Science Says Dogs Really Hate Hugs. Really.
The Debrief: After you've read this you'll probably never hug your dog again. Sorry
Did you know that every single time you hug your dog he’s probably plotting how he can escape as quickly as possible without hurting your feelings? A scientist called Stanley Coren analysed 250 dog photos and found and discovered that in 81% of them the dogs were really not enjoying whatever hug they were in. Apparently they showed signs of anxiety and discomfort by looking down or away from their owners. Only 7.6% of the photographs showed dogs that were comfortable with being hugged, and the reamining 10.8% were netural.
The study, published in Psychology Today, shows that when dogs feel stressed or enclosed, their first thought is to run. It goes on to say: ‘Dogs are technically cursorial animals, which is a term that indicates that they are designed for swift running.’ So when we hug them tightly, we’re trapping them and they can’t run for the hills.
This news makes me feeling quite sad. It’s not like I go around hugging every dog I meet, but if I do come across a dog hugging it would be one of my first instincts. According to the report, dogs only hug us back because humans like the contact, which is adorable but still quite sad. It’s like a human doing something for someone they love even though they hate doing it against their will. Maybe next time you give your puppy a hug, if he looks down or away from you then he might be anxious, so as Avril Lavigne once wrote an entire, brilliant album about, let go.
Like this? You might also be interested in…
Follow Alyss on Twitter @alyssbowen
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating