But hugging is neither an instinctive nor a taught behavior, making it unnatural and uncomfortable to them. Koczerzuk says gentle massage is also “one of the greatest ways to introduce touch” with your pup. Dogs don’t like to be hugged. It's SO into this hug. If a dog keeps initiating contact or activities, … “, You are communicating to them in a really positive way and they love it,”. Miss those cues, Mullins notes, and you risk your dog escalating things in an attempt to squash the situation. Although I get an image of Dr. McConnell wagging her finger at me when I do it, I still hug Honey with a big squeeze around the neck sometimes. Especially not a big, tight bear hug. I hug my dogs from time to time, mostly to gauge their response and to train them to tolerate the inexplicable things that humans like to do. Most will tolerate a hug but if you observe their body language, they are not comfortable and relaxed. “Most dogs love being touched,” says Sylvia Koczerzuk, a certified dog trainer and dog behavior consultant, “but as far as traditional hugs the way humans hug each other? While there is a very small percentage of dogs that enjoy hugs from their pet owners, the majority of dogs find hugging simply rude. In addition to feeling like a confrontation may be starting, a dog’s temperament and history may also dictate whether or not he likes to be hugged. Dogs don’t have the same physical anatomy as us, with arms with the same wide range of movement and so a hug in the human sense isn’t an action a dog can perform in the same way we can. While individual dogs vary in temperament (and tolerance), in general, the answer is: no, dogs do not enjoy being hugged. After examining 250 online photos that popped up when he searched the words “hug dog,” Coren concluded that in roughly 82 percent of the photos, the dog being hugged displayed “at least one sign of discomfort, stress, or anxiety.”. But the full answer is much more complex. But I pay attention to her body language. Humans are natural huggers. Her story on a New Jersey farm that raises water buffalo won a "Best Single Article" Eddie Award for excellence in magazine writing. “Even if a dog has liked or not liked hugs before, their mood can affect how they’re feeling in a given moment,” Mullins says. Many people believe that dogs love hugs. “We’re coming all the way into their space, restraining them, and maybe looking at them eye-to-eye.”, Koczerzuk explains that pet parents are often surprised—and a little bit upset to hear this. Do dogs really like hugs? Like Follow. Step 3: Loosely Wrap Your Arms Around Your Dog, I always say, let the dog make the choice,” Mullins notes. When she's not in the clinic or creating content, Dr. Racine enjoys playing trampoline dodgeball (yes, really! Yes, Some Dogs Actually Do Love Hugs. Putting a limb over another dog is a way of exerting dominance and can be confusing and intimidating. If your pup comes over to you and leans in, you can try leaning back in to him. The short answer is not really. If she pulls away, I let go. That's not to say they don't love affection from their people. Dogs rely on body language as a method of communication with humans and each other. Koczerzuk explains that pet parents are often surprised—and a little bit upset to hear this. There are some dogs who make their discomfort known immediately. Get acquainted—or reacquainted. In practice, however, dogs are much like humans – some love being hugged, some don’t. “That is how we like to show affection,” she says. But most of all, she says, it’s about a dog’s individual personality and preferences. Let our authors & experts know what you think. Some dogs may interpreted hugging as restraint, and getting in a dog's face, such as kissing, might lead to biting, because dogs often bite one another on the snout. “But it’s just not a natural way that dogs interact with each other.”. https://www.akc.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php. Get the dog used to being touched.. Touch a part of their body that’s not controversial, such as stroking along their... 2. Often you'll notice a dog become stiff or still when being hugged, signs that he is not having a great time. 25 dogs who clearly love hugs. They might even seek out the hugs themselves if they like them. For some dogs, it provides a feeling of security, and strengthens the bond they have with you. But as hard as it might be to hear, that isn’t entirely true. In fact many dog bites occur from when a child tries to hug a dog from behind. Image: Oliver rossi, getty images By Andrea Romano 2016-04-28 15:37:22 UTC. They can tell that … Download for tips on how to be the best dog owner you can be. Dogs do not like hugs. To a dog. No. A dog who had to tolerate excessive hugging while young and didn’t enjoy it is “probably going to get less tolerant of hugging or completely shut down” when it arises later in life, Mullins