We’re Sorry To Break It To You, But Dogs Really Hate Being Hugged


Woman hugging a dog

We love dogs. Like flat out adore them, and we’re fairly prone to showing them our affection by giving them a big old squeeze on the regular.

But here’s the thing: if you thought you were showing your adorable poochy-woo just how cute and adorable they are, well it turns out you’re wrong, because they’re actually scared of hugs. Like terrified.


According to a study published by Stanley Coren in Psychology Today, hugs from a human actually make dogs feel a whole lot of stress.

Stanley explains “at the high-end of stress, we have dogs who bare their teeth. But, there are subtler indicators. The most common sign of anxiety is when the dog turns his head away from whatever is bothering or worrying him, sometimes also closing his eyes, at least partially. Alternatively, dogs will often show what is commonly called a “half-moon eye” or “whale eye” which is where you can see the white portion of the eyes at the corner or the rim.”

Using this knowledge, Stanley then took to the web and used 250 photos of people hugging their dogs. He found that in 82 percent of the photographs, the dogs showed signs of stress like the ones mentioned above.

“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,” he concludes.

We don’t know about you, but we’re heartbroken. <3


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