For someone who noted me asking for pointers, I'm not the best teacher and nor will I claim that my way works for everyone. This is how I personally work and will not delve into other people's styles. I didn't go really far into how I stylize because it's all over my gallery haha.
You'll notice I use very..very defined zygomatic arches and heavily marked eyes, long legs, and splayed feet instead of classic dog feet on most of my critters.
*To stylize, it should be top priority to get at least a basic understanding of what you're trying to stylize. I was told this was meant to be a wolf. Instead of trying to guestimate on correcting issues, I went back to the basics and pulled out google to browse for some decent refs. I use these refs as guidelines. What does a wolf generally look like? They have thin chests, long legs, and very large paws (they aren't circular bulbous paws, but elongated and kinda rectangular!) Most wolf tails come to about the ankle. Large dominant faces with a broad muzzle, ears are triangular and 'fat', especially in wolves in northern regions. Wolves in southern regions where it's warmer, may have larger ears and thinner coat, and are usually smaller in comparison (as with game animals, deer in Florida are dwarfed in comparison to northern deer.)
*Do not be afraid to ref anything you feel uncomfortable with, draw it over and over again until you can repeat it without the ref. Of course, be aware of copyrights on photographs if you're using a specific pose and environment. I usually 'pick apart' photos and take what I like and implement them into a drawing instead of using just one photo, it makes it more unique!
*I use long strokes for sketching and only use jagged strokes if the sketch calls for it, it keeps things easier to read later on
I did not start using refs until high school, and it helped me improve ten fold. I could have been improving so much before, but instead was too attached to using styles from Wolf's Rain (the manga, not anime), and copying pictures from manga. My art suffered for it. Middle School also had no art classes, so I never got critique. This was, however, an important starting point where many of my oldest characters were created, and it's really funny to see how they've progressed in terms of anatomy. I can't stress it enough. V: And ya know what? I still make a boatload of mistakes, it takes time to iron them all out.
There is a fantastic anatomy book called 'ANIMAL ANATOMY FOR ARTISTS: The Elements of Form' by Eliot Goldfinger. The book is super! It's got muscle diagrams, skeletons, and names of each of a ton of different animals. C: