf doesn’t look away, the dominant wolf may perform the above behaviors. If none of this works, the dominant wolf will start a fight and ultimately the pack chases the lesser wolf away, if only for a few minutes.

Submissive Behavior: Squinting and Licking
In the first picture, the Omega wolf and the wolf to the far right are squinting their eyes and licking their lips. These are both behaviors that puppies do when trying to calm themselves, and actually helps to subliminally calm the other wolves in the pack, and also any dominant wolves that are giving them trouble. This is a good way to say “I’m sorry I messed up, please don’t punish me!” As opposed to when humans may “narrow their eyes” when angry, wolves will widen their eyes when pissed off. So if you’re in a fight with another wolf and your character “narrows his eyes”, you just said “I GIVE UP, YOU WIN!”

Submissive Behavior: Belly-Up Urination
I couldn’t find any good photographs for this, but essentially when things have gone too far or a really excitable wolf is excited, they drop to the ground, roll on their bellies and – if they’re under attack, being threatened, and signaled to submit -, may even pee on themselves. This usually immediately sends the dominant wolf or attacked away simply because it is a white flag of surrender.
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