One study says dogs do not like hugs and we find this very hard to believe. Not only do dogs dislike hugs, the study says they most likely hate it too!
According to the study led by animal behaviorist and researcher Dr. Stanley Coren, dogs only put up with the hugs we give them because they think their owners like doing it so much. It was also suggested that dogs get stressed out when they are being hugged.
Dogs Do Not Like Hugs Because They Feel Like They are Being Trapped
In the study published by Psychology Today, it was written that it was very likely that dogs’ stress and anxiety levels rise when they are hugged. While your intention is to make your Bulldog feel safe and loved, the study says you’re making him feel the other way around.
According to Dr. Coren, “the first line of defense that a dog uses is not his teeth, but rather his ability to run away. Behaviorists believe that depriving a dog of that course of action by immobilizing him with a hug can increase his stress level.”
This means that when your Bulldog is being hugged, he feels like he is trapped and cannot easily run away from danger.
How Do You Know If Dogs Do Not Like Hugs
In the study, Dr. Coren examined 250 photos of dogs being hugged and found that 81.6% of dogs in the photos showed at least one sign of anxiety or stress. This hints – if not prove – that dogs generally feel discomfort when they are receiving hugs. According to Dr. Coren, if your dog is showing the following signs of anxiety and stress when he or she is being hugged, he is probably not comfortable with receiving the sweet gesture.
- Turning away from the face when being hugged,
- Lowering of ears,
- Licking his own lips and nose,
- Doing the whale eyes,
- Licking the face of the hugger, and more.
You will probably assume that your Bulldog is only returning the love when he licks you back as you hug him. But that may not always be the case. According to Dr. Coren, dogs may be asking their hugger to let go by licking his (the hugger’s) face.
Well, hugging dogs is simply irresistible but would you still hug your Bulldog even when you know you’re making him feel uncomfortable? What do you think of this study? Do you think your dogs do not like hugs, too?