02 May 2016

Don't Hug the Dog

Dr. Stanley Coren, author of “How to Speak Dog,” recently examined 250 photos from the internet of dogs being hugged, looking for signs of stress and relaxation.

His thoughts, published in Psychology Today, indicate hugging the family dog is not a good idea.

81.6% of the photographs showed dogs who were giving off at least one sign of discomfort, stress, or anxiety. Only 7.6% of the photographs could rate as showing dogs that were comfortable with being hugged. The remaining 10.8% of the dogs were either showing neutral or ambiguous responses to being hugged.

(Psychology Today)

“This data clearly shows that while a few dogs may like being hugged, more than four out of five dogs find this human expression of affection to be unpleasant and/or anxiety arousing,” Coren wrote.

Coren's results support the long-held belief by animal behaviour experts and dog bite prevention organizations who encourage not hugging or kissing dogs.

In fact, Doggone Safe, dedicated to dog bite prevention through education and awareness, lists "Dogs Don't Like Hugs and Kisses" as number one of the three most important things to teach your kids.

Read the full story here.

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