Why Dogs Don’t Like to be Hugged
Our dogs really can be our best friends. Sometimes we feel like we need a hug and we assume that our 4-legged friends need one too. It is easy to host the idea that all of us have hugged our dog at one time or another. Could it be that we enjoyed that hug much more than our pet? Did we ever take the time during that squeeze of love and appreciation to notice if our dog was enjoying the event as much as we were? Probably not, your dog may have been displaying a remarkable feat of endurance and perhaps felt very uncomfortable with the situation. Let’s explore this thought further.
The Truth about Dog Hugging
In general, most dogs are not big on hugging. Many dogs will let you know right away that you are crossing a boundary they are not willing to participate in. Others will tolerate the moment. Of course, it must be said that others actually do enjoy that intimate embrace with their best friend. It is important to keep in mind that simply because your dog does not go for an affectionate embrace, does not mean they love you any less. Dogs, like humans, are hard-wired differently.
Dogs do not hug each other as a show of affection. They communicate through smell and body language. If a dog puts a leg or two over the shoulder of another dog, they are more likely trying to display control or superiority. This being the case, how do dogs interpret our loving hugs? Do they think we are showing our domination, assertiveness or control? Your hug could actually seem threatening to an animal that does not want to be dominated in any way, by anyone. So, how do you know if your dog enjoys a hug or not?
Get to Know Your Dog
Always be alert to your dog’s body language because it can teach you many things. If you are unsure about your pet’s reaction, have someone snap a photo of the event and study it closely. It is not always easy to identify anxiety or fear in our dog. In reality, you can detect these traits through ear positioning, eyes, tongues, and lips. When you hug your dog, watch their body language. If they lean away, mouth closed, chances are they are not comfortable. If on the other hand, they lean into you with mouth open and panting, chances are they are just fine with the hug.