It doesn’t matter how cuddly her little face is, or even if her name is Dr. Cuddlepaws, your dog hates hugs.
And though it may be an emotionally restorative exercise for you to bury your face in her fur and wrap your arms around her neck, it’s likely just stressful for her.
Know this: It’s not your fault. Phew. The problem lies in the fact that your dog is not a human. (So his name is Peter and he has an assortment of bow-ties, he still is not people.)
According to Stanley Coren, a dog expert and author of many books about dog behaviour, dogs are genetically designed to run away, and smothering them with anything, even affection, can cause them to want to get the heck out, or if that’s not an option, to chomp down on the restraining object.
And while that paw in the air, dopey eyes or extra-licky behaviour may seem adorable, those are actually observable signs of stress. With this in mind, Coren set out to study the Internet’s vast library of dog hug photos and see just how many of the canine participants looked willing.
“I can summarize the data quite simply by saying that the results indicated that the Internet contains many pictures of happy people hugging what appear to be unhappy dogs,” Coren says in an article penned on Psychologytoday.com.
Here’s one image with a breakdown of the signs of an unhappy puppy.
So quit hugging your dog. Get a teddy bear, or a human. Or a cat. The dog told us cats love being hugged.