Saturday, April 30, 2016

Don't Hug Me!

Stormy is happy that humans are learning not to immobilize their dogs in a big bear hug.  She growls and jumps off when pulled onto a human lap for a big hug.

Na'ilah, on the other hand, always looks a little jealous when Stormy gets this attention.  But maybe that's because at 80 pounds, she is never pulled into a hug that would actually immobilize her.

Bear hugs can be a little scary, especially for a dog.  Bear. Hug. 

Stanley Coren in Canine Corner at Psychology Today reports on research that immobilizing dogs makes them nervous.  Dogs are cursorial animals--they run in case of emergencies.  

Na'ilah has probably never been immobilized, except when leashed into the tub at the do-it-yourself dog wash place.

The Corgi, on the other hand, often has to deal with being grabbed and held.  She growls and struggles to get free--or settles down on our knees for a brief period (not held).

Our Chihuahua, Lilyrose, may have a different point of view.  She likes her freedom of movement, but she likes safety too.  An elevator ride out of a threatening situation is often welcome.

Read Coren's column to understand your dog's canine stress signs: a yawn, averting his/her head, ears down, eyes closed or wide open to show half-moon of white eyeball.


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