Get close to the particular animal in question and take a week or so to observe its shape.See that animal's parts in its basic forms always. for example if I look at a lion I imagine a big circle and a trapenzium shape trying to push the circle from the back with a short rope that has a kind of yarn shape at its back.
Drawing effectively has to do with your imagination. So get close to that animal and imagine what its shape before you basicall looks like... and that's it.
Later you can start giving the basic shapes their real forms with shading.