Do you know one growl from another? Dogs do.
In a recent experiment, three growls were recorded: while playing tug of war, when threatened by a stranger, and when guarding food. The growls were played by a hidden loudspeaker next to a bowl of food.
41 dogs of different breeds went up to the food, and took it away when the first two growls were played. They retreated when they heard the third.
It’s the first study showing that dogs read growls based on contextual signals.