Do you hug your German Shepherd? Study shows that most dogs do not like hugs! Not only do our four-legged but buddies dislike it, they hate them, too!
In the study led by prominent animal behaviorist and researcher Stanley Coren, dogs only put up with hugs because they think their humans like it so much. Most of us think that dogs relish hugs but the truth is they get stressed out every time they are hugged.
Dogs Do Not Like Hugs Because They Feel Trapped
In the study published in Psychology Today, Coren wrote that it seems very likely that the levels of stress and anxiety in dogs rise when we they are hugged. You are probably wondering why when your intention is to make your German Shepherd feel loved and safe.
Coren notes that “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 you hug your German Shepherd, you are making him feel like he or she is trapped and that he or she cannot run away from danger.
Signs Dogs Do Not Like Hugs
In the study, Coren looked through 250 random photo samples of dogs being hugged. The animal behaviorist found that in 81.6% of the photos, the dog who was receiving a hug showed at least one sign of anxiety and stress – proving that majority of dogs do not like hugs.
Coren also said that there are also subtle indicators that a dog is stressed and anxious including:
- Lowering of ears,
- Turning away from the hugger’s face,
- Licking of nose or lips,
- Whale eyes,
- Licking the hugger’s face,
- And more.
When your German Shepherd licks your face when you hug him, you’re probably thinking your show of love is being returned. But Coren noted that by licking the hugger’s face, the dog is simply asking to be let go.
It is very hard to resist hugging your German Shepherd but would you still do it even when you know he feels uncomfortable? Do you think your German Shepherd dogs do not like hugs, too?