In the wolf world, communication is not restricted to howls and growls, there is a significant amount of body language that is used to express intent and in some cases, conflicting messages.  Axel’s photo is a prime example of a body posture called a Stand Over saying “I am asserting my status” and an ear posture that is Pricked and Turned Sideways that says “I’m not so sure I should be doing this”.  Axel is young,  and with youth often comes a strong drive to test those around them, but he lacks the experience to follow-through, which can create some apprehension.  Denali is on the receiving end of this behavior and as a wolf approaching 11 years of age, he’s seen youthful exuberance before and weathered it quite well.