He looked at 250 pictures of dogs being hugged and their reactions to draw his conclusions. Eight out of ten of these pets showed signs of stress which suggest a dislike or fear of hugs. These signs include: flattened or pressed back ears, whites of their eyes showing, head turning away to avoid eye contact, excessive licking, yawning or raising one paw.
In the images studied by Dr. Coren, 81.6 percent of them showed a least one of these signs of stress. But only 7.6 percent showed a dog at ease. And he couldn’t see clearly enough in the remaining 10.8 percent how the dogs felt.