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How Dogs Respond to Hugging?

Newspaper Story Summary

A newspaper article debunks a myth that dogs like hugging. Referring to the latest research findings, it states that by animal psychologists findings, dogs might feel distressed, unhappy, and miserable when their owners embrace them to show their devotion and love (Knapton, 2016). One of the central causes of this negative emotion is the inability to run away. In other words, an animal feels captured (Knapton, 2016).

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The article offers results of the investigation stating that among 250 analyzed pictures of people hugging their pets, 10 depict unhappy or even scared dogs (Knapton, 2016). In general, 81,6% of images of this sort show at least one sign of stress in animals (Knapton, 2016). In such a way, the article recommends pet owners to demonstrate their passion and warm feelings in a different way. They can say pleasant words, give a treat, or calmly stroke their favorite animal as it will be much more pleasant for it.

Journal Article Summary

The selected article investigates dogs responses to hugging. The author suggests the hypothesis that cuddling is unpleasant for animals and results in their dissatisfaction. In such a way, he makes a causal claim assuming that being cursorial animals dogs feel trapped when being hugged and there is a direct correlation between hugging and the rise of the level of stress observed in them (Coren, 2016).

Supporting this idea, the researcher conducts a study to discover signs of stress in cuddled pets. He selects numerous photos depicting this process. During the investigation, Coren (2016) concludes that so-called half-moon eyes, lowered ears, and head turned aside to avoid eye contact signalize a significant discomfort an animal feels at this very moment. Processing this data statistically, the investigator reveals that 204 of pictures (the total number is 250) show stressed animals (Coren, 2016). For this reason, Coren concludes that animals do not like being hugged.

Table 1. Types of Validity in the Research paper.

Type of validity Journal article assessment
Construct Variables in the study (stress signs in dogs) are properly measured using 250 photos found on the Internet
External Results of this research could be applied to all dogs being hugged disregarding their breed which indicates the high external validity
Statistical The author uses a sample of 250 pictures to collect statistical data about signs of stress in cuddled dogs. Results of this analysis prove his hypothesis (204 of 250 show stress)
Internal The researcher proves that hugging directly affects dogs levels of stress and makes them unhappy. Proving this relationship he achieves high internal validity.

Compare and Contrast

Comparing the article and newspaper story, we can find some similarities. First, both these are devoted to the same issue and describe how dogs respond to hugging. Both these sources describe negative aspects of this way of demonstrating emotions and emphasize the fact that despite the existing stereotype that pets like being cuddled, it is not the best way to show love and affection. Additionally, the documents make a similar conclusion and use the same statistical data to prove the basic assumptions and ensure a reader in the credibility of findings. However, there is a significant difference in how these ideas are suggested.

The research paper not just provides some statistical data; however, its author introduces numerical information with the primary aim to find factual evidence to his hypothesis and prove his assumptions. Moreover, Coren (2016) offers specific images with their detailed analysis to reveal all signs of stress and ensure readers that dogs are unhappy.

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Coren, S. (2016). The data says “Don’t hug the dog!Psychology Today. Web.

Knapton, S. (2016). Don’t hug your dog – it hates it, say animal psychologists. The Telegraph. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 27). How Dogs Respond to Hugging? Retrieved from

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"How Dogs Respond to Hugging?" StudyCorgi, 27 Dec. 2020,

1. StudyCorgi. "How Dogs Respond to Hugging?" December 27, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "How Dogs Respond to Hugging?" December 27, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "How Dogs Respond to Hugging?" December 27, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'How Dogs Respond to Hugging'. 27 December.

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