April 14, 2016

Don't hug your dog.

"[T]hese data clearly show that while a few dogs may like being hugged, more than four out of five dogs find this human expression of affection to be unpleasant and/or anxiety arousing."

65 comments:

Michael K said...

How did they do the survey ? Telephone ?

traditionalguy said...

Dog hugs are a controlling acts over them. Trump doesn't like being hugged either. But he is one loyal watch dog.

Earnest Prole said...

We don't hug our dogs because we think they like it; we hug them to communicate our dominance, and that makes them better dogs.

Eleanor said...

What about when your dog hugs you? Is that OK?

campy said...

So whose dog should I hug?

Fabi said...

I hope it's still okay to let my dog lick peanut butter off of my balls. Don't worry, it's a girl dog -- there's nothing queer about me.

Meade said...

"So whose dog should I hug?"

Not Fabi's.

Tank said...

@Fabi

Medal for most trusting dog owner.

============================

Later I'll explain to my daughter's dog how he does not like it when we hug him (he has a funny way of showing it, i.e. begging for more).

Tank said...

Don't hug me Dude.

Don't hug me Dude.

Sal said...

So it's like a kid getting a big smooch from Grandma. The dog just has to deal with it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

My dog tolerates a neck-hug if he's sitting down but stretches his head away if you try it when he's standing.
He likes sometimes to sit or stand right beside me and lean into my leg, though, which I take as his equivalent of a hug.
Dogs aren't people--good to know.

Fabi said...

In a slightly more serious vein -- dogs love to be hugged. I've owned three Labradors over the years and I think they'd cry if they didn't get hugged every day. I call shenanigans on this study!

JCC said...

65% of tested psychology papers were complete crap.
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/05/scientific-regress

So, chances are hugging your dog is more than likely a fun, healthy thing for the animal. (just kidding. I suspect most dogs probably do hate it except from the most trusted of the human pack members)

By the way, a couple of years ago, the periodical Psychology Today (Source of the OP) ran a special: subscribe and receive three free issues in an introductory period, then decide if you want to continue. My wife signed up, never received a single issue of the magazine but did immediately receive multiple bills for an annual subscription which eventually were sent to a collection agency, proving to me at least, that the staff at Psychology Today are pathological liars and insane.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

There was nothing in the first paragraph to distinguish between holding a dog, properly, and squeezing a dog, improperly, so I stopped reading, anticipating a bad signal-to-noise ratio.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

This very second I have before me a book by Dr. Ian Dunbar.

On the cover is a photograph of him holding a dog.

And there we have proof positive that the pioneer of positive, preventative puppy training is one cold-hearted, insensitive bastard.

MikeD said...

Where's Zeus?

Michael K said...

"immediately receive multiple bills for an annual subscription which eventually were sent to a collection agency, proving to me at least, that the staff at Psychology Today are pathological liars and insane."

The Los Angeles Times did the same thing to me some years ago. They might be the same people.

Capt. Schmoe said...

I don't care whether they like it or not. I like it. It is the price of being my dog, one that they very willingly pay. Being my dog is a pretty good deal for them.

CStanley said...

I heard that Ted Cruz chases his dog around the house trying to hug him. And when he succeeds, the dog shows unmistakable involuntary twitches of revulsion.

Or maybe that was his tail wagging or that tickle twitch that dogs do with their back foot. But we should probably assume revulsion because....Ted Cruz.

Coconuss Network said...

I disagree with the article in my pup's case. She loves to be held and hugged. She actually coos like a baby. And when she feels happy and well, yes she licks her lips as she does when she likes her food, it's a positive sign. And most obvious is her shake when she's really happy that I look deep into her eyes and let her know I love her. My pup is a lil pup. Maybe the heartier dogs are different. Mine is half-human. She loves affection and lets me know when she needs me.

American Liberal Elite said...

Both my dogs dislike being hugged, but they do some things that I dislike too, so we're even.

n.n said...

Be a scientist. Observe. Discern. Adapt.

That said, don't hug your neighbor's dog, cat, ape, etc. They may bite, scratch, and dismember you, respectively.

Certainly don't hug your neighbor's wife, children, etc. He may neuter you.

Browndog said...

I'm not as big of a fan of human/dog hugging as my dog is.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

It's a positive sign.

I'm going to assume that's irony.

But in an overabundance of caution, and with love in my heart, I'll note that the lip licking might not be what you might think it is. LINK.

You can do your own research on the whimpering, eye stare and shaking part.

Bob Boyd said...

Studies have shown dogs are a gateway hug. Kids who hugged their dogs frequently went on to hug other animals and even people.

Fernandinande said...

JCC said...
65% of tested psychology papers were complete crap.
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/05/scientific-regress


HT Pinker, again:
Study that undercut psych research got it wrong
"Widely reported analysis that said much research couldn’t be reproduced is riddled with its own replication errors, researchers say"

Bruce Hayden said...

