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Old 05-15-2016, 09:39 AM   #1
Carruthers
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Dogs don't like being hugged!

This piece of ground breaking research comes to you courtesy of the Psychology Department of the University of British Columbia.

I think someone found some spare cash slopping around in the research budget which needed to be spent before the end of last Financial Year.

Quote:
The next time you want to show your dog some love, you might want to keep your distance. Your dog doesn’t want your hugs, according to Stanley Coren, a professor at the University of British Columbia in an article in Psychology Today.

Coren, who focuses in dog behavior, wrote that dogs dislike being held by humans in part because they are meant to be running animals, able to escape when being threatened. Holding a dog back, he added, “can increase his stress level and, if the dog's anxiety becomes significantly intense, he may bite.”

You can tell if your hug is making a dog anxious by noticing whether it is closing its eyes or averting them, flattening its ears, yawning, or licking its lips.

Coren downloaded a random sample of 250 pictures of humans hugging dogs, and found more than 80 percent of the photos showed dogs with at least one sign that they were stressed or anxious.

“The results indicated that the Internet contains many pictures of happy people hugging what appear to be unhappy dogs,” he wrote.

Instead, Coren suggested, pat your dog or give it a treat. If you love your dog, let them go.
LINK

So, cease that canine cuddling immediately.

Wait. What if your dog likes to hug you?

Quote:
Roughly 2 years ago, Jose of Columbus, Wisconsin fell on hard times. He was going through a divorce, lost his house, became homeless and had no choice but to live in his vehicle.

Jose had his dog, "Chaos", since he was as a puppy and according to Jose, “Chaos helped me through so much in my life, I took him everywhere with me!” He is a very large dog with a lot of energy who had earned the name Chaos.

Jose knew that he needed to find a better temporary living situation for his furry best friend. A friend of a friend took Chaos and three months later Jose was back on his feet. Sadly, the friend refused to give the dog back, leaving Jose heartbroken. “I didn’t think I would ever see my dog again,” said Jose.

Just recently, a Winnebago County Services staff member was at home in South Beloit and found a dog in her driveway. An Animal Services Officer came out and brought the dog back to the shelter. The dog was wearing a collar with a 2014 National Identification Number.

A shelter staff member called the phone number that was associated with the ID number. Thankfully, Jose had the same contact information. The staff member informed Jose that his dog is at Winnebago County Animal Services. Jose excitedly said, “Chaos?!"

This is their reunion ....

Winnebago County Animal Services

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Old 05-15-2016, 10:11 AM   #2
DanaC
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Yeah - but -

The great thing about dogs is that they have evolved alongside humans across thousands of years. This means that they are highly adept at 'reading' humans. They know when a human is showing affection, even if their human shows affection in a way that is different to how another dog would show affection. In my experience, dogs are great at taking the intended message.

I know that my dog, Carrot isn't fond of being hugged - he lets me know this. He'll let me give him a quick hug, but nothing more. But my previous dog, Pilau liked being hugged. He let me know this. Because when I cuddled him he'd talk and lick my ear - and if i stopped hugging him, he'd lean into me and not stop til I hugged him again.

It baffles me when researchers refer to 'dogs' doing a particular thing, or liking or disliking a particular thing, because in my experience, they are as individual in their likes and dislikes as humans are. They are also limited in how they can express themselves, so sometimes forms of expression that might mean one thing when used with another dog, get co-opted to mean something entirely different when communicating with humans.

It's a little like the idea that dogs are being 'submissive' when they roll onto their backs and show their belly. That idea came from the study of wolves, and was attached to dogs. But it turns out that, not only are many dog behaviours not analagous to wolves, but that even in terms of wolves they had been entirely misread. Much as the notion of 'alpha males' and 'alpha females' was a total misread of wolf solcial relationships. basically: much of what is common knowledge about wolves and wolf packs was derived from observing the behaviours of wolves in captivity - often an unrelated bunch of wolves thrust together in a confined area. The ways in which those captive wolves behaved suggested a hierarchical pack setup - with a dominant male and a dominant female. Within that setup, subordinate wolves wold show their subordination by rolling on their backs and showing their bellies, so this was seen as a submissive behaviour.

In the context of captivity, with unrelated wolves, or partial packs thrus together, that's exactly what it was - but that was actually a case of tose wolves using the behaviours and communication tools avilable to them to cope with and navigate an unnatural situation. In the wild, the 'dominant, alpha' male and female, are actually just mum and dad. They are not hierarchical in that sense - theirs is a family hierarchy, with matriarchs and patriarchs, and the younger wolves aren't showing submisson by rolling on their backs but trust and affection. It's a cub behaviour with their elders. At times, the older wolves will do the same thing with the younger wolves.

So - captive wolves, used a natural behaviour which means something completely different in the wild to signify to potentially aggressive unrelated wolves that they were not a threat. They co-opted the only communication tools they had to mean something completely different in the new situation.

Dogs may use rolling onto their backs to signify they are not a threat, as a sign of submission, but theymay also use it to show trust and affection.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:33 AM   #3
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It baffles me when researchers refer to 'dogs' doing a particular thing, or liking or disliking a particular thing, because in my experience, they are as individual in their likes and dislikes as humans are.
I feel the same way about many of the studies of human behavior. No, just because Billy Bob smiled when you probed him, doesn't mean all earthlings enjoy being probed. No, just because I masturbate with my left hand, does not mean I like pineapple on my pizza.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:50 PM   #4
DanaC
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Yep. Thoroughly reductionist approach.
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
It baffles me when researchers refer to 'dogs' doing a particular thing, or liking or disliking a particular thing, because in my experience, they are as individual in their likes and dislikes as humans are.
Got it in one. They have their own quirks, foibles, likes, dislikes, tastes, habits and routines.

A better word eludes me, but I'd go so far as to say that each has its own 'personality'.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Carruthers View Post
A better word eludes me, but I'd go so far as to say that each has its own 'personality'.
Anyone who thinks differently has never spent any time around a dog, or cat.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:36 AM   #7
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I think 'personality' works just fine. Carrot is totally a person :P
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Old 05-16-2016, 03:43 PM   #8
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Dogonality
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