Science Says You're Stressing Your Dog Out When You Do This One Thing


I'm not usually one to argue with science, but I'm about to straight-up punch a nerd over this.

Some recent data apparently shows dogs hate hugs, and dog owners should probably stop stressing their pets out by smothering them with physical affection.

Wow, worst research project ever, am I right?

According to Stanley Coren of Psychology Today, animal behaviorists believe hugging dogs is akin to immobilizing them and raises their stress and anxiety levels.

In an attempt to prove this theory, Coren collected photos from the Internet of people hugging dogs and judged the dogs' visible stress indicators, such as drooped ears and avoidance of eye contact.


Based on this method, Coren determined 81.6 percent of the photos he examined featured dogs that were uncomfortable.

Behaviorists already warn parents against letting children hug their dogs because they claim it increases the likelihood of the dogs biting. Now, Coren's research appears to back this claim up.

OK, so dogs probably don't like being hugged. I can accept that.

But, that doesn't mean those puppers are getting out of being told what good boys they all are.

Citations: We're sorry to break this to you, but your dog hates hugs (Metro), The Data Says "Don't Hug the Dog!" (Psychology Today)