When it comes to showing affection to our dogs, we may often turn to our human options, such as hugging and kissing. But should we be doing this?
While we love our dogs, does it stress them out for us to show that love in a manner that we would typically reserve for other people? According to the American Kennel Club, we should not be hugging our dogs.
Although there may be some dogs that do not mind the occasional hug, the reality is that for the most part our pups are simply tolerating this show of emotion. While we may think that our dogs appreciate these acts of love, really we are just stressing them out.
Why we should not be hugging our dogs
If you ever pay attention to the way two dogs are with each other, for the most part you will never see them embracing each other. Dogs speak a very different language from us and that includes in terms of how they show and receive affection.
The way we see a hug is not the same as the way they perceive it. And according to the AKC,
"when you hug a dog, they don’t understand what you’re trying to say. In fact, you’re essentially trapping them. They can’t get away from anything that scares them or makes them uncomfortable while in your arms."
In general, hugging a dog can actually be dangerous if the dog ends up feeling too uncomfortable and trapped. This can lead to them biting, and since hugs typically bring their face close to yours, that bite can end up being to your face.
And just because your dog might put up with you hugging them, what happens if someone they aren’t as comfortable with or that they don’t know does it? Think of a strange child trying to hug your dog and your pup being so uncomfortable and stressed that they end up biting.
It’s a situation we should all be avoiding. While there may be dogs that are okay with the occasional hugs, knowing that in general this is an act that causes stress leaves us with the knowledge that hugging is something we need to avoid when it comes to showing love to our pups.
Did you know that hugs were stressful to your dogs? Are you a hugger? How does your dog react to hugs?