How Do Dogs Really Feel When We Hug Them?


An article I just read on Mother Nature Network caught my eyes.  The title was “Why dogs don’t like to be hugged”.  What?!  How can that be?

After I finished the article by Jaymi Heimbuch, I feel more informed about how beloved dog friends may feel about my hugs.

Dogs are individuals.  So some may like it.  Or maybe they like it only from people they know very well, and not from strangers.

There are a couple of photos in this article that shows how to read the reaction of a dog to a hug.  Very illuminating.  An advice about discovering your dog’s feelings toward hugs is to have someone take a photo of your dog when you are hugging him/her because you can’t see your dog’s face when you are hugging.

I really think this is worthwhile reading.

Ralf P flickr

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

How to find out what your dog thinks about hugs

“One of the best things that I’ve found to help people decide whether their dog likes it or not, is to hug your dog and have someone take a picture,” says McConnell, “When we hug our dogs, we don’t see their face..

“I was in a situation in which dogs were being evaluated, and it was really helpful for me to show the owner that her dog wasn’t comfortable with hugging. Her dog is a big friendly, goofy dog that loves everybody. While I was sitting beside him, his mouth was open with a big silly smile on his face, and he was panting. I wrapped my arm around his shoulder like you would put your arm around the shoulder of a friend, and sort of leaned into him and gave him a little hug. He immediately went stiff and still, and his mouth closed. I said to her, ‘Watch his mouth,’ and I did it back and forth. I pulled my hand away and he opened his mouth and panted, and I put my hand over him, moved a little bit toward him, and he went stiff and closed his mouth. I said, ‘See, mouth open and panting; see, mouth closed.’ I did that three or four times in a row and she got it.”

So paying attention to your dog’s mouth, feeling if he leans away from you, and having a photo taken so you can get a better sense of what his eyes and ears are telling you are all great ways to learn more about just what your dog thinks about how you show affection.

You can read the entire article here.


Article source:  Mother Nature Network

Image source:  Ralf P. on


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *