Why You Should Stop Hugging Your Dog


Is there anything better than getting home after a long day of work, opening your front door and seeing your dog waiting for you. Your pooch is so happy to see you that they can barely contain themselves and all you want to do is scoop them up in your arms and give them the world’s biggest cuddle. Well, some people are saying that hugging your dog is absolutely not what you should be doing and the reason why is surprisingly well thought out!

Apparently the reason we should stop hugging our four legged friends is very simple, they just don’t like it! While we might be enjoying our doggy cuddle time, our dogs are just putting up with it and would much rather be outside playing fetch. But where has this headline grabbing idea suddenly sprung from? Let’s find out!

Looks like the idea that you should stop hugging your dog has stemmed from an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Stanley Coren. Coren has a long history of dog psychology and science and writes the Psychology Today column, Canine Corner. It’s a recent column, Coren has stated that he thinks that dogs just aren’t enjoying their cuddle time and the reasoning lies in how they act when you try to hug it out.

We dog owners all know that we would never intentionally do anything that might cause our furry best friends any distress, but it looks like we just might not be noticing how our dogs feel about the cuddles we love. It can be hard to spot the signs of an unhappy pup when you’ve got your arms wrapped around them, giving them the cuddling of a lifetime.

Dog cognition scientist Dr. Alexandra Horowitz says that there are a few signs to look for that might show that your dog is uncomfortable with a hug. “They pin their ears back, they lick their lips (sort of air licking). Or, they yawn, which is another stress behaviour. Or they move to get away. Or they show this kind of whale-eye posture. You can see the whites of their eyes.” So basically, if your dog is making a face like this when you’re going in for a hug, they’re probably not all that happy about it.

It’s interesting to note though, that Dr. Stanley Coren admits that his thoughts on canine cuddles are based on observation, rather than peer-review studies. So basically, the man knows his stuff but until the science behind it is proven without a doubt, there’s still a chance that our furry friends could love cuddling after all. Which I’m pretty happy about because I’ve always been convinced that my dog loves a big hug and I’d hate to be wrong about that!

Where do you stand on the dog hugging debate? Are you going to stop hugging your dog starting now? Or is your dog still going to get all the cuddles it could ever want? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

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