I will embrace my instinct, whenever I see my dog I rush to hug her. Hugging is the purest way of displaying affection unless of course, it’s non-consensual because that is just straight up molestation.
But when it comes to our furry family members how do we know if our adorable canines have assented to physical love? After all, dogs and humans have different understandings of social behaviours, particularly when it comes to cuddles.
To answer my own question, the harsh (and frankly unpopular) reality is that your dog hates your hugs.
You Can Do A Litmus Test To Prove The Theory At Home
I know, I know. If I had said this aloud in the public, an enraged mob would have ripped me apart. But you do not need to buy my word on this. If you are in doubt, you can see for yourself. Just get a friend to record a video of you when you are hugging your dog and observe its reaction.
I can assure you that as you wrap your arms around your pet it won’t stand up in excitement and wag its tail. It will - instead - give in and deal with it politely, meanwhile suffering in misery.
Dr Stanley Coren Has Proven That Dogs Hate Hugs With His Research
University of British Columbia’s Dr Stanley Coren had first concluded about dogs response to hugs. He listed his observations in a column at Psychology Today, which was backed by several other researchers and dog trainers.
According to Dr Coren, dogs are cursorial animals, i.e. their immediate reflex to danger is escape, not attack. When you captively caress your dog, it stimulates an increase in its cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released by the adrenal glands. Hence, a surge in its volume makes the animal nervous.
In dogs, hugs communicate a sense of internment, which triggers a response to break free. This is the reason why dogs often attack people when they attempt to approach them in cramped places.
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Getting Irritated By Your Hugs
It is fairly easy to notice when if your dog gets irritated by cuddles as it reacts with body movements to express its unease. It may send off calming signals like lip-licks and yawns, or may adversarially turn its head away in dismay.
A more prominent indicator of a dog’s annoyance is the position of its ears. It is a known fact that dogs lower their ears in apprehension and the more pinned down their ears are, the more they are stressed. Lowered ears are a warning sign- a bell to back off and give some space.
You Can't Hug Your Dog, But You Can Still Love Your Dog
There are countless ways in which we can express our love for our beloved family members which do not involve exasperating them. Knit your fluff-ball a fluffy sweater, plant pecks on its cheeks, or massage its neck - just do anything that does not vex your precious pet.