I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of us really enjoy hugging our dogs, for the simple reason that we love them dearly. But new research by canine behaviorists suggests that the dogs don’t find it as enjoyable as we do. Writing in Psychology Today, Stanley Coren writes,
“Behaviorists believe that depriving a dog of that course of action by immobilizing him with a hug can increase his stress level and, if the dog’s anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite.”
So it pays to look for cues from the dog to see if he or she is uncomfortable. And this is another reason that you shouldn’t allow kids to hug a strange dog.
What do you think? Is your dog a hugger or not?