(WTNH) — Do you show your dog affection like you do a human: by hugging them?
A new study from Psychology Today shows that giving your dog a hug can make them stressed out instead of enjoying it. An expert in canine behavior and human-animal bonding at the University of British Columbia analyzed 250 photos of people hugging their dogs and looked for signs of stress in the canines. In 81.6% of cases, the dogs showed at least one sign of being uncomfortable.
Since dogs are cursorial animals, they are designed for “swift running”. Hugging immobilizes them which causes high stress and if they are restricted for too long, they may bite.
Be sure to look for signs of discomfort in your dog including:
- A half-moon eye – where you can see the white portion of the eyes at the corner of the rim
- Lowered ears
- Lip licking
- Raising one paw
- Head turned to avoid eye contact