Member Guides: How to Write Like a Canine

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While Luperci have become extremely humanized, they are still wild canines, and as such, they'll still express their emotions very much like regular canines! This page provides you with some examples of general behavior and body language of wolves (and canines in general) in various emotional states. Learning how canines move and react can certainly help you add details to your post, and behavior/body language is an excellent thing to add to your post. Why? It's physical! It's an action, and the other player can react to it. This is integral to becoming a really great roleplayer!

On this page... (hide)

  1.   1.  Senses
    1.   1.1  Scent
  2.   2.  Emotions
    1.   2.1  Anger
    2.   2.2  Fear/Submission
    3.   2.3  Anxious/Lonely
    4.   2.4  Interested
    5.   2.5  Happy/Excited
    6.   2.6  Playful
    7.   2.7  Member Tips
  3.   3.  Resources
    1.   3.1  Books To Read For Inspiration
    2.   3.2  Podcasts
    3.   3.3  Web Articles

1.  Senses

1.1  Scent

Canines have among the most sensitive noses in the animal kingdom, so they can pick up a wide range of information via scent. A canine (Luperci and non-Luperci alike) can easily learn the gender and age of another canine almost immediately. Mood can also be determined to some extent -- e.g., a nervous canine will smell of fear while an angry canine would smell (and look!) aggressive.

Pack scents remain on members for some time if they are established members within the pack; however, a very new member (or a member of the pack who does not spend a lot of time within pack territory) is unlikely to carry the pack's scent as strongly or heavily as a more established member. A Loner who very recently spent time around a pack might smell like that pack and could be mistaken for a member of said pack.

Families also share similar scents; a mother will smell similar to her children, and vice versa. A Luperci who is familiar with one canine might be able to determine that canine's close family. Cousins or more distant relatives would not be recognized.

One would also be able to gather an idea of the other canine’s social standing -- while determining exact and specific rank is impossible, whether a canine has "high" or "low" status within the ranks could be determined from scent. Other information, such as where the Luperci has been and eaten recently, is also able to be picked up from scent.

This list is not all inclusive and only lists things canines can tell about other canines. Obviously, they could also figure out unrelated things, such as whether food is spoiled, the existence of an item buried or hidden amongst other items, etc.

2.  Emotions

2.1  Anger

  • Ears pinned to head
  • Body rigid
  • Tail high(if high ranking) or straight and stiff
  • Hackles raised from neck to tail tip
  • Head raised
  • Eyes wide, staring
  • Lips curled to show teeth, growling (low pitched)
  • Barking (low pitched)

2.2  Fear/Submission

  • Tail tucked
  • Ears pinned to head
  • Body and head low to the ground, possibly crawling
  • Licking at other canine's face or their own lips
  • Possibly: rolling over onto back, showing belly(feet held close to body), whining, snarling, nipping

2.3  Anxious/Lonely

  • Whining
  • Yawning(frequently)
  • Pacing
  • Howling/yodeling

2.4  Interested

  • Ears erect
  • Eyes wide
  • Body rigid, possibly pointing(front paw raised, leaning forward)
  • Tail straight and stiff
  • Head high

2.5  Happy/Excited

  • Tail wagging
  • Body wagging
  • Licking at other canine's face/mouth
  • Pawing at other canine's body
  • Barking (medium pitched)

2.6  Playful

  • Front of body low to the ground, front paws splayed, rear end raised
  • Tail high, wagging
  • Smacking ground with front paws
  • Playful growling (high pitched)
  • Nipping (lightly) at other canine's neck/face
  • Body slamming (back end is thrust sideways to smack into other canine's body)
  • Pawing at other canine
  • Barking (high pitched)

2.7  Member Tips

Members: Feel free to add your own tips, however brief, here! Remember, you can sign your tip with four tildes (~)

  • Remember, even if your character is stubborn and thinks of themselves as better then others, wolves still recognize dominance and submission as a centralized part of their communication. If a loner attempts to join a pack and refuses to submit to their greeter and/or the alpha, they will likely be turned away. Showing respect is something pack wolves expect, especially on their own territory. ~ Mel
  • Canines cannot cry as a result of emotion -- while they possess tear ducts, they don't weep and produce tears as a result of sadness; excessive tearing is usually a result of a medical malady. Alternatively, whimpering, whining, folding the ears back, and tucking the tail are all good alternatives to shedding tears.
  • Full-blooded wolves do not sweat whatsoever, however, dogs and coyotes do! Specifically, through their paw pads! ~ Hydra Triangle

3.  Resources

3.1  Books To Read For Inspiration

  • Julie's Wolf Pack, Julie, and Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
  • The Wolf King, Night of the Wolf, or The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt
  • Bitten, Stolen, or Haunted by Kelley Armstrong
  • Call of the Wild or White Fang by Jack London
  • Wolves of the Beyond series by Kathryn Lasky

3.2  Podcasts

3.3  Web Articles