Dogs do not view hugs the same way that humans do, which can have potentially dangerous consequences. Dogs don’t hug with their arms – they hug with their eyes. Most dogs tolerate kisses on the head relatively well. ASPCA Logo, Copyright 2021, ASPCA. The best way to tell whether your dog is comfortable being hugged is to observe his body language when you do hug him. *Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Why would their best friends, their family, all … – Much like the way we ask ourselves why dogs sniff each other’s behinds when they meet. However, dogs don’t have the same frame of reference for things as we do – so, do dogs like being hugged? 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. Some may even come to associate kisses with attention, and quite a … While there is a very small percentage of dogs that enjoy hugs from their pet owners, the majority of dogs find hugging simply rude. If your dog frequently climbs or leans on you, or begs to be “up” in your arms, chances are, he’s fine with a hug. However, every dog has a unique personality. Most dogs tolerate kisses on the head relatively well. 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. Watch your dog for the following signs that he is uncomfortable: Leaning Away. I don’t do the French-style peck on the cheek as a form of greeting either. https://www.akc.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php. If your dog is enjoying your hug, they might also lean into you or lick your face. Sit beside your dog. In this case, it might be best not to attempt a hug, because, just like us, little things can make our pets anxious. Why Dogs Don’t Like to be Hugged. The best way is to observe their body language while you’re hugging them. Dogs don’t hug other dogs. Continue wrapping your arm farther around them, or use both arms, and give them a treat each time you move in closer. Then, slowly and carefully wrap an arm around their back or shoulder. Well, pychologist Stanley Coren published an article in the journal Psychology Today, where he affirms that dogs do not enjoy being hugged. Hugging a dog actually increases the dog’s stress level. Discounts may vary and are subject to change. Understanding what our dogs are really saying and listening to them can help us grow even closer. Check out these additional tips for reading your pet’s body language! Teaching a dog to tolerate hugs can be beneficial in situations when you may need to hold them still, like during a visit to the vet or groomer. These special birthday treats received two paws up from our office pets! Does your dog put their paw over your arm or on your lap when you hug or scratch them? Some absolutely adore cuddles, but most dogs prefer a belly rub or a back scratch to a squeeze. Do dogs like to be hugged? Some dogs are trained well to tolerate hugs, such as therapy dogs. But there are some issues with the findings, and subsequent reporting. Although humans and canines have been intimately connected throughout our evolutionary history, there are still some primal instincts and forms of communication that we do not share—and hugging is one of them. Think about what a hug is from your dog’s point of view. Is Your Dog Comfortable Being Hugged? C&F and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. Watch out for warning signs that your dog is uneasy around strangers to prevent any mishaps. Lack of Routine and Rules. Hence, for dogs, a hug is seen as potentially threatening. 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. Do Dogs Like Hugs? People were outraged someone suggested that dogs don’t like to be hugged and … Also, an embrace prevents them from being able to escape – another basic instinct that kicks in when a dog is faced with threat. Find out other ways you could be annoying your dog here. Look for signs of stress, such as licking lips or yawning, whale eye, and tension in the ears or mouth. While some dogs, especially those trained as therapy dogs, can tolerate it, in general, dogs do not enjoy this interaction. If you don’t have anyone around to snap a photo of you and your pup, try snapping a selfie or looking in the mirror at your dog’s face when you go in for a hug. If a dog puts a leg or two over the shoulder of another dog, they are more likely trying to display control or superiority. Dogs aren’t crazy about that.” Dogs do not hug each other as a show of affection. Dogs do not like hugs. The argument against hugging your dog: There are several reasons that your dog may not want your hugs.Some dogs may associate that much physical contact with something negative. Sometimes we feel like we need a hug and we assume that our 4-legged friends need one too. iy_2021; im_01; id_06; ih_04; imh_05; i_epoch:1609934753703, 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. However, every dog has a unique personality. As you may have heard, January 21 is National Hug Day. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. Dogs do not hug each other as a show of affection. https://www.akc.org/subscription/thank-you. Dogs don’t like to be hugged. Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group™ is a trademark of United States Fire Insurance Company. The closest thing our furry family members do to a hug is something referred to as ‘standing over’. I guess the answer is the same as if you asked me the same question. 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. Hugging doesn’t come naturally to dogs, but that doesn’t mean some of them don’t enjoy a good squeeze! It can communicate fear, tension, and happiness as well as a whole swell of other emotions. It may be a cause for concern, though, if they start exhibiting unwanted or compulsive behaviors—but don’t fret too much if all they do is pull away from your embrace. In short, they’re trapped. Even chimps do it! I hope this article is helpful in not only explaining the differences between how dogs view certain behaviors compared to how we humans view … I don’t do hugging. Being hugged is probably quite confusing for dogs. Often you'll notice a dog become stiff or still when being hugged, signs that he is not having a great time. It is not an aggressive behavior, but thought to show competitiveness or control. As primates, we are wired to express affection through hugging. 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. Here’s what you can do to teach your dog that hugs aren’t so bad after all: Eventually, the cycle of embracing and treat giving should help your dog associate hugs with something positive. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2018. Preventive and Wellness Care reimbursements are based on a schedule. The closest thing our furry family members do to a hug is something referred to as ‘standing over’. Does your dog lean back or off to the side when you hug … Tolerating affection is a learned behavior. Unfortunately, what we believe to be a loving cuddle may come across more to them as a move straight out of a professional wrestling match. Our furry family members love to learn, especially when a reward is involved, so it’s possible to use positive reinforcement to teach them that hugs are good and not a threat. For all terms and conditions visit www.aspcapetinsurance.com/terms. Humans love physical contact; it’s in our DNA and it’s pretty hard not to hug someone you love. Also, if you have small children around your home, it can be helpful to get your dog used to having arms around them. Through a licensing agreement, the ASPCA receives a royalty fee that is in exchange for use of the ASPCA’s marks and is not a charitable contribution. Therefore, hug-related bites are often to the child’s face. Since you know your dog’s personality best, you can probably guess what kinds of interactions your dog will tolerate and what will make them uneasy. Because children are small, hugging puts them close to the dog’s mouth. Reward your dog with a treat when they show positive responses, like staying calm or leaning into you. However, if you are convinced that your dog does like to hug and you just want to be sure, there are some things to look out for in their body language to see if they are stressed out by your embrace. They communicate through smell and body language. Luckily for humans, dogs are pretty good at interpreting most of our body language. If your dog is acting … 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. When a dog is really happy, they tend to wag their tail with their entire back end. Our dogs really can be our best friends. Download for tips on how to be the best dog owner you can be. “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? Some may dislike hugs more strongly than others, and some may actually adore them. In fact, he also presented a series of 250 random photographs of people hugging their dogs, where 82% of the dogs showed signs of appeasement. Once again, science catches up and confirms it. They stare at you for a long time. According to pet expert Amy Shojai, dogs who like to hug … Dogs, really do not like hugs. Dogs usually tell us they don’t like being hugged by using the postures we’ve already described – lowering their tails, pulling their ears back, tensing up, or trying to move away. Paws aren’t just for digging holes in the yard; they’re also a major communication tool for dogs. But before you throw your arms around your pooch in celebration of this display of affection, let’s explore this question: Do dogs, Research Shows: Dogs Can Understand Words and Emotions. Predictably, the fur hit the fan. Instead of hugging your dog, try these physical contact behaviors instead. If your dog had a bad experience with an affectionate child who squeezed too hard, or if you only hug him when he’s at the vet and about to get stuck with a needle, his experiences may have left a bad impression on him. Some may even come to associate kisses with attention, and quite a … It is easy to host the idea that all of us have hugged our dog at one time or another. More information available at checkout. If your dog is giving you a “no thank you” … The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) — as a sponsor of Dog Bite Prevention Week — advises against children hugging dogs. Teaching a dog to tolerate hugs can be beneficial in situations when you may need to hold them still, like during a visit to the vet or groomer. You may be reading this thinking, my dog loves hugs – and some do; but with some research, we can explore whether your dog is comfortable and what to do if they are not. Dogs, like humans, are hard-wired differently. Also, if you have small children around your home, it can be helpful to get your dog used to having arms around them. You may be surprised to know how much dogs understand what we say and how we feel. The closest thing our furry family members do to a hug is something referred to as “standing over,” which is when a dog puts their leg over another dog’s back or shoulder. While individual dogs vary in temperament (and tolerance), in general, the answer is: no, dogs do not enjoy being hugged. And it’s … The vast majority of dogs do not like to be hugged, so as a general rule of thumb, just don’t do it. Dr. Stanley Coren, psychologist and blogger for Psychology Today, recently discussed his research on the observation that dogs, in general, don’t like to be hugged. They might also hold their ears back against their head or try to escape. Although we humans communicate differently than our canines, we are still very similar in a lot of ways. When you throw your arms around your pup, they’re probably thinking, why does my human do this? In this article we’ll explain how dogs interpret hugs, why dogs don’t really like being hugged, and talk more about if it’s ok to hug dogs. Dogs are beings of nonverbal communication. Whatever the cause, they don't like to be hugged. Some signs may be quite subtle, whereas others can be quite evident. Here are some doggie behaviors that can show they like your hugs, or that they’re happy in general: Dogs wag their tails for many different reasons. Here’s what you can do to teach your dog that hugs aren’t so bad after all: This could be their way of saying, “I like this attention, keep it coming!”. It’s important to note that just as dogs have their own unique personalities, they also have their own individual ways of expressing emotion. If they don’t tolerate it, watch out. AKC actively advocates for responsible dog ownership and is dedicated to advancing dog sports. " [T]his data clearly shows that while a few dogs may like being hugged, more than four out of five dogs find this human expression of affection … Do I like being hugged by other people? Hugging is truly a foreign concept to our canine companions. A good way to gauge your dog’s reaction to a hug is to have someone take a picture of the two of you. Also, the act of hugging requires that the person puts their face next to a dog, which can be dangerous. So how can you tell what your dog is feeling when you give them a loving squeeze? Products, schedules, and rates may vary and are subject to change. They have some big teeth and claws! All Rights Reserved, As you may have heard, January 21 is National Hug Day. The ASPCA® is not an insurer and is not engaged in the business of insurance. It’s amazing how close and compatible our two different species have grown to be. I’m a repressed northerner. Experts in dog behavior believe that, in general, dogs do not like being embraced. Putting a limb over another dog is a way of exerting dominance and can be confusing and intimidating. Products are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, produced and administered by C&F Insurance Agency, Inc. (NPN # 3974227), a Crum & Forster company. Some may dislike hugs more strongly than others, and some may actually adore them. I’ve been saying it for years — most dogs do not like being held and hugged. That's not to say they don't love affection from their people. Complete Coverage℠ reimbursements are based on the invoice. Their brains changed so much since they started living with humans, that … It’s the same way we like close physical contact from friends or family, but we might feel awkward or freaked out if a stranger gets too close to us. © 2021 United States Fire Insurance Company. © The American Kennel Club, Inc. 2020. Experts in dog behavior believe that, in general, dogs do not like being embraced. You probably notice your dog wagging in this way when you greet them at the door. If you have a dog that that’s not too fond of close contact, he probably won’t enjoy being held or squeezed. Furthermore, dogs lick for many reasons and if your dog licks your face it is not necessarily a kiss. Your dog may not seem like it, but he needs rules. Dogs may manifest their dislike about being hugged in various ways. And the answer to do dogs like being kissed and do dogs understand kisses is often a no. Founded in 1884, the AKC is the recognized and trusted expert in breed, health, and training information for dogs. This means that if you have a dog that legitimately likes being hugged, you have a very rare dog indeed. If your pup is wagging their tail in a loose, relaxed way, it’s a good indicator that they’re calm and enjoying the moment. If your pup ever comes up to you while you’re sitting down or distracted by something and gets your attention with their paw, they could be saying they want water, are hungry, or are just looking for some cuddles. The simple answer to this is no. There they are, and all of a sudden, they’re being surrounded and squeezed. This e-book is a great resource for anyone who's considering dog ownership or already owns a dog. If a dog is restrained (hugged) when showing these body signals or cues, things could get out of control quickly. A relaxed dog may pant calmly, its mouth and tongue looking rather slack. Biologically they are vulnerable, mentally they are stressed out and anxious and they are often physically in … Deep down, we know that the majority of dogs and cats do not like being hugged, but most will tolerate it. A dog may express his uneasiness in being hugged by licking his lips, turning his head away, or yawning. While some dogs, especially those trained as therapy dogs, can tolerate it, in general, dogs do not enjoy this interaction. All rights reserved. But before you throw your arms around your pooch in celebration of this display of affection, let’s explore this question: Do dogs like to be hugged? 5 years ago on April 29, 2016 A recent study has told us that we shouldn’t hug our dogs because they’ll feel stressed. A dog that is uncomfortable with an embrace may keep their mouth closed and have a tense expression on their face. 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 they have never been hugged before. Dogs rely on body language as a method of communication with humans and each other. The rest of the dogs were either neutral or ambiguous. But dogs show their love in other ways, as their legs are not exactly made to wrap around another dog or person. Levels 1-4 reimbursements are based on usual and customary eligible costs. It’s common to see dogs do this while they’re roughhousing. They don’t have full use of their legs and limited or no ability to use their mouth. Introducing the “Hug Researcher” In 2016 a dog psychology Professor Stanley Coren carried out a study to look at how dogs respond to hugs. But do they like being hugged by people? It’s important to remember that some dogs may really like hugs from their human family, but not from new acquaintances. However, it’s not in their DNK to love hugs. 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