Researchers at the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service in Washington state say sometimes a bark is just a bark — but a long, loud panting sound has real meaning.
They say the long, loud pant is the sound of a dog laughing, and it has a direct impact on the behavior of other dogs.
This is absolutely fascinating news to me - especially as one of my Chow Chows (this one) routinely makes a panting/huffing vocalization that fits this description to five decimal places.
Who knew that she was laughing? Makes perfect sense, though.
ABC News: Sound of Dog's 'Laugh' Calms Other Pooches