Dog Hug

Prepare yourself to be bummed out. But during a recent study published by the Journal “Psychology Today,” headed up by Stanley Coren, a canine behaviorist at the University of British Columbia found that. and published by the Journal “Psychology Today,” researchers found that “Dogs hate hugs.” I know, I know, we all love hugs, so how could dogs not- but unfortunately, the study seemed to find that although your dog might put up with that display of affection, in reality, the physical contact stresses them out. (Continued Below)

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Image: Flickr/ Humane Society Rochester

I can hear the collective “sigh” from dog owners and lovers around the world. But according to Coren, there are some obvious clues of distress you can look for from your dog

Coren explains, “that a dog’s most common outward signal of stress or anxiety is when he “turns his head away from whatever is bothering or worrying him, sometimes also closing his eyes, at least partially.” Also, “an anxious or stressed-out dog’s ears will be lowered or slicked against the side of his head,” Coren writes.

Coren and his colleagues analyzed a collection of photos of “dogs being hugged,” studying the subtle ques in both body language and facial expression and searching for signs of anxiety. He found that nearly 82 percent of dogs photographed displayed signs related to stress. The conclusion of the study was clear to everyone involved, Dogs Hate Hugs.

An embrace between two humans communicates things to each other such as “intimacy” and “care,” whereas for a dog it is unnatural, and it may mean something completely different for them.

“Coren explains why the restriction of an embrace may annoy or frighten a dog:

Dogs are technically cursorial animals, which is a term that indicates that they are designed for swift running. That implies that in times of stress or threat the first line of defense that a dog uses is not his teeth, but rather his ability to run away. Behaviorists believe that depriving a dog of that course of action by immobilizing him with a hug can increase his stress level and, if the dog’s anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite.

Coren says that a good alternative to the bear hug is a simple rub on the belly, a pat on the head, or a nice scratch on the back. Your dogs are sure to love those types of displays of affection.

Article: NY Mag