It sure feels great to put your arms around your dog and give the pooch a gentle hug! Well, according to a dog-training expert, most of the dogs don’t feel that way. For those that have or have owned a dog, you know it’s difficult not to spoil them with tons of love and cuddles. Should we refrain from hugging and just pet them or give them belly rubs?
Let’s see what the research shows. Maybe we’ve shown our affection wrong all this time…
20. Adorable Dogs
You can’t just ignore adorable tiny or huge and fluffy dogs! So, the obvious next move is getting close and give them a hug. And it feels so great! Our minds just go empty and we don’t want to ever let go…
19. No! Not That Again!
However, it looks like dogs aren’t really into hugs as we’d tend to believe. If they’re our pets, it might be that they just accept the fact that we’re hugging them and they’re dealing with it. But that’s sad!
18. Know Your Facts
If you’re a dog lover, you should get to know all the facts before you stop hugging your pooch. You have to observe the way they react when you hug them and see for yourself if they like it or they’d rather be left alone. Here’s what you should know.
17. Canine Corner With Dr. Stanley Coren
In the ‘Psychology Today’ column, Dr. Stanley Coren shares his piece of mind on his long experience of dog psychology and science. His column is based only on observation and the study he’s done is not peer-reviewed. What does it mean?
16. Research-Based on Observation
Dr. Stanley Coren’s research hasn’t been reviewed or approved by other scientists. But it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t check out what he has to say. His explanation sounds good enough. Here’s what a dog cognition scientist said…
15. A Behavioral Pattern
According to how a dog reacts when getting a hug, people can assume that the pooch likes the way it feels or they don’t enjoy it. And if you have or had a dog, you know how they look when they’re uncomfortable.
14. The Way They Look
‘The reason why we say they don’t like being hugged is because of what they look like when you’re hugging them’, said Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, who is a dog cognition scientist. So, how do we know they don’t like being hugged?
Dogs can show they’re uncomfortable with different body language that humans should pay attention to. Unfortunately for many of us, we don’t get the hints, especially when it’s our house dog – because we know they love us back…
12. Ok, Go Ahead, Know Yourself Out…
According to Horowitz, dogs just ‘deal with being hugged’, because they know you’re soon going to stop it.
‘You are, right? When are you going to stop with all these hugs? Am I getting a treat for this?’
11. A Certain Danger Comes With a Hug
It’s very important to know your pooch and know how they react to other people when they get hugged. Some dogs are not patient enough, and when around children they’re even more anxious. It all depends on the dog, though…
10. You Don’t Have to Be a Scientist
It’s common sense to teach children how to be around dogs and if the pooches are not comfortable getting hugged, then resume hugging only your two-legged loved ones. However, we have some good news and you could hug your dog if…
9. A Set of Observations
Dr. Coren’s study was not published in a scientific journal, declaring that his column is ‘a set of casual observations’. This could mean that we could hug our dogs if we don’t see these reactions…
8. A No-Hugger
Your dog doesn’t want hugs if they: turn their heads away to avoid eye contact, if they half-close their eyes, and you see the whites of their eyes – ‘half-moon eye’. Lowering their ears is also a signal and when you see them licking their lips or yawning, you should back down.
7. Shake It Off
Another sign that dogs hate getting hugged is when they shake off after the hug like they would after getting wet. These are the ‘cutoff signals’ that should tell us to stop hugging our dogs because they get anxious.
6. The Other Side of The Story
People have been shocked to hear that our loyal companions hate our hugs, so a new interview has been added in Psychology Today, where the animal behavior author and co-founder of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Marc Bekoff, comes with a different opinion!
5. It Actually Depends
Bekoff said that we should ‘pay close attention to what you know about the individual dog and what she or he is telling you’, and that’s reasonable enough. That’s what Coren also said in his study. Bekoff, however, said that some dogs enjoy hugs.
4. Dogs Are Unique
A lot of dogs enjoy getting their portion of daily hugs from their human friends and if we don’t give them the hug, they’ll jump into our arms to get it! Other dogs are just okay with it, allowing their humans to have their way and squeeze them for a few seconds…
3. Reactions in the Media
Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe columnist, reacted to the study and had to say something about it. He said that he will never stop hugging his dog, Duncan. Writer Liz Farrell wrote on islandpacket.com these next emotional words…
2. They’re For Us
Liz Farrell said something that brought tears to our eyes: ‘Those hugs aren’t for our dogs. They’re for us’. And it’s true because hugging a loved person or an animal is what helps us get through difficult times.
1. Hugging is Great
‘If humans can’t hug dogs, then what kind of world do we live in?’ asks Liz Farrell. And you know what we think? It would be a cold and dark world if we couldn’t hug our pooches!