Dog Psychology: Stop Trying To Hug Your Dog
Dogs are the best people. They miss you when you are gone, they are happy to see you when you return, and they hold a grudge against anyone they think might be hurting you. It kind of makes you want to give them a great big hug, right? Not so fast.
Did you know that dogs actually hate it when you hug them? Researchers studied pictures of people who were hugging dogs and found that the vast majority of them- 81.6%- were showing visible signs of distress. Hugging your dog may make him feel stressed out, anxious, or otherwise uncomfortable, and since he can’t tell you, you may not even know it. But not to worry- your dog still loves you a lot and there’s plenty of other cool stuff he can do.
Have you ever heard a dog laugh? Chances are you have and you just didn’t know it. And not only can they laugh, they also respond to other dogs laughing. When puppies were played a recording of a dog laughing they immediately stopped what they were doing and started playing together. How cool is that?
Dog Psychology : Stop Trying To Hug Your Dog
Your dog also forms attachments to his other canine friends. Dogs who have experienced the loss of a friend show signs of what we typically consider a human condition- depression. They became withdrawn, lost interest in their typical daily activities, became clingy with their owners, and lost their appetites.
Loyalty is still one of your dog’s strongest traits, though. The majority of dogs who witnessed their owners being mistreated by a stranger later refused to take a treat from that stranger. They also want to help you feel better whenever they can. Even when dogs were around strangers, if that stranger was crying the majority of dogs would attempt to cheer the stranger up. Did I mention dogs are the best people?
Dogs interact with each other in may of the same ways that people do. They mirror each other’s facial expressions and emotions much like their human counterparts. They also get jealous like humans do. In one study, dog owners were given a toy dog to pay attention to in front of their actual dog. Nearly 90% of dogs snapped at the toy dogs or tried to separate them from their owners. Your dog just wants to be with you, man!
Science proves your dog loves you in other ways as well. When dogs were tested for their oxytocin levels alone versus when they were with their owners, their oxytocin levels were found to have risen nearly 60% in the presence of their two-legged friends. It’s not all that surprising considering they literally run to see you as soon as you get home every afternoon. Does your cat do that? I didn’t think so.
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Learn more about the emotional needs of dogs from this infographic. It’s full of surprising and wonderful things you probably never knew about your four-legged furbabies. Now go spend some time with your dog- just don’t try to give him a hug.