As most dog owners will attest, they are pretty good at guessing what their dog is asking for, we often think we are training them, the truth is they are training us.
They bark and growl to indicate to us that something is wrong or they need something from us.
The relationship between a dog and its owner is unique and communication plays a huge part.
A study published in the journal Royal Society of Open Science, suggests that women understand what their dog wants better than men do.
The research consisted of 18 dogs and they assessed their growling responses in different situations, such as playing tug of war or if they felt threatened by being approached by a stranger.
The study also had a human pool of 40 people who were asked to identify the tone of the dogs growling using a sliding scale for fear, playfulness, aggression, despair, and happiness.
Humans had a 63 percent success rate of identifying the context of the growl (compared to a 33 percent chance rate).
Tamás Faragó, the lead author of the study, says:
“Our recent fMRI studies suggest that dogs and humans use similar brain areas and probably similar processes to assess others’ emotions from vocalizations. It seems that there are biologically rooted rules to how mammalian vocalizations encode emotions and these shared processes help humans to assess the emotional load of not just dogs but other mammal species’ vocal emotion expressions.
This is a common pattern in emotion recognition studies.
Women are likely more empathic and sensitive to others’ emotions and this helps them to better associate the contexts with the emotional content of the growls”.