A long time ago, I got to spend a lot of time around wolves. Their lives are governed by a set of rules many people don't understand or have highly romanticized. Here is a mannerism I don't often see portrayed in fantasy creatures. When an alpha decides to take a confrontation to the next level, they will often bare their teeth and loll the tongue or lick their teeth. This is a SURE sign you're about to get the really bad end of the stick. At this point, you'd better be prepared to fight to the death.