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You may love hugging your dog once you get home, or when you feel super-affectionate, but guess how your canine friend feels about it? She hates it. Researchers recently confirmed that dogs hate hugs, so much so that it stresses them out. Let us take a look at how the researchers arrived at the revelation, and how true it is.Why do dogs hate hugs?
Researchers studied over 250 pictures that showed dogs being hugged by their owners. After thoroughly looking at the images, and evaluating the dogs’ reactions they noticed something in common. Nearly 80 percent of the canines in the pictures showed stressful reactions. These signs of stress include yawning, slicked-down ears, baring teeth, looking away, raised paw or licking lips. It was evident that dogs don’t like hugs.So why don’t dogs like hugs? Dogs are accustomed to running when they feel stressed, rather than biting. However, when being hugged, their ability to run is naturally restricted, causing them to get stressed out. If the dog feels threatened any further when being hugged, it could even cause her to bite you. What is interesting is that there were other studies carried out previously that drew a similar conclusion. Previous research studies had found that people were hugging their pets, just moments before they were bitten. The dogs naturally felt threatened in the situation and nipped at them. Parents need to be especially careful and monitor their kids around pets, discouraging them from hugging the pet, said the researchers. It’s good for your dogs
, and kids.Should you stop hugging your pet?
Not necessarily. What animal behavior experts say is that the signs of stress showed by dogs in the pictures could be due to other reasons, possible because they were made to pose for the picture. The research was more of an observation, and did not even release the associated data, so we should not be taking its findings as seriously. So, does that mean you can be hugging your dog or any other random dog that you find on the street? Well, it depends.You certainly do not want to do the latter, as you do not know the dog. Pet experts say that you should hug a dog only after taking into account other factors. How comfortable is the dog with you? What is the dog doing at present? Are you in a new place? These are just some questions you want to ask, to decide whether or not your dog won’t mind you hugging her. If you cannot decide whether or not it is alright to hug your dog, then you should probably just stick to patting her on the head or giving her the good old belly rubs.