And this is really going to work well. How many people with house dogs don't hug them? I have no doubt that most of those Service Dogs in particular get hugged almost to death. We are talking a lot of dysfunctionality covered by dog hugging.

rhhardin said...

Dogs can't hug. Their shoulders are jointed wrong.

rhhardin said...

Hug your bear.

Deb said...

"lip licking might not be what you might think it is."

I thought that referred to the dog licking his owner's lips. I don't mind the hugs but NO LICKY.

Tank said...

rhhardin said...

Dogs can't hug. Their shoulders are jointed wrong.


They tongue hug.

Tank said...

Tank said...

rhhardin said...

Dogs can't hug. Their shoulders are jointed wrong.

They tongue hug.


It's called French Hugging.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The consensus seems to be that, when a dog licks a human, the dog is, among other things, trying to make you vomit.

Henry said...

Dog's hate having their pictures taken.

I can prove this as follows:

Dogs are technically cursorial animals, which is a term that indicates that they are designed for swift running. That implies that in times of stress or threat the first line of defense that a dog uses is not his teeth, but rather his ability [to become blurry].

Given how well accepted the idea is that [being photographed] is not something which dogs like ... all that I needed then to conduct the research was a source of photographic material showing [dogs in photographs].

I used a variety of criteria to try to keep the data as clean and precise as possible. I only used photos where the dog's face was clearly visible. I also eliminated situations where one might expect the dog's stress level to rise because of factors other than being [photographed] (such as when a large dog is being lifted off the ground while being [photographed]).

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.


This is a clever, test but wildly unscientific. The words "double blind" come to mind.

Fernandinande said...

"One common visible sign of stress or anxiety is when the dog's ears are lowered or slicked against the side of the head. Lip licking or licking a person's face can also be signs of anxiety as can yawning or raising one paw. These signs and other similar ones should be easy to detect in stressed dogs."

Those are also signs of submission (or submissiveness). Our neighbor's dog, which runs loose, does all those things (except perhaps yawning) quite eagerly and voluntarily when it interacts with our dogs. It's also big on the "submissive grimace" which looks like a snarl.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Why my cat still thinks, after all these years, that kneading my foot is going to get him some breast milk, causes me to reflect poorly on my own well-established behavior and the probability of the existence of free will.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Something about doing the same thing over and over, every time expecting a result different from all the others.

Fernandinande said...

Henry said...
This is a clever, test but wildly unscientific. The words "double blind" come to mind.


You're right - a better "study" would show just the dogs' faces without the viewer knowing whether or not they're being hugged. (or hugging)

But I think the article is sorta correct in that dogs probably don't like being grabbed and held, especially by people they don't know; it's pretty close to what dogs do to each other to show dominance, like putting one paw on the back of another dog.


Fernandinande said...

Ears against head, whites of eye visible. Horror-movie looking hyena fighting wild dogs.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The story goes that, when I was just a toddler, there was a fight between my great-grandfather and my grandfather over my great-grandfather's practice of "purchasing" hugs and kisses from me with gifts of candy and toys, etc. My grandfather took the position that my sole motivation should be love, and love alone.

I don't remember any of that, but I do know that I remember my great-grandfather with fondness and affection, and that I remember my grandfather as a irritable, scolding, angry, volatile, alcoholic.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Barbara Woodhouse gets credit for the three F's of dog training: Fun, Fair and Firm.

I'm going to put payment for affection at the intersection of fun and fair.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

LEONARD HOFFSTADDER: [indignantly] You can't train my girlfriend as if she's a dog!!!!

SHELDON COOPER: [calmly] Apparently, I can.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Sheldon rewarding Penny for appropriate behavior.

Nonapod said...

Yeah this should be more common knowledge. I've known about this for a least a few years now. If you really care about your dog you shouldn't put it in a position where it feels stressed or uncomfortable if you can avoid it.

Laslo Spatula said...

Had to put to sleep my cat of seventeen years yesterday.

Was apparently fine, then sudden unstoppable bleeding, horrible lab results.

He would purr when you held him and stroked the underside of his wisdom chin, before eventually putting a pink paw to your nose to let you know he was done with that and had to go see something about something or other.

Through thick and thin, Mr. K..

I am Laslo.

n.n said...

So, most dogs are transphobic. I'm surprised by the advice offered by the predominantly liberal psychos. I guess dogs are not included in their special and peculiar interests.

jimbino said...

Touching dogs is disgusting.

