If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what does it

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If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what does it

Post by eagle15 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:35 am

I've always wondered why wolfs stiffen their tails or flick their ears at other wolfs? What does it all mean?
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Re: If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what doe

Post by Croix » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:57 am

Regarding "tail talk"...
The alpha male and female are dominant, or in charge of the pack. To communicate dominance, the alphas carry their tails high and stand tall. Less dominant wolves exhibit submissive behavior by holding their tails down and often lower their bodies while pawing at the higher ranking wolves.

There are two levels of submissive behavior: active and passive. Active submission is a contact activity in which signs of inferiority are evident such as crouching, muzzle licking and tail tucking. The behaviors typical of active submission are first used by pups to elicit regurgitation in adults. These behaviors are retained into adulthood by subordinate wolves, where they function as a gesture of intimacy and the acceptance of the differentiation of the roles of the wolves that are involved.

Passive submission is shown when a subordinate wolf lays on its side or back, thus exposing the vulnerable ventral side of its chest and abdomen to the more dominant wolf. The subordinate wolf may also abduct its rear leg to allow for anogenital inspection by the dominant wolf.
Source: http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/ ... cation.asp
As explained above, there are many different meaning for different tail positions. A tail level with the back or raised higher normally is a sign of dominace or aggression. While a tail tucked between the back legs is a sign of submission or even fear.


As for ear positions...
Wolves convey much with their bodies. If they are angry, they may stick their ears straight up and bare their teeth. A wolf who is suspicious pulls its ears back and squints. Fear is often shown by flattening the ears against the head.
Source: http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/ ... cation.asp
Although, what do you mean exactly by "ear flick"? Quick movement of the ears (aka f licking) can be used for multiple reasons. Normally when the ears are held in a certain way for a extended period of time it means something - f licking can be used in the smallest of things, such as trying to shoo an irritating fly away from the ears.

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Re: If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what doe

Post by Koa » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:12 pm

Just wanted to point out in the terms "alpha" and so forth in the quote Croix provided are outdated and not accurate for describing wild wolf hierarchy and dominance. (wolf.org has not updated much of their site.)
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Re: If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what doe

Post by 1BitJay » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:21 pm

Hello Eagle15 ;D

This might answer your question.

http://www.wolf-facts.net/wolf_behavior ... avior.html
In addition to sounds, scent is also is an expression of wolf behavior. Sniffing of head, anal and genital regions is a behavior used in greeting one another. The tail is also a part of the greeting--a dominant wolf will raise his or her tail to aid the other animal by giving off scent. When in heat, a female is ready for the male when she raises her tail and turns it to one side.

The tail is also a good indicator of wolf behavior in other ways. A wolf with his tail in the raised position is displaying dominance and self-esteem. Different angles of the tail can also indicate if a wolf is ready to attack, if he or she is aroused, relaxed, submissive or afraid. All of these expressions of wolf behavior also have been carried through breeding to the behavior of domestic dogs.

Marking with scent is another way wolves communicate behaviors. Marking an area by urinating says to others, “this place is mine.”  Dominant males raise their tail and lift their leg high when urinating, while submissive behavior is indicated by squatting to urinate. A female shows dominance when urinating by squatting, sometimes with one foot off the ground and sometimes by raking the ground with their hind legs upon finishing. Scent-rolling is another wolf behavior that is not so pleasant when practiced by your pet. It is used to bring back scents such as those of manure or a dead animal to the rest of the pack.


 
Signs of aggressive behavior are ones that humans should be aware of, no matter what species of the dog family is involved. Look out for ears that are straight up, closed or puckered lips, an erect tail, hackles up, eyes very wide open and a stiffly-held tail. While many people think wolves show aggressive behavior when hunting prey, the opposite is true. They are relaxed, eyes are wide, the tail is extended backwards not upwards. They also do not growl or snarl when killing for food. That is a behavior that may express supremacy over territory or ownership of the food after a kill.
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Re: If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what doe

Post by paperpaws » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:02 am

JayMist wrote:Hello Eagle15 ;D

This might answer your question.

http://www.wolf-facts.net/wolf_behavior ... avior.html
In addition to sounds, scent is also is an expression of wolf behavior. Sniffing of head, anal and genital regions is a behavior used in greeting one another. The tail is also a part of the greeting--a dominant wolf will raise his or her tail to aid the other animal by giving off scent. When in heat, a female is ready for the male when she raises her tail and turns it to one side.

The tail is also a good indicator of wolf behavior in other ways. A wolf with his tail in the raised position is displaying dominance and self-esteem. Different angles of the tail can also indicate if a wolf is ready to attack, if he or she is aroused, relaxed, submissive or afraid. All of these expressions of wolf behavior also have been carried through breeding to the behavior of domestic dogs.

Marking with scent is another way wolves communicate behaviors. Marking an area by urinating says to others, “this place is mine.”  Dominant males raise their tail and lift their leg high when urinating, while submissive behavior is indicated by squatting to urinate. A female shows dominance when urinating by squatting, sometimes with one foot off the ground and sometimes by raking the ground with their hind legs upon finishing. Scent-rolling is another wolf behavior that is not so pleasant when practiced by your pet. It is used to bring back scents such as those of manure or a dead animal to the rest of the pack.


 
Signs of aggressive behavior are ones that humans should be aware of, no matter what species of the dog family is involved. Look out for ears that are straight up, closed or puckered lips, an erect tail, hackles up, eyes very wide open and a stiffly-held tail. While many people think wolves show aggressive behavior when hunting prey, the opposite is true. They are relaxed, eyes are wide, the tail is extended backwards not upwards. They also do not growl or snarl when killing for food. That is a behavior that may express supremacy over territory or ownership of the food after a kill.
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Re: If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what doe

Post by eagle15 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:28 pm

Thank you guys especially jaymist for helping me this all answer my question thanks alot you guys.
better find shelter you wont want to get caught out in the blizzard
it can get really cold out here

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Re: If a a wolf stiffens it's tail or flicks an ear what doe

Post by -Sheeba » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:41 pm

Glad your question could be answered, eagle15! A big thanks to everyone who helped out :)

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