Hugs are one of my favorite things in the world. Right up on my favorite thing list with puppies. Since I was a child, I always gave my dogs hugs. To there dismay. In this segment of Why Does My Dog… we will answer the question, Why Do Dogs Hate Hugs.
Your Puppy is NOT a Baby
I try to dress my dogs up just like I do an infant. The smaller the dog, the more cute outfits I have. It is totally understandable that people treat dogs like a baby and a member of the family. The problem is, dogs do not communicate like people do.
Besides puppies being far harrier than a baby should be, dogs just do not understand things like people do. Dogs mostly communicate through body language. The words you say has very little to do with what your dog hears.
Why Do Dogs Hate Hugs
The body language of a huge is very different for dogs and humans. For your cute puppy, a hug is aggressive. Put yourself in your dogs paws. When you hug your dog you are essentially cornering your dog.
A cornered dog, being held in place, is being forced to submit. You are being super aggressive. At the very least, your dog will want to run away. If you are unlucky, your dog will try to fight back and force you to submit. This means biting, tackling and scratching.
You are communicating the wrong signals when you try to hug your dog. Your dog also gets a huge spike of anxiety. Your dog reacts with a few clear signs. The signs are your dog will look away, try to get away and squirm.
Ears will drop and your dog will tuck their tail. This is just the start of the ‘I hate this’ your baby will display, but these are the most common.
For humans, a hug releases hormones that make you feel good and releases trust. Dogs, not so much.
Cornering a dog is never a good idea. A cornered and anxious dog is asking for trouble. But a good and well trained dog will take it. This does not mean your puppy likes it.
9 out of 10 Dentists Agree
Why do dogs hate hugs? Because you are being super aggressive and dominant. Your dog has no way out and is cornered. A well trained dog will not attack you, but try to escape.
Most new research on the topic of hugging your pup agrees that preliminary research shows hugging is not an enjoyable activity for a dog. But we have a long way to go. The social cues of tucking tail and lowering ears are a clear sign of submission and not enjoying the activity.
Typically a dog will try to get away during a hug. This does not mean we know for sure dogs hate hugs. Alternatively, every dog trainer and behaviorist I have met agree that a dog does not enjoy the activity of hugging.
Rather than a hug, do what dogs do. Why do dogs hate hugs? You are giving an animal a human hug. Arms wrapped around and face to face is great for humans, but not dogs. For a dog, you want to have an escape route. You can have one arm over your dog, but avoid pushing against your pups face.
As strange as this sounds, a good dog hug is like cuddling or spooning. Some contact but your dog can look away or escape. Your puppy will not be as anxious and you still get your loving hug in. This is my go to for my dogs when we are on the cough.