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It's a dominance thing.

Yeah, a friend of mine said that to me today, and all I could think was: "Yes, in the wild dogs show dominance by hugging... that's why they hate to be hugged. Makes sense."

I'm not sure why "dogs hate being hugged because hugging is an act of dominance" makes more sense than "dogs hate being hugged because they don't like to be constricted and restrained and otherwise unable to move."
 

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I'm not sure why "dogs hate being hugged because hugging is an act of dominance" makes more sense than "dogs hate being hugged because they don't like to be constricted and restrained and otherwise unable to move."
Its sort of the same thing though. Dogs try and dominate each other in ways that are constricting and restraining. Sure I wouldn't call it "hugging" but I can see where your friend is coming from.

As I said in the other thread throuhh many dogs including mine love being hugged.
 

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My dog loves to be hugged by me, though I wouldn't let a stranger hug her. It is a dominance thing in a way, and you know what, my dog views me as the dominant one in the relationship and is perfectly thrilled for some hugging cuddling time. Same as she's thrilled to lick my face for minutes on end, I understand that's a dominance thing as well. She hugs back as best she can by leaning into me and putting her head over my shoulder.
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My dog loves to be hugged by me, though I wouldn't let a stranger hug her. It is a dominance thing in a way, and you know what, my dog views me as the dominant one in the relationship and is perfectly thrilled for some hugging cuddling time. Same as she's thrilled to lick my face for minutes on end, I understand that's a dominance thing as well. She hugs back as best she can by leaning into me and putting her head over my shoulder.
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Mine does the same thing and I love it :) Even now, when she hasn't been feeling well, I put my arms around her and she just leans her whole body into me and doesn't move until I do. Love her :)
 

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I think dogs feel a difference between the touch of a loved one (or 'packmate') and the touch of a stranger. We ourselves are happy to have hugs and pats by those we care for, but if a stranger tried to put a hand on us, watch out! Dogs are the same way I imagine. Shadow's never happier than if she's laying by us close enough where she's touching us, but she won't let strangers put a hand on her unless we tell her it's okay, and even then she's not happy about it. She tolerates it, but it's only tolerating.
 

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I think that dogs are like people. Some just don't like to be hugged, some tollerate hugs, and others love hugs from family and close friends.
for example:
- Tiger hates hugs. She was starved and wondering the streets and barely old enough to be called adult when I found her, so she has trust issues. Over a year later, she still ducks her head and looks scared if we approach her quickly.
- Mauka, on the other hand, has been in my home since she was tiny and she loves hugs. She'll complain to the kids if they hug too much and they know to back off when she does, but then she licks their faces. lol
I think, too, that when she lays her head on our feet it is her way of hugging us.
 

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Depends on the dog. Aspen loves it, some hate it. I certainly wouldn't force my hugs on a dog but since Aspen enjoys it, I'll hug away. :)
I have to agree with you... depends on a dog... two of mine love it.. totally love it.. one don't care for it.. but on The other hand.. she don't care for nothing.. haha but i love to hug them!!! Like it or not HERE I COME!!! haha good day to everyone!
 

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Well if the person is hovering over the dog and really imposing on their personal space, they can interpret that as a dominant stance.

But I also have to agree that while it's not a safe thing to do to strange dogs, Stella loves hugs from everyone!
 

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Riley doesn't like being hugged. It's not because of dominance or restraint, he just doesn't find any kind of physical affection rewarding. He's used to all sorts of handling and I can and do hug him, but its just not in his nature to enjoy that sort of thing.

With strangers, it's definitely a restraint issue and invokes his fight or flight instinct.
 

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I think that dogs are like people. Some just don't like to be hugged, some tollerate hugs, and others love hugs from family and close friends.
for example:
- Tiger hates hugs. She was starved and wondering the streets and barely old enough to be called adult when I found her, so she has trust issues. Over a year later, she still ducks her head and looks scared if we approach her quickly.
- Mauka, on the other hand, has been in my home since she was tiny and she loves hugs. She'll complain to the kids if they hug too much and they know to back off when she does, but then she licks their faces. lol
I think, too, that when she lays her head on our feet it is her way of hugging us.
Well, I'd say dogs are like people but in the opposite. MOST (70%?) people like to be hugged, with SOME (25%?) not liking it and simply tolerating it, and a very rare few (5%? 1%? just can't stand it at all and will go to lengths to avoid it.

For dogs, I'd say SOME are fine with being hugged especially if it is a person they have bonded with, but MOST simply tolerate being hugged, of course tolerating it less with strangers than their people, and finally some will go to great lengths to avoid it.
 

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My dog tolerates hugging from me (a lot because I'm a huger!!) but it's clearly not her preferred way for me to show affection. She'd prefer cuddling on the couch or getting pet any day. But strangers she doesn't tolerate hugging from very well. My sister is obnoxious with dogs, she's not a kid just kinda dog clueless, and I recently told her to stop hugging Bennie if she wants her to not hate her. She kept squirming away, clearly not a fan :p
 

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I think it just depends on the dog really. Ours is not much of a hugger. He's pretty independent. Likes to be around us and in the same room but doesn't like to be mooched all over. He will cuddle on his own time when he is sleepy but that's about it. Otherwise it's always play time, no time for cuddles!
 

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For Cosmo my Aussie, I can squat down and hold my arms open and he'll come running into them for a hug. However he only lets a very select few people come up and hug him. He always lets me, but children often run up and try to hug him and he hops away with his ears back and a startled expression on his face. He even snapped at my uncle out of fear when he was about 4 months old when my uncle went to pick him up! It really depends on the dog and who they trust to hug them. I wish more people would teach their kids to never put their arms around a strangers dog even if they said they can pet the dog. I'm worried Cosmo might bite a child one day :/
 

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All 70 pounds of HaHa wants hugs, to be able to sit in your lap, and one could pet him until his fur fell out and he would be in a perfect in a state of bliss. He gets hugs daily, isn't allowed to be a lap dog, and I pet him quite often...he gets over the fact that he can't have things totally his way...lol.

Jaya, get uncomfortable if you even look at her for more than 15 or 20 seconds.

I think enjoying hugging is more of a dog's personality quirk. I've had a lot of dogs and some I raised from the time they were puppies and it was hit or miss as to whether or not they liked hugging. Some struggled against it, some didn't.

These four, I had since they were pups:
Sampson - loved hugs and being petted
Hey You - (Sampson's pup) didn't like hugs, enjoyed being petted
Shilo - didn't like hugs, didn't care for being petted that much.
Ernie - He was a 'leaner' - would come up and lean against your legs and enjoyed being petted, but he wasn't a lap dog type and didn't like being petted unless he came to you for it....and he would about once or twice a day.

I adopted these as adult dogs:
Lacey - adopted her, age 8. She didn't like hugs but really enjoyed being petted
Harper - my avatar photo, adopted her age 6. She was 120 pounds of 'please let me crawl on your lap and hug me all day long and pet me and rub my belly and I will melt like butter each and every time...lol. She was an attention hog in every way....squirmed and loved every second of being hugged and petted.
Jaya - adopted her when she was 5, has prior history of severe abuse episodes and isolation from other dogs and humans. She doesn't like any physical contact.
HaHa - almost, but not quite as bad as Harper was for wanting attention.

So, again, I think they are born with a certain personality, although experiences as puppies probably alter what kind of dog they might have been, such as in Jaya'a case... who knows if she ever could have been the kind of dog who would have liked a nice belly rub from time to time ???

Stormy
 
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