Your hugs make your dog anxious: study

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We underestimate dogs because of our tendency to view pets as though they were children.

We underestimate dogs because of our tendency to view pets as though they were children. (Photo: Pixabay)

Researchers from the University College London say that they have proved that canines have better social skills than their human owners.

The findings will form part of the upcoming Royal Institute Christmas Lectures being given by Sophie Scott, a professor of neuroscience at University College London.

Professor Scott believes that we underestimate dogs because of our tendency to view pets as though they were children.

However, dogs view their owner as the alpha male in a wolf pack. 

Previous research also showed that dogs don't like being hugged. 

Professor Scott told The Times, "You look at photographs of dogs being hugged by people and the dogs show objective signs of distress."

She added that while dogs really like being with their owners, they don't want to be held as it provokes anxiety in them. As animals, they want to be able to move freely.

She said, "And pretty much everyone's reaction to this was: well, I don't think that's my dog. It was a very good example of this asymmetry."

She also added that while dogs are great are reading humans, people do a pretty shoddy job of understanding their canine counterparts.

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