The hierarchy that exists within each pack is maintained by dominant or submissive body posturing, and by other behaviour patterns such as the communal care of the young.

Wolves are legendary because of their spine-tingling howl, which they use to communicate. A lone wolf howls to attract the attention of his pack, while communal howls may send territorial messages from one pack to another. Some howls are confrontational. Calls may be answered by rival packs. Much like barking domestic dogs, wolves may simply begin howling because a nearby wolf has already begun.