says. Her professional interests include veterinary behavior, nutrition, and internal medicine. For the majority of dogs, the answer is no. Our content and products are for informational purposes only. Dogs aren’t crazy about that.” While some dogs make it abundantly clear that hugs are … This e-book is a great resource for anyone who's considering dog ownership or already owns a dog. iy_2021; im_01; id_10; ih_16; imh_17; i_epoch:1610324235476, py_2020; pm_12; pd_13; ph_22; pmh_58; p_epoch:1607929087322, link-block-publisher; link-block-publisher_link-block-publisher; bodystr, pn_tstr:Sun Dec 13 22:58:07 PST 2020; pn_epoch:1607929087322. But if your dog seems content, you can try wrapping your arms very loosely around his body—loosely enough that he can get up and leave anytime he wants. We think we are showing them love and affection by holding them tightly in our arms, but as good as our intentions are, dogs may not enjoy it quite as much as we think they do. Do Dogs Like Hugs? And the worst thing you can do, Koczerzuk says, is bend over to hug your dog while you are standing—then it can really feel like an aggressive act. Molly is an award-winning independent journalist who often writes about animals and the humans who care for them. Certified dog behavior consultant Michelle Mullins says dogs’ general dislike of hugs transcends specific breeds or even individual temperament. While usually, dogs will let their human friend finish the hug, patiently waiting for an end to this embrace. It's more common then you might think, nearly all dogs have this kind of reaction to a hug and for a lot of different reasons. However, the study wasn’t peer-reviewed, and experts question it. Kissing is a human trait. I save my hugs … The vast majority of dogs do not like to be hugged, so as a general rule of thumb, just don’t do it. Some may even come to associate kisses with attention, and quite a … Both Koczerzuk and Mullins also recommend training with positive reinforcement as one of the most affectionate things you can do for your dog. Hence, if a person hugs a dog, there is a slim chance that the pet will feel like it is being dominated by the human. Dogs aren’t crazy about that.”. “Dogs don’t usually show affection to each other through hugs. (And again, if you notice any of the distress signs outlined above, back off immediately. But, a lot of dogs don’t like being hugged. “Even if a dog has liked or not liked hugs before, their mood can affect how they’re feeling in a given moment,” Mullins says. Since we don’t speak dog, some of the things we take for granted can easily get lost in translation— especially signs of affection, like hugging and kissing. Dogs aren’t crazy about that.”, Koczerzuk notes that human-style hugs are “just not part of the canine language,” so by nature dogs are unsure or even afraid of them. When a human hugs a dog it can cause great fear and anxiety in the dog. While some dogs, especially those trained as therapy dogs, can tolerate it, in general, dogs do not enjoy this interaction. 6 Tips for Hugging Your Dog the Right Way 1. Find out other ways you could be annoying your dog here. That way, you’ll know whether or not they’re enjoying a particular interaction. Dogs are beings of nonverbal communication. He urged pet parents to “save your hugs for your two-footed family members and lovers”—and dog behavioral experts agree. Past abuse or neglect may also contribute to a dog’s distaste for hugs, and early socialization can play a role too, according to Mullins. Some folks interpret the “act” as the answer to their question of how dogs hug. They often have a much harder time reading animals’ body language and understanding limits. Dr. Elizabeth Racine is a small animal veterinarian with a passion for writing. Due to the recent 'study' which shows that dogs 'hate' hugs. Most dogs tolerate kisses on the head relatively well.. Do Dogs Like Hugs? Some dogs are trained well to tolerate hugs, such as therapy dogs. Mullins strongly advises leaving young children out of the equation. Stay alert for your dog’s subtle body language cues, outlined above. , an arms-around-the-neck moment may feel more like a confrontation or rough play than affection. Dog body language that could signal discomfort or anxiety include: If your dog is displaying any of these signs, it’s best not to initiate a hug. Her articles have told the story behind a complex dolphin surgery, taken readers inside a top center for training detection dogs, and explored the alpaca farm boom. Do dogs like hugs? To avoid problems when small children want to pet the dogs, I show-and-tell how much the dogs like being petted gently on the shoulder. It’s not that dogs don’t like being touched. Last but not least, they keep coming back for more. Mood matters, too. If your dog is displaying any of these signs, it’s best not to initiate a hug. She shares her home with her retired teaching beagle, Dasher, and a trouble-making orange cat named Julius. Founded in 1884, the AKC is the recognized and trusted expert in breed, health, and training information for dogs. https://www.akc.org/subscription/thank-you. “You build trust that way as well.”. Some absolutely adore cuddles, but most dogs prefer a belly rub or a back scratch to a squeeze. Some will feel threatened while others will loathe the feeling. AND a $500 SHOPPING SPREE at Muttropolis! Irith Bloom, CPDT-KSA, CDBC, KPA CTP, VSPDT, CBATI, VSDTA faculty and Director of Training at The Sophisticated Dog in West Los Angeles, CA, helps explain why. Dogs have been domesticated for so long that they have learned to borrow some characteristics of human behavior as their own. “That way you know they’re comfortable with the interaction.”. Mullins says the first thing a pet parent should do is learn to read their dog’s body language. Dogs do not cuddle, they will usually interpret a hug as restraint or pressure. There is a difference between squeezing tightly and cuddling. A few years ago, psychologist Stanley Coren published his informal research data on dogs and hugs. While individual dogs vary in temperament (and tolerance), in general, the answer is: no, dogs do not enjoy being hugged. Experts in dog behavior believe that, in general, dogs do not like being embraced. While there are a small number of dogs who may seek out hugs from their owners, she says that even dogs who are tolerant when you approach them for a hug may not actually be enjoying the experience. To a dog, an arms-around-the-neck moment may feel more like a confrontation or rough play than affection. Because we love hugs, they too will take this positively and love hugs. “We’re doing something that for a dog can be perceived as very confrontational,” Mullins adds. Answer a few simple questions and find the right dog for you, Compare up to 5 different breeds side by side, Browse the AKC Marketplace to find the right puppy for you, Browse our extensive library of dog names for inspiration, Find out the best and worst foods for your dog and which to avoid. We like to be chest to chest (or, to use the more technical term, in “ventral-ventral contact”) with those we love. I completely disagree with these bullshit studies that people are spreading that says the dogs hate hugs. Some may dislike hugs more strongly than others, and some may actually adore them. So, do dogs like it when you kiss them? Don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming all dogs like hugs. “That way you know they’re comfortable with the interaction.”. In fact, I know not all dogs do. All Rights Reserved 2021. ), hiking, kayaking, and binge-watching Netflix. Confusing Body Language Dogs do exhibit a behavior that resembles the action of a hug, but the meaning behind it is very different. Koczerzuk notes that human-style hugs are “just not part of the canine language,” so by nature dogs are unsure or even afraid of them. And the worst thing you can do, Koczerzuk says, is bend over to hug your dog while you are standing—then it can really feel like an aggressive act. We really hate to be the ones to break this to curious dog lovers, but the simple answer to “Do dogs like hugs?” is no, according to those who know. Many dogs do not like being kissed or hugged, but children— and many adults— are not usually able to interpret warning signs in time to avert disaster.. Do Dogs Like Hugs? “But it’s just not a natural way that dogs interact with each other. Whatever the cause, they don't like to be hugged. The feeling of confinement normally sets off a ‘fight or flight’ stress response. Biologically they are vulnerable, mentally they are stressed out and anxious and they are often physically in pain, especially from the hugs of … Unlike humans, who thrive when they can press their bodies against another’s, dogs don’t have arms to hug anyone. Her business, The Veterinary Writer, is devoted to providing pet owners with easy access to evidence-based information about pet health. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. Koczerzuk suggests that pet parents show their love through shoulder and chest touches rather than hugs or head pets—“another type of touch that dogs are not typically comfortable with,” she says. After examining 250 online photos that popped up when he searched the words “hug dog,” Coren concluded that in roughly 82 percent of the photos, the dog being hugged displayed “at least one sign of discomfort, stress, or anxiety.”, says Sylvia Koczerzuk, a certified dog trainer and dog behavior consultant, “but as far as traditional hugs the way humans hug each other? While some dogs, especially those trained as therapy dogs, can tolerate it, in general, dogs do not enjoy this interaction. Pet parents have long assumed that their dogs love getting hugs just as much as we humans love to give them hugs. Also, the act of hugging requires that the person puts their face next to a dog, which can be dangerous. All rights reserved. However, every dog has a unique personality. Great Pet Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, A few years ago, psychologist Stanley Coren published his informal, . But I also don’t believe a whopping 81% of dogs hate hugs! Dogs … It is true that some dogs (especially therapy dogs) will tolerate or even like being hugged, but many dogs do not enjoy the gesture; especially if … “That is how we like to show affection,” she says. ), “I always say, let the dog make the choice,” Mullins notes. The closest thing our furry family members do to … © The American Kennel Club, Inc. 2020. And a hug isn’t necessarily the way to turn it around. “Most dogs love being touched,” says Sylvia Koczerzuk, a certified dog trainer and dog behavior consultant, “but as far as traditional hugs the way humans hug each other? Both Koczerzuk and Mullins also recommend training with positive reinforcement as one of the most affectionate things you can do for your dog. © 2021 Great Pet Media. You’ve probably heard the hype about dogs not liking hugs, thanks to recent articles about research that claims that dogs hate being hugged by humans. Researchers have yet to find a comparable behavior in dogs that reflects the same range of emotions as human kisses. Now, gradually extend the areas you touch.. Slide your hand down a leg slightly, then … While giving and receiving hugs from your furry companion is nothing out of the ordinary, you have to keep one thing in mind, which is that many dogs prefer not to be squeezed, while others actively seek out hugs. Copious praise / play when they do well, of course. “You are communicating to them in a really positive way and they love it,” Koczerzuk adds. With all of that being said, there are some dogs that actually don’t mind being hugged, says Mullins—as long as you go about it the right way. Mullins’s next tip is to let your dog be the one to initiate things. How Do I Know If My Dog Likes Hugs or Not? They do not rush up and hug one another, although if a dog grabs another dog it is done so as a sexual or aggressive advance. Maybe you’ve been giving your pup hugs for years--and maybe all this time they’ve just been tolerating it! Dogs interact with other dogs and humans through several means, from sniffing to circling one another. Dogs, really do not like hugs. How To Hug Your Dog. Humans love physical contact; it’s in our DNA and it’s pretty hard not to hug someone you love. Win a LIFETIME SUPPLY of Interceptor® Plus(milbemycin oxime/praziquantel) Many dogs, when hugged, will show signs of distress such as turning their head away, showing whale eye, lowering their ears, and licking their lips. Do Dogs Like Hugs From Humans? Golden Retrievers: They rightly fit the category of super friendly dogs and capable of holding one … Hugs make most dogs uncomfortable. Access our library of professional veterinarian resources. It’s not that dogs don’t like being touched. AKC actively advocates for responsible dog ownership and is dedicated to advancing dog sports. To make sure your embrace isn’t like the forced, awkward kind at the end of a bad Tinder date, read your dog… Behavior of a dog depends on the person they are receiving the hug from, and their discoveries at its peak when a stranger tries to embrace. Sure, some dogs in the photos Dr. Stanley Coren observed might have had anxiety from the hug. Koczerzuk suggests that pet parents show their love through shoulder and chest touches rather than hugs or head pets—“another type of touch that dogs are not typically comfortable with,” she says. What’s more, the idea of pushing their bodies against other dogs actually triggers that same fight-or-flight reflex, as it tells them that danger is … If your dog quickly leans back out, don’t proceed. Instead of hugging your dog, try these physical contact behaviors instead. Dogs do not view hugs the same way that humans do, which can have potentially dangerous consequences. When you come home to your pooch, it’s difficult to resist the urge to give them a huge cuddle. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in-the-know. The most important thing is to make sure that you’re showing physical affection in a way that makes your individual dog feel happy and loved. Parents should teach children about the proper ways to approach and pet a dog, especially one they've never met before, to avoid any accidental injury. Mood matters, too. Do Dogs Like Hugs? Here’s why. Interceptor is a trademark of Elanco or its affiliates. Turning their heads away or leaning their entire bodies away from us, Letting out a loud, exaggerated yawn that has nothing to do with sleepiness. However, it’s not in their DNK to love hugs. When you kiss your dog, you might try to hug them at the same time. 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