Why NOT To Hug A Dog

If you enjoy the presence of dogs, it is very likely that you have hugged one. Sometimes you simply get caught up in the moment and you let your joy and affection control your behaviour and actions.

In the moment, did you ever pay attention as to whether or not your dog enjoyed being hugged?

Do dogs even like to be hugged? Below, we will answer this question and more.

Do Dogs Like to Be Hugged?

The short answer is no. However, the full answer is actually much more complex than just saying they do not like being hugged. While some dogs might make it extremely clear that they do not enjoy hugs, others might actually be passive and let the moment pass without making any type of behaviour change.

Other dogs might love hugs and enjoy the affection from their care taker but not from other strangers and other people.

dog hug

Why Do Dogs Not Like Hugs?
It is something that we often forget because we tend to treat and think of them as such, but dogs are not people or humans. Because of this, our behaviours and our ways of showing affection might not correlate and/or translate in their own perceptions.

Because hugs are humans way of showing affection, they assume that a dog will understand and give their affection back in the same manner. The fact is, dogs primal instinct is not to give hugs or to receive them. If you have ever paid attention to the ways that dogs interact with one another and the way they greet one another, you will likely notice significantly different behaviours than humans.

For instance, there is face smelling, butt smelling, and tail wagging. You never notice two dogs hugging do you?

In fact, the closest that two dogs will get to hugging will actually mean a completely opposite thing. If two dogs ‘look’ like they are hugging, they are likely fighting and trying to display dominance over the other.

This type of behavior is completed by a dog that is trying to compete with other dogs and/or a dog that is trying to gain or establish control over another.

Knowing this, when we hug dogs, they can interpret it in a variety of ways. A large part of this is going to have to do with the individual dog being hugged and what his/her personality is like.

Also, it is going to depend on how well the dog knows the person doing the hugging. Some dogs will simply shrug off the hugging activity and will not pay much attention at all to it.

However, some dogs will get nervous and/or scared which can put both you and your dog in a very uneasy and unsafe situation.

For this reason, it is best to never give your dogs or any other dog a hug. It is a human behaviour that should not be adapted to dogs because dogs primal instinct is that the behaviour is aggressive and assertive.

Hugging the wrong dog or hugging a dog at the wrong time can end up very badly for the person doing the hugging.

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