Should You Give Your Dog Hugs?

The Hug Debate

Contrary to human instinct, dogs don't naturally share our love for hugs.

Understanding Dog Language

Dogs communicate differently, and hugging can be perceived as trapping or even threatening to them.

Tolerance vs Enjoyment

Most dogs merely tolerate hugs, often displaying stress signals that go unnoticed by their owners.

Risk of Biting

Hugging can elevate a dog's stress level, potentially leading to biting, especially when the hug comes from a stranger or a child.

Signs of Discomfort

Recognize your dog's discomfort through signs like stiffening, turning their head away, lowered ears, and a tucked tail.

Teaching Tolerance

With desensitization and counterconditioning, you can teach your dog to tolerate hugs, which is especially important for therapy dogs.

Canine-Friendly Affection

Express your love in a more dog-friendly way, like belly rubs, back scratches, or playing games like fetch or tug-of-war.

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