A Packmaster is the "Alpha Wolf" within a pack of werewolves who serves as the leader of a specific community of werewolves at certain locations. In "The Southern Vampire Mysteries", packmasters are strong, mature and peacekeepers within their packs; qualities seen in Alcide Herveaux. Also they are supposed to be fearless, however they recognize vampires as even more powerful beings, such as Russell Edgington, and some of the pack were either ordered his pack to not mess with the war between Witches and Vampires.
When a Packmaster dies, his underlings honor him by assuming wolf form and devouring his corpse. The selection of a new Packmaster seems to rest on a traditional hunting contest that ends in a combat between the most suitable members; also it seems that an elected Packmaster can be challenged to defend his leader status.