Questions. Will growling or trying to bite a dog or making a claw with your fingers mimic what a wolf does when he growls at or bites a subordinate?

Answer. There are no studies on this. However, as an experiment, you might ask a friend who has been bitten by a dog whether poking him with your fingers bent in claw formation has an effect that’s similar to when he was bitten, or whether your growling or biting seems similarly ferocious. In general, we shouldn’t assume that our actions mimic those of a dog or a wolf. Rather, we should evaluate each of our interactions with our pets and observe their response to determine how the pet perceived it.

© 2008 AVSAB  American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior