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