It is relatively easy to teach dogs to hug. In this video, the dogs have learned to respond with a hug to the question “Who is your best friend? Essentially a side way hug. It is certainly a fun trick to show off at parties. It’ll be the entertainment, especially if all your friends are also dog lovers.
Some of these dogs point to toys as best friend. One points to his owner as best friend. I was curious how these dogs learn to do this, so I did some research, and found an article on Dog Time with 10 tricks to teach our dogs, one of which is “hug.” Sara Greenwald shares 10 videos in Dog Time demonstrating how to teach our dogs to kiss, bark on command, shake hands, roll over, play dead, spin, sit pretty, etc.
How to teach a dog to hug
The trick a dog needs to learn, according to Sara, before learning the hug, is “sit pretty.” In a video demonstration on how to teach your dog to hug, Sara says to first teach your dog to sit pretty, which is to put a treat right next to her nose so she has to reach up with her arms (for the treat). Then start teaching the “hug” by beginning with “sit pretty”, and when she is in the position of sit pretty for 3 or 4 seconds, wrap your arms around your dog for a quick second, then reward her. Repeat this and associate the word “hug” with the behavior.
Make sure your dog feels comfortable with the hug. Leaning your head in is crowding your dog’s space. If he’s uncomfortable, stop immediately. If he’s okay with it. Then practice until he’s okay with this step. The last step is to open your arms and say “hug” then lean in with your arms, and reward your dog. You can watch the demonstration in video 10 of this article here.
Enjoy watching these dogs demonstrate their fondness of each other.
Article source: Sara Greenwald on Dog Time