Diseases Acquired From Dogs include:

* Anthrax
* Blastomycosis
* Bergeyella (Weeksella) zoohelcum
* Brucella canis
* Campylobacteriosis
* Capnocytophaga canimorsus
* Capnocytophaga cynodegmi
* CDC groups EF-4a and EF-4b
* CDC group NO-1
* Cheyletiellosis
* Coenurosis
* Cryptosporidiosis
* Cutaneous larva migrans
* Demodex folliculorum
* Dermatophytosis
* Dipylidium caninum
* Echinococcosis
* Francisella tularensis
* Gastrospirillum hominis
* Granulocytic ehrlichiosis
* Leptospirosis
* Lyme disease
* Neisseria canis
* Neisseria weaveri
* Pasteurella multocida
* Plague
* Rabies
* Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
* Salmonellosis
* Scabies
* Staphylococcus intermedius
* Strongyloides stercoralis
* Trichinosis
* Visceral larva migrans
* Yersinia enterocolitica

Unknown said...

Eh....I have two dogs, and they are always gluttons for affection to the point of jumping on my chest when I'm lying in bed and basically forcing me to hug them. Totally different dogs, too - one is a wirehaired dachshund, the other is some kind of whippet/Chihuahua mix.

Henry said...

You're right - a better "study" would show just the dogs' faces without the viewer knowing whether or not they're being hugged. (or hugging)

That's more or less what I was thinking. Plus you could give the set of indicators to a group of people who didn't know what they were supposed to indicate. Then they would grade the photographs without a) knowing what the grade meant and b) seeing the non-dog information.

Meade said...

@Laslo, I'm sorry for your loss.

Fritz said...

JCC said...
65% of tested psychology papers were complete crap.
http://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/05/scientific-regress

So, chances are hugging your dog is more than likely a fun, healthy thing for the animal. (just kidding. I suspect most dogs probably do hate it except from the most trusted of the human pack members)


65% seems a little low to me.

But that said, hugs aren't natural to dogs, since they have no arms to hug with. But I don't like being licked in the face that much either, so we agree to keep it down to enough the keep us both satisfied.

Fritz said...

Eric the Fruit Bat said...
LEONARD HOFFSTADDER: [indignantly] You can't train my girlfriend as if she's a dog!!!!

SHELDON COOPER: [calmly] Apparently, I can.


There's a funny story about B.F. Skinner that's too good to check. Apparently some of his students decided to condition him to stand in one corner of the classroom by showing disinterest when he was on one side of the room, and then showing great enthusiasm when he went to the other side. In one period they had him stand in a small corner.

Fabi said...

My condolences, Laslo.

Bill Peschel said...

From me to you, Laslo. I have and had cats [and dogs, too].

As I get older, I tend to ignore news like this. Seems to smack of "life; you're doing it wrong."

Especially when 40 years later, we're told what we were told then is now wrong.

It's like humans are more complicated to figure out than we think.

befinne said...

This has long been known. Apes, like us, love hugging. Canines don't hug and experience being covered by another canine as an expression of dominance. So while you had better be dominant over your pet, they don't have to like hugs. You big ape.

Char Char Binks said...

I hug my dog, but I don't hold him too tight, and I let go as soon as he shows any sign of distress, and almost always before any such sign. Yes, I'm virtue signaling.

Laslo Spatula said...

Meade, Fabi, Bill: thank you.

Deeply.

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

Condolences, Laslo.

Deb said...

Laslo: We lost two cats last year and the remaining two are around fifteen. They seem okay but I know they can't have many more years. I'm sorry about your cat.

Carl Heppenstall said...

Don't live with a dog if you can't love your dog, and don't publish idiotic studies.
Merci.

JAORE said...

Oh Laslo, I am so sorry. Animals are the dearest of friends.

We have been through that and facing it again. Chrissie the pooch is 16 and covered with tumors. Nearly blind and deaf she loses control of her rear legs some days. But she's not in pain and the tail wags far more than it droops. The vet gave her 3 months to live over two years ago. We are happily running up the debt in her borrowed time fund.

Comanche Voter said...

Laslo those are hard, hard trips to the vet to have an aged pet put down. Been there, done that several times now because humans outlive their pets. It never gets easy. You do it as an act of love, but boy the emotional price is high. My condolences.

Bill S. said...

Laslo, so sorry for your loss. Your cat had a great home and many years of love. Hang in there.

mikee said...

My daughter owns the one out of five dogs that loves to be hugged. I call him "Mister No-Personal-Space" because his favored position is to leap into someone's lap without warning and jam his entire body onto the victim, from crotch to face, expecting to be hugged and rubbed and wriggled and wrestled.

Makes me wonder about my daughter's dog training methods, it does.

mishu said...

This is a ridiculous study.

1.) Most dogs hate having their picture taken. The author even admits that.
2.) Any hug attempts by uncoordinated toddlers should be left out of the study. Toddlers' lack of grace can induce stress in the dog. And I would never encourage a toddler to hug a dog.
3.) Strangers hugging dogs can be stressful. Not every dog is a social butterfly.

Therefore, if you have an established relationship with your dog, you know your dog trusts based on you grooming the dog, you could probably hug him.