WATCH: A new study says most dogs hate hugs. Are canine cuddles stressing out man’s best friend? Tess van Straaten take a look.
Walking along the Dallas Road Waterfront, it’s clear Victoria has gone to the dogs.
Our four-legged friends are everywhere and we lavish a lot of love on our pooches.
But according to a new study published in Psychology Today, dogs hate being hugged and all the canine cuddles are stressing them out.
“I have to admit sometimes when I wrap my arms around him he does kinda stay away,” one dog owner told CHEK News.
But most dotting dog owners disagree, saying their dogs love to be hugged.
“He just loves to be hugged and he’s happy to be hugged indefinitely,” one senior said.
“My dog loves to cuddle and I give her a hug all the time and she loves it,” added another.
Even so, experts say the overwhelming majority of dogs hate it.
“The internet is filled with happy people hugging stressed dogs!” says University of British Columbia psychology professor and canine expert Stanley Coren, who wrote the Psychology Today article.
Coren analyzed 250 images of dogs being hugged and found more than 81 per cent showed signs of stress. Only 7.6 per cent of the photos showed dogs comfortable with the cuddle and the remaining 10.8 per cent were either neutral or ambiguous.
“Dogs are a cursorial species which means they’re designed to run quickly so when we hug the dog we basically prevent him from doing what he would normally do if he were under stress,” Coren explains. “They may tolerate it, but it causes them distress.”
Subtle signs your dog hates being hugged
Even if you think your dog likes hugs, they could secretly hate them.
Subtle signs of stress include looking away, folding their ears down, closing their eyes or showing you the whites of their eyes.
Yawning and raising a single paw are also warning signs.
Experts say the issue is that we’re trying to treat our pets like furry little people.
So if they could talk, dogs might just say they’d take a treat over another dog-gone hug.