Even we thought this one sounded a bit mad, but according to a study, dogs are able to make humans understand what their growls and barks mean!
The study involved 40 volunteers listening to different growls recorded from 18 dogs that were guarding their food, playing a tug-of-war game or facing a threatening stranger.
Overall, 63% of participants could recognize what the dog was feeling in the growls, which is significantly more than expected by just guesswork, said the researchers. The participants identified 81% of the “play” grows, which is also above chance level, but weren’t as good at identifying food guarding and threatening growls.
Women were better than men at identifying the dog’s emotions, which is believed to be due to their higher emotional capability. Both male and female dog owners were also more accurate than non-dog owners.
Scientists from Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science said:
"Participants associated the correct contexts with the growls above chance. Moreover, women and participants experienced with dogs scored higher in this task."
“It is known that women have a higher emotional sensitivity and probably this higher sensitivity can help to differentiate better the context of the growls.”