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I would like to hear peoples opinions, experiences and reasoning's about this. I've been googling it and it seems to be a very controversial topic, i want to see what people on here think :ponder:
 

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I'd say never hug a dog that's not yours, because it is a very invasive and even threatening kind of thing. And with dogs that are yours it'd depend on them personally. Right now I have a foster and he dislikes getting hugs, loves cuddles but no hugs. My first foster however loved all attention and handling, he would initiate lots of physical affection any second I stopped moving. Sorry for such a non-conclusive answer, but yeah "it depends" is my experience so far.
 

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I don't hug any dog that's not mine. And my dogs all prefer to be cuddled in different ways. Erik loves full on bear hugs, the snugglier the better, while Eva and Gracie prefer a much looser hold. We taught Eva to give us a signal when she wants a hug; she turns to the side and moves between your knees. If she doesn't do that, she doesn't want a hug.
 

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I would say the same, never with dogs who are unknown to you/ or you unknown to them.
When it comes to your own dogs, if they are into it, then of course, kyra loves hugs, she's always right on top of your lap or under your arm.
 

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Ummmm, yeah, no way, NEVER a dog that wasn't mine. And none of my dogs who didn't enjoy it. Eko hates it from me, he whines and immediately pulls away and it would not be pretty if some random person ran up and hugged him. Xena would probably snap at or bite a stranger who hugged her without giving her some time to warm up. Once she decides she likes you, good luck getting her OFF of you! She flops down on her back into my arms to make me hold her like a baby, and goes completely limp so it's like trying to move a boulder off of your lap, she loves hugs and kisses and will even go to sleep like that! Eko just wants to be glued to my leg 24/7, and that's fine. All of his hugs just go to Xena lol. Whenever he comes up to me for attention I just pet him and scratch his chest/belly, then he's done and he wanders off to go lap around the house or something.
 

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Not unless I know them well, and know them to like hugs.

One of the dogs I walk is a very cuddly girl... If I have a seat on a bench, she is always hopping right up beside me and snuggling up next to me. In fact, she does it to strangers who sit on the bench, which is embarrassing as it is entertaining!!! Especially as she is a lab, and likes to try and sneak her bum onto their laps :rofl:
 

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Koda will tolerate my hugging her. Sometimes, she enjoys the attention.

I would never hug a dog that wasn't mine.
 

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I'm with @FailedSlacker, I don't even hug my own dogs unless they initiate it. Which they never do, they prefer showing and receiving affection in other ways. My wife does hug them and it's obvious that they just tolerate it in a "ok, I don't like it but if you really have to..." kind of way. They do like physical contact and closeness, just not being held.
 

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Yep, I wouldn't hug just any dog.

Pepper is a cuddler, luckily. If I get down to his level either by kneeling or squatting, I get attacked :)
 

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I'm with @FailedSlacker, I don't even hug my own dogs unless they initiate it. Which they never do, they prefer showing and receiving affection in other ways. My wife does hug them and it's obvious that they just tolerate it in a "ok, I don't like it but if you really have to..." kind of way. They do like physical contact and closeness, just not being held.
This is the distinction that many miss as far as hugging dogs. Cuddling and letting a dog into your personal space is not the same as hugging. A hug is a form of restraint, from the dog's point of view. Some dogs tolerate it well but that doesn't mean that at some time, with someone, any given dog who has tolerated hugs in the past, won't decide that enough is enough.
 

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I think far few dogs "like" hugs than their people realize. Enter the world of calming signals..... (See our sticky, video examples below.)

IF (big if) your dog *likes* being hugged and will initiate/continue the contact, it's up to you. If your dog only tolerates being hugged, why do something that will put a damper on your trust/relationship and/or stress your dog out? Also, spoon theory, anyone?

I don't know if anyone has mentioned, but children particularly have NO business hugging dogs, known or otherwise, because they are not going to be able to observe/understand body language.

Finally, hugging others' dogs is just plain stupid, lol.




 

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Cobber's not a hugger, which is too bad. In fact, none of my 4 dogs were really fond of hugs, but all did/will tolerate when they're really tired. So Cobber will let me hug him just before going into his crate at night and when he comes out all bed-head mussed in the morning :) I've always wanted a cuddly pup, but never seem able to pick one....
 

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Seriously, people have no idea that dogs find hugs threatening. I imagine they tolerate it in the same way we tolerate excessive puppy energy, or babies grabbing our faces.

I did a google image search for "Dogs love hugs" to see what there was to see, and nearly every dog pictured either looked MISERABLE or was giving some sort of very overt calming signal, like "woah, chill out dude. Take it down a notch."

the sole exception was this fellow, who is so happy and relaxed:



And yes, this is more of a lay-on with cuddles than a real hug.

But yeah, one picture of a dog liking hugs out of perhaps 200 pictures? I suspect it's probably a similar number for actual dogs.

If I don't know the dog, hugs are right out. If I am familiar with a dog, it initiates and seems happy, game on! :huddle:
 

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Faye likes them now after 4 months of getting to know me, Leesi has ALWAYS been a cuddler/hugger... :D (lucky mommy) Faye is more of a kisser, the ninja sneak attack kind, tongue straight in your mouth.

Never EVER will I hug a dog I don't know...unless it's a tired puppy :p
 

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I'm with most people here - I would never hug a dog that I don't know or that I know little. Come to think of it - I don't think I would hug anybody's dog except my own.

My rescue is happy with anything when it comes from the 3 people in her life she trusts. She turns into a pretzel when she want's to cuddle.

My 2 boys are snugglebunnies (or want to be) and they frequently come up to me to get my version of a hug. I will reach down and put my chin on their shoulder and reach down to pat their big chests. I'm not really "hugging" but it's close.
If I stand by the window and they stand up to look out with me I will put an arm around them and scratch the top of their chest.
I am teaching them to actually hug though - they stand on their hind legs and put their front legs on my shoulders but it almost always dissolves in me getting my face soaked! :eyeroll:
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I found this really interesting, I honestly thought this might turn ugly lol, but most of us seem to agree.
I too would never hug a dog that wasn't mine, but i know Blackjack loves it as he will come and shove his head under my arm until its around him and then snuggle on my lap untill i wrap my arms around him. But in the future If i have a non-hugging dog then I wouldn't do it. I know that naturally dogs should find this as a dominating signal but I think that some learn young that we mean it as a sign of affection and therefore enjoy it. Just like we learnt somewhere down the line that a dog licking us means affection. We would never tolerate it from another person (imagine instead of a hug your bestie gave you a lick across the face.. eewww) but (some/most of us) learn to appreciate when our dogs give us a quick kiss.
I think the human dog relationship has become so strong in the last few thousand years because we (more so the dogs) have learnt to understand each other, even when we might display contradictory behaviors.
 

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If you want to be able to hug your dog, you ought to give your dog experience with it from a young age (or possibly an older dog) and teach the dog that's a good thing. I wouldn't hug a dog that isn't your dog. Some dogs may bite.

Kenya doesn't mind hugs.
 

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Never a dog that wasn't mine, and never to most of my own dogs unless the initiate it. Boston and Phoenix almost never ask for it, and I don't trust them enough to just scoop them up. Augustine tolerates anything, so he gets it sometimes whether he asks or not. There are some days where he just comes up and demands a hug.
Nola and Pike get hugged all the time, and 90% of the time they initiate it. They're very physical dogs, and love to touch me whenever possible. Pike slightly more than Nola, but neither have any qualms about be just grabbing them.

I see a hug as putting my arms around the dog while they're on the ground. That most often happens when I'm on the floor and Nola or Pike puts their chin on my and leans against me. That's how they ask for it. Picking them up to cuddle is a completely different thing, but is the BESTEST THING EVER EVER EVER if you ask them.
 
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