Throw your dog a bone and stop hugging him/her, will you? Turns out, they hate it, according to a study published in Psychology Today.
Psych professor and neuropsychological researcher Stanley Coren looked at a sample size of 250 online photos focusing on owners hugging dogs. From those images, Coren believed dogs didn’t enjoy the hugs. To test his hypothesis, Coren scoured photo-sharing sites such as Flickr and online search engines such as Google Image Search for 250 photos of dogs getting a hug. The criteria for choosing a picture is that the dog’s face in the picture is clearly visible, and the dog must have no external stressors present, such as an owner lifting a large dog off the ground for a hug. Coren then rated each photo in one of three ways: the dog had signs of stress, the dog was at ease, or the dog was neutral to the experience.
To determine the stress levels of a dog in a photo, Coren looked for a multitude of canine stress signs, including ears folded down, half moon eyes or submissive eye closure, no eye contact with the hugger or lip licking.
Coren’s hypothesis proved correct, as the results of his research study showed that 82 percent of the photos he looked at showed at least one sign of canine stress. Only 10 percent of the remaining photos were neutral while only a scant 8 percent of photos showed dogs enjoying the hug.
In other words, someone better come up with a children’s game that teaches kids just how much Fido stresses when they toss their arms around his fur and squeeze with all of their might. Instead, Coren suggests, show you pet you love him/her by giving it a treat.
Anyway, so dogs don’t like being hugged. But they sure do like getting hammered. Don’t believe us, check out these pics.