Communication Through Scent
A wolf uses smell to locate members of the pack, food, and intruders. Research has shown that wolves can detect smells up to 3 kilometers. Wolves also use their sense of smell as a means of communication. Wolves mark their territory with feces and urine, when wolves enter a territory that is not their own they can smell the “scent markings”. This tells them that the area is already taken by another wolf.Communication Through Sound: The wolf howl
The wolf howl has nothing to do with the full moon. Wolves use howling to communicate with each other.
Some reasons a wolf may howl:
* To notify other pack members of their location.
* To inform other packs of where they are and their own territory.
* For the attraction of a mate.
* To reassemble a scattered pack.
* To get a pack riled up before a hunt.
* When disturbed.
* When stressed (most often by wolf pups).
* At the presence of an intruder.
* After playing or other social events.
* After waking up.
* To call for help.The howl of a wolf can be heard up to 10 miles away.Communication Through Body Language
Wolves communicate not only by sound (such as yipping, growling, and howling), but also by body language. Dominance
- A dominant wolf stands stiff legged and tall. The ears are erect and forward, and the hackles bristle slightly. Often the tail is held vertical and curled toward the back. This display shows the wolf's rank to all others in the pack. A dominant lupine may stare penetratingly at a submissive one, pin it to the ground, "ride up" on its shoulders, or even stand on its hind legs.Anger
- An angry lupine's ears are erect, and its fur bristles. The lips may curl up or pull back, and the incisors are displayed. The wolf may also snarl.Fear
- A frightened wolf tries to make its body look small and therefore less conspicuous. The ears flatten down against the head, and the tail may be tucked between the legs, as with a submissive wolf. There may also be whimpering or barks of fear, and the wolf may arch its back.
- A defensive wolf flattens its ears against its head.Aggression
- An aggressive wolf snarls and its fur bristles. The wolf may crouch, ready to attack if necessary.Relaxedness
- A relaxed wolf's tail points straight down, and the wolf may rest sphinxlike or on its side. The wolf's tail may also wag. The further down the tail droops, the more relaxed the wolf is. Tension - An aroused wolf's tail points straight out, and the wolf may crouch as if ready to spring.
- As dogs do, a lupine may wag its tail if it is in a joyful mood. The tongue may loll out of the mouth.Suspicion
- Pulling back of the ears shows a lupine is suspicious. In addition, the wolf narrows its eyes. The tail of a wolf that senses danger points straight out, parallel to the ground.Hunting
- A wolf that is hunting is tensed, and therefore the tail is horizontal and straight.Playfulness
- A playful lupine holds its tail high and wags it. The wolf may frolic and dance around, or bow by placing the front of its body down to the ground, while holding the rear high, sometimes wagged. This is reminiscent of the playful behavior executed in domestic dogs.
sources: WolfCountry, WolfSource