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I was reading The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell the other day, and in the first few chapters she says something about how hugging is a primate instinct and that dogs do not like hugs at all and see it as a way of establishing dominance.

It's a great book full of good advice about doggy body language, but I have not heard of that before, and I had actually thought a lot of dogs liked hugs... just wondering what everyone's experience/opinions are. I personally cannot imagine not giving dogs hugs at all.
 

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I've been reading The Other End of the Leash recently as well... and found that interesting. I'm guessing it is typically not enjoyable for the dog, unless they grow accustomed to it- nicely- from an early age? Neither of my dogs have a problem with hugs at all, and appear to like them, wagging their tails and etc... I'm interested to see the other responses to this, because I'm curious too.

I hug my dogs a quite a bit, as does the rest of my family. Never had a problem.
 

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I hug apollo all the time, and he hugs me back.. so i decided to make it a command, now he will jump, and tie his legs around me when i tell him to ''hug me''
 

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I hug my dogs all the time... they don't seem to care, though Tori prefers belly scratches as far as showing affections goes. But when I hug my aunt's Husky/GSD, Ozzy, she licks her lips -which I am told is a sign of a nervous or uncomfortable dog- and acts completely offended...

And she is quite a dominant dog, actually. She practically rules their entire family.
 

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I really feel dogs do not liked to be huged or over crushed lo. So go easy on the hugs especially if you have a small dog:)
On the other hand when I put my arms, (gently around my little girl, min-schnauzer), And telling her how wonderfull she is, her little stub of a tail is going a mile a minute. I also feel they do not like to be picked up:D So I do not pick them up unless I have to.
 

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I think dogs can learn that humans hug as a show of affection. So a dog could conceivably learn to enjoy being hugged. But it's just not natural for them to enjoy it.
 

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Melody is my "shoulder" to lean on I can just hug her for the longest time and she just sits here and lets mommy hug her. Sasha she doesnt mind, Andy he loves to be hugged and kissed all the time the other dogs could care less.
 

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I hug my dogs all the time, and they stick their noses right in my face all the time as well. They wouldn't necessarily accept the same from, or do the same to, a stranger. Likewise, I don't go over and hug the shelter dogs or rub my nose against theirs. While ventral-ventral IS threatening to dogs, it doesn't always elicit a fearful response if the dog is secure in the fact that you don't pose any kind of threat.
 

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Our 6-year-old Standard Poodle started giving us hugs when she was very young... meaning if we're sitting on the floor with her or if we just arrived home, she will wrap her paws