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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure most have felt the urge to hug their furry friends,but should we really hug them?​
In the dog world,hugging is considered "standing over" which is usually done by a dog who is acting aggressive or dominant towards another dog.Its incredibly similar to our version of showing affection (hugging)

http://www.inspire52.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/KidAndDog.jpg
Now,take a look at the picture above,does it look cute? Does the dog look happy?
No. Take another look,the dog has whale eyes (white part of eyes is showing alot),there is a visible lip lick (sign of discomfort) and has a tense body posture.
Lets take a look at another picture.

This dog's ears are alert,it avoids looking at the man,has a tense posture and looks uncomfortable all together.



This dog avoids looking in the direction of the camera or the child,has a tense posture and looking like its leaning away.

Now lets look at a video,pull it in a new tab,watch carefully and come back to this tab,you may look back at the video if needed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0HN4TU4uLo
This dog constantly glances at the owner,as if asking for some help.There are a few lip licks i caught.(signals stress and discomfort).She put her head down,and didn't look at the toddler (trying to ignore).When the child went between her paws and hugged her neck,the female dog moved her head away and avoided looking at her.

Some dogs may enjoy being hugged,but most do not.
Forgive me if i'm wrong,but i've been doing research. Feel free to leave your opinions,but please do not be rude.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThIBNB5kUsU
I'd like to point out that in this video,the dog is throwing extreme and constant signals that he is very distressed and uncomfortable,first the dog looks away from the child,avoiding her and wanting nothing to do with her.The dog is very tense,and as the gil moves behind him he looks to see if shes still there,then tenses up again.The child grabs his muzzle,and he pulls back with wide eyes.His ears are pinned back. She puts her shirt on her snout and he pushes it away,as she proceeds he continues to push her away.
The child starts to grab his face,and he pulls back,stands up and moves away slightly,then lays down,trying to ignore her.He stares at his owner with raised ears,looking slightly more relieved that the child stopped bothering him. The kid then starts to "kiss" him and he puts his ears back again.The dog pulls away as she comes over once again and grabs his face.He looks away and licks his chops,signaling discomfort,then continues to pull his head away when she tries to grab his face again.He then lays on his side and tries his best to ignore her,having whale eyes as she pulls on his arms.

THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TO LET CHILDREN KEEP ON BOTHERING THE DOG! The canine sends obvious warnings and signs of discomfort this can lead to aggression and other bad behaviors.
 

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I think as a general rule don't hug dogs BUT once you are familiar with dog body language, AND the dog in question then go by what the dog is telling you.

our dog, seeks out hugs, she comes and nestles herself under my arm, or plops herself in my husbands lap, if my kids are sitting next to each other, she squishes herself into the tiny gap between them.

I go by the rule, of watching the dog for discomfort signals when ANYTHING is done to them, especially by a stranger,our dog is pretty much ok with anything a stranger does, touching, tail, ears, hugging, BUT when a stranger comes to pet her on the top of the head, she looks very uncomfortable, she shifts trying to watch their hand, so I now just keep my own hand there when we meet a stranger and tell them she likes being petted behind the ears. I am also working on CCing so she will end up not minding as it is a very common way for people to greet dogs.

All dogs are different, but all their discomfort signals are the same.
 

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For every picture of a dog being uncomfortable about being hugged I'm sure there's another photo of a dog who doesn't mind. All dogs are different and there's no point in making blanket statements about what any one dog likes or doesn't like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Again i said,some dogs do like being hugged.
http://media.mnn.com/assets/images/2014/09/dog-ok-hug.jpg
Like this one for example,has a very relaxed posture,and is actually leaning into its owner,unlike some dogs who freeze up when they get a hug.
I'd just like to point out to dog owners that their dog may be uncomfortable,and what to look out for. Personally,my dog doesn't enjoy hugs.I hugged her to test whether she likes them or not,and she froze up,licked her chops and after I let go of her she walked off and shook out her coat.
Shes fine with people in general,just not hugs.
 

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Some dogs don't mind being hugged, many do. My girl certainly doesn't appreciate hugs from people she doesn't know, but w me she will lean up against me and welcome a hug and some scratches. I will say this is when we're both sitting, usually on something, she doesn't really like someone to stand over her and hug her, which is understandable.
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If you like to read about dogs & humans, and the ways that differences between canine and primate behavior can lead to some big misunderstandings (like hugging), Dr. Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash is a great book.
 

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It is important to educate on how dogs may not like to be hugged. While some don't like it, other dogs do. Tynan loves to be as close as possible to me as often as he can. The whale eye is also subjective. Many times the whites show depending on the position of the dog and what he/she is looking at. The whole picture needs to be assessed together as a whole. My dog Tynan is black and the whites are more prominent with his dark fur. It doesn't mean he's always uneasy, so I need to take this into consideration when reading his body language.

 

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Depends on the dog. I'd guess that most dogs who have owners who hug them regularly, they've learned that it is an affectionate gesture.
Agree 100% with this. Aspen will often come over to me and "ask" me for hugs. I think it completely depends on the dog.
 

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"Hugging" a dog equates to restraining a dog physically and might promote a dog's fight or flight instincts dependent on many variables per the particular situation. To suggest "most" dogs do not like being hugged is maybe a bit exaggerated but no doubt "some" dogs should not be hugged as it could solicit a reaction by the dog which could produce a negative result.

I agree with the OP's basic premise that allowing small children to hug and crawl on the family dog is a practice which could end up in a very quick and unexpected fashion if the handler isn't savvy to their dog's wiring. I would err on the side of caution with small children hugging and crawling on any dog however I have seen many a dog which remains docile or indifferent ( not shooting any obvious signals ) when a kid is hugging the dog.

Common sense should prevail as always but then again, that's easier said than done this day and age.
 

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My dogs should all trust me enough to know that letting me hug them isn't going to result in being hurt because they're restrained. :confused: I wouldn't expect any dog to be comfortable with a stranger hugging them, but the owner should be able to do most things to their dog without worrying about scaring it or getting bitten.

The day I don't trust my dogs enough to give them a hug or lift them over something because they'll become scared because I am restraining them is the day I stop owning dogs.

Isn't saying "don't hug your dog" kind of like saying "don't hug your kid" because strange children wouldn't be comfortable with you hugging them? :confused:

I really don't understand this. Dogs aren't stupid and I can't force myself to believe that they see their owner as they would see a stranger. There's no reason that a dog who hasn't had prior negative experiences with being hugged would be afraid to be hugged by it's owner unless the dog had very little trust in the owner.

When neither of you trust each other, there's not much point is there...
 

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My dog loves to be hugged, and snuggled and nuzzled. My parent's lab mix HATES it. I can feel her tense up from the second you put your hands on her. She can definitely tell the difference between "petting" and "examining".

I definitely agree with OP, children (and truthfully some adults) need to be taught that not all dogs are like the family dog.
 

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Fluffy Sally, nobody "hates" you -- you posted a topic on a discussion forum, people are simply discussing it. Not everybody has the same opinion and experience as you, that does hardly in any way equate to anyone "hating" you. Nobody here has been virulent or aggressive, I haven't even seen a real argument. Just relax. You are entitled to your opinion just as much as everyone else is entitled to theirs. There's no problem here. =)
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My dog does not mind being picked up, he loves to be close to me, he doesn't care if I drape my arm over him or lay my hand on him. He does not enjoy being hugged, so I do not hug him. Hugging is completely unnecessary, I have lots of other ways to show affection to him and do not see why I should subject him to something that he does not like if I do not have to do so.

If your dog enjoys hugging that's great, I had one like that and I did hug her. I just don't see why people insist that dogs should tolerate hugs, forcing one to do so when they are giving obvious signs that they do not like it could result in that dog deciding to up the warning to growling or snapping. To let a small child keep hugging a dog that obviously does not like hugs could result in that dog biting that child's face. The child is technically doing nothing wrong, but all animals have a breaking point and one day the dog may simply say enough is enough and snap at the child.

Teach a child that their dog may love hugs, but not all dogs do so so they can not hug any dog but their own.
 
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@Fluffy Sally - please don't feel that way. No one hates you. People are just giving their point of view. If your pup doesn't like to be hugged, it's great that you recognize it and don't do it. My dog happens to like it.

I do think it's important to teach kids and adults that hugging other people's dogs is not acceptable. Even though Aspen likes when I hug her, I don't allow people she doesn't know to do it.
 

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My eldest boy lando loves cuddles, if you try and yawn he will stick his entire body directly onto yours and smoosh in, and if you twiddle your hair he will shove his head in between your arm and the hair

ALL my photos of him and my partner are of them cuddling haha, obviously all dogs are different, we think our little man is like this because my partner spoils him so badly!

My 9 week old puppy hates cuddling, but then again he hates everything!
 
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