Should You Hug Your Dog? That is the question trending for dog owners lately. It’s only natural for us humans to hug. We think nothing of it. After playing dog games we give them a hug. After having any kind of dog fun we give them a hug. Pet parents say “But, my dog likes being hugged, it builds closeness between us.” If you have had your dog since it was a puppy it is harder for you to understand.
Experts are now telling us dogs do not feel the same way the owner does. He’s so loyal that he puts up with our hugs. Good boy. But, the experts say hugging stresses our dogs and raises anxiety in them. After studying the way our canine companions behave during hugs they have noticed their body language shifts. Do not panic. This in no way expresses how your best friend feels about you.
Have you noticed if your dog leans away when being hugged? Have someone take a picture before and while you are hugging your dog. Compare the pictures and notice if there are any physical changes to their smile, ears or the direction of their body. Does he or she stop smiling? Did their ears go back? Did they lean away? Dogs perceive hugging as a sign of dominance as in the ways dogs dominate other dogs. The leader of the pack uses his leg over the shoulder of dogs as a way of overpowering them.
So, what do we do after a really good dog game of frisbee or fetch? Do you have their kind of dog fun with them? Scratch their backs, rub their head or belly. It’s the ultimate hug for them. You can tell by the smile on their face and the speed of their tail wagging. You can also tell by how they lean into you. Can you teach your dog to accept hugs? There is hope for die hard dog huggers. Yes, you can teach your dog to receive hugs. The pros tell us it takes time, patience and an ample amount of treats.