(WTVF) — The fur may fly over this one — a new study may be heartbreaking news for dog owners.
Research shows that your dog doesn’t like to be hugged.
That’s right, your loyal canine companion only “puts up with it” because people enjoy hugs so much.
But every time you hug your dog, you are stressing it out and making it feel miserable.
In fact, hugs seem to raise dogs’ levels of anxiety and stress.
Here’s why: Researchers found that when we embrace a dog, we make it feel trapped and unable to run away from danger.
Researchers came to their conclusion after studying a random sampling of 250 pictures of people hugging dogs from Google Image Search and Flickr. They say there are several specific physical signs dogs exhibit when they are uncomfortable. and nearly 82% of the dogs in the photos exhibited at least one of these signs.
“The most common sign of anxiety is when the dog turns his head away from whatever is bothering or worrying him, sometimes also closing his eyes, at least partially,” says Dr. Stanley Coren, one of the researchers.
However, if it seems like your dog truly loves hugs, Dr. Marc Bekoff, a professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, says, “Just like people, some dogs love it, some sort of like it, and some may not like the close contact at all,”
If you want to show your beloved pet how much they mean to you, try a belly rub, a good pat on the head or the occasional treat.
Want to read more about the research? Click here.