The drawing above shows the snarl. In this case, the snarl is to demonstrate dominance. He/she could be hovering over a kill, or just simply trying to intimidate other wolves. The likeliness of an attack from a wolf like this is actually not too high as his/her ears are not forward. So, although this wolf shows dominance, the wolf is not poised to attack (as one might with ears faced forward). This wolf shows a calm confidence but feels the need to show his/her dominance. But, the wolf below just might…
This wolf shows fear. The snarl on this wolf is aggression. Not just aggression, but fearful aggression which would make this wolf much more dangerous. He/she is sensing danger of some kind and is willing to fight if necessary. The tail tucked between his/her legs, the sloping crouching back, the ruffled fur, and the ears pulled back all indicate the fear. Animals know that if they show fear, they will be targeted which makes them much more likely to attack.
The wolf snarl is complex and does not necessarily indicate an attack, but a warning and a form of communication. In a dominance display, it is a warning that they will bite if not respected, and in the case of fear, it is a warning that they will bite if pressed.
The below and featured image is available on a t-shirt and mug. Check out the wolf collection!