In the old days we would give a correction to a growl; it was believed that an uncorrected growl would be a prelude to a bite. Dogs were expected to heed their owners warnings, not the other way around.
I have great difficulty with the concept of backing down in any way from my own dog that growls at me. To me a warning is also a challenge, and an unmet challenge empowers the challenger.
You are claiming, I think, that correcting a growl will teach a dog to bite without warning.
I am, respectfully, curious as to the reasoning / evidence behind your claim.
I believe the unmet challenge actually DISempowers the challenger. This is a paradigm shift of great proportion for many people (not only people working with dogs..lol). Think of it as "not rising to the bait". This idea of not forcing submission is not about allowing the behaviour to continue, nor to allow it to escalate...it is about changing the perception of the situation (for both dog and owner) to allow a change in the behaviour to occur.
A dog is resource guarding the couch. You are given the "eye", stiffness and a bit of a snarl. If you FORCE this dog, who has given you a series of communications (This is my couch, don't push it), the chances of a bite being delivered are high. The bite not only injures you but causes a real change in the attitude on both of your parts. The dog learns biting works and you learn not to trust your dog. Bad news for both.
If, instead, you lure the dog off the couch with food or a toy you are not being a threat to the dog and he is not a threat to you. Ask for a sit and get it. Dog is rewarded. Then you 'manage' for a period by catching the dog BEFORE he gets on the couch, ask for a sit, and reward it. Or you leave a leash on if he does manage to get on and SAFELY remove him from the couch, ask for a sit and reward the sit. What happens eventually is that the dog LEARNS it is more rewarding to be on the floor in a sit, than it is to get on the couch. Dog also learns the couch is just not that big a deal.
The basis of this is in nonconfrontational learning. It works with people too, believe me.
As for the sequence...it goes like mentioned above. Freeze (very short duration), lift of lip, if they are guarding something the head is often directed towards the "thing" but their eyes are on you. Then the growl. Then a snap (if your dog has good bite inhibition it will be a miss), then a bite, most likely a good one. Dogs are MUCH faster than humans so depending on your own speed to be able to "correct" the bite before it happens is very very risky.
Growling comes from many things and in many "tones". There is a big difference between the "I'm uncomfortable" growl and a true warning growl. A true warning growl is more likely to be very low in tone, almost so you FEEL it more than hear it. Dogs growl in play, when they are in pain, feel threatened or are guarding. This is all a form of communication and to respect our dog's communication means we can look at the "issue" and change it. NILIF is a big component of earning your dog's respect, force is unnecessary. If you take the growl out of the sequence and do not know to look for the other parts of the sequence (as many people do not, hence the "he bit me out of the blue" comments that come up in forums like this) the human is MUCH more likely to put himself in harms way.
Another point is that if you respect the growl as communication and work on the issue at hand
the dog never gets the chance to "practice" the next step. This is stopping the sequence at a safe place and the dog never gets to "learn" that a bite works. Since dogs do what works..this is the safest option.
Giving up the "idea" that this behaviour is a challenge to you personally and that is based in disrespect of your 'leadership" is a tough one for us humans. Almost all aggression is based in fear or anxiety. There ARE truly handler aggressive dogs out there who do 'challenge' their owners and anyone else who happens along, but thankfully they are truly rare..but the advice for them is often the same.
I hope I managed to answer the question. I'm a bit boggled today. LOL.