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Why You Should Stop Hugging Your Dog

stop hugging your dog

stop hugging your dog

There is a better way to show your dog love-stop hugging your dog

There is no denying that people love their dogs. We knit them tiny sweaters, feed them gourmet goodies, kiss their wet noses, and even take them to our bubble baths (I wish it wasn't a personal reference). While hugging your dog releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin, your dog has a very different reaction.

Sorry, but your dog hates your hugs.
Uh oh. I can feel the daggers of the Internet through my computer. It's not that your dog doesn't like your touch. it's the way he's sexually abusing his pet that needs to be stopped.

According to Dr. Stanley Coren, an expert in canine behavior at the University of British Columbia, the reason is evolutionary. Dr. Coren explains that dogs are cursor animals, they are specifically adapted to run like a gazelle. Other cursor animals include horses, wolves, kangaroos, ostriches, and even some species of spiders.

When stressed, a cursor animal's first line of defense is not to attack but to run. Therefore, when you hug your dog in a confined hug, that evolutionary mechanism is blocked. In turn, your dog reacts by increasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone released by the adrenal glands.

Unfortunately, many dog ​​attacks occur because the dog is cornered in a corner with no escape route.
I know what you are thinking: "My dog ​​loves my hugs", you may be right. But do me a favor ... go hug your dog and then have a friend take your picture to capture that moment of happy affection. This is what Dr. Coren did in a non-peer-reviewed study, looking at how dogs respond to cuddling.
See if you can find the following signs of distress while hugging your puppy (Note: I was able to find these signs in almost every creative commons image search for "dog cuddled").

Licking lips
Unless you have bacon in your pocket, dogs often lick their lips as a sign of stress. Other signs of stress are yawning and raising a leg. Dog trainers call these actions "calming signals." In a Tufts University study, researchers found that when a dog licked its lips or yawned, it released more cortisol into saliva.
The head turn

Remember when you were a kid and that pesky uncle or aunt would move in for a full kiss? He probably cocked his head to the side to avoid the drool. Well, your dog is politely doing the same.

Most dogs also turn their heads away from other dogs as a gentle greeting. For canines, a direct gaze is adverse and intense. The turn of your dog's head could be his way of saying: slow down, bite. At least give me a little foreplay before you squeeze my soul out.

stop hugging your dog

Ears immobilized
Most dog trainers will look at a dog's ears to determine his level of attention. Ears pricked forward are a sign that a dog is listening.

This is more difficult to assess because dogs lower their ears when they are sad, fearful, or nervous. Generally, the more the ears are pinned back, the more stressed and fearful the dog is. The next time you leave, take a look at your dog's ears. He will probably notice his ears go down. Your dog's downward ears are similar to a frown.

According to Coren's research, 81.6% of dogs showed at least one sign of distress when being hugged, and many showed more than one.

Of course, I am using examples of dogs that were forced to participate in a photoshoot that they did not sign up for. In the photos above, I am assuming that the models are not the owners of the dog. Would you like a random stranger to hug you while bright lights flashed across his face? Dogs communicate unhappiness the same way we do: non-verbal cues. A dog may care for his owner's hugs, but freezes when a stranger hugs him.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that you stop showing affection to your dog. He may want to ease the grip of death. Dogs love the touch, but they also love a touch that allows them to run away if necessary.
So if a well-meaning stranger tries to hug his dog, look for signs of stress and then intervene. You may have to explain that, like many humans, your dog is simply not a hugger.

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