Dogs are just adorable. They are lovely furballs who simply love doing things that amaze their human buddies. It is very difficult to resist the urge to smother your canine friend in a bear hug, every time they do something amazing, which is pretty much every day. Hugging is one of the most common way humans like to express their emotions. However, when it comes to hugging your dog, there are mixed opinions on it.
According to an article published a couple of years ago in a psychology magazine by a researcher, majority of dogs do not like being hugged. This study used assortment of dog photos being heard from the internet as a material for research, and came to an assertion that dogs are not fond of hugs. Ever since then, there has been a lot of debate about this topic on pet forums, magazines, etc.
Do Dogs Like Hugs?
While usually, dogs will let their human friend finish the hug, patiently waiting for an end to this embrace. There are some dogs who make their discomfort known immediately. 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.
The science behind this reluctance to getting hugged is pretty interesting. Over the course of time, dogs and humans have evolved their patterns of greetings and displaying their love and affection. Humans like to start it with a handshake or hug, while in dogs, they go around sniffing each other while wagging their tails. Since it took a lot of time for these greeting patterns to get hardwired into the psychology of dogs and humans, and it is difficult to change them.
For a dog, hugging is just like human going around sniffing other humans, something that will make you very uncomfortable. In dogs, the only thing that is close to a hug is their “standing over” behavior, where they put a leg over the shoulders of another dog. For them, this behavior is an attempt to display their social status or display domination in a power struggle for control. This pretty much explains why a dog would not be comfortable in the embrace of human hug. What may seem like a display of affection by you; your dog will interpret it as a move to assert dominance over him. This can make things hairy if someone the dog is not comfortable with, tries to hug.
If your dog is comfortable around you and you want to give him a hug, his body language is going to give you a hint at whether he is enjoying it or not. If you see any visible signs of aggression, like growling or bare teeth, it simply means that your dog is not digging the embrace. There could also be more subtle and less obvious signs that you need to be careful about if you like to hug your dog.
If a dog is not enjoying an embrace, he is likely to go stiff, shut his mouth or begin licking his lips. These are the telltale signs of anxiety in a dog, making them wonder if they did something wrong or they should just wait it out until it is over.
If your dog does not show any of these signs when in your embrace, you can have someone take a photo or a selfie where you could see the face of your dog. Since you cannot see their faces during the hug, it can difficult to figure out how they are feeling. When you might think your dog is loving your warm hug, post hug review of the picture may show that he was just barely holding it together.
Every dog is different when it comes to hugs, each dog has a different temperament, and some dogs like or dislike it more than others. Usually, the dog will start to either visible display discomfort or simply start to tolerate hugs. You need to remember that the feelings of a dog towards hugs depend on the person they are receiving it from. And it is it time consuming process to build a level of ease and make it comfortable for your dog to be held in the warm embrace of their human friend.