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Do You Hug Your Dog? Study Says Hugging Stresses Out Our Canine Friends


“The Internet contains many pictures of happy people hugging what appear to be unhappy dogs.”

Image source: Twitter

According to a recent study published in Psychology Today, hugging your dog might make you happy, but it appears to be something your dog prefers to do without.

In fact, data gathered by Stanley Coren, PhD., shows hugging your canine companions causes them stress and might actually increase the incidents of dogs biting owners' faces.

Coren's theory is based on a study of 250 of images posted online showing dog owners hugging their pets. Examining the images, Coren found 81.6 percent of the dogs exhibited at least one of the signs of stress or anxiety — ears lowered, looking away from owner, licking lips or yawning and "submissive eye closing" — when being hugged.

Only 7.6 percent of the images were appeared to show dogs being "comfortable with being hugged."

This data lead Coren to declare, "the Internet contains many pictures of happy people hugging what appear to be unhappy dogs."

While Coren's data appears to show overwhelming evidence dogs don't appreciate being hugged, when presented with the results of the study, many dog owners beg to differ.

As many on social media chimed in, denying Coren's hypothesis and declaring their dogs love getting hugs, Psychology Today published a follow-up article from another author, stating, "Hugging a Dog Is Just Fine When Done With Great Care."

In his response to Coren's study, Mark Bekoff, PhD. makes his case for the pro-hugging canine lover, while adding a few caveats about certain breeds, the hugger's relationship with the dog and the situation.

"The bottom line is that when you hug a dog it's on their terms, not yours."

The topic of hugging your dog was discussed on TheBlaze Radio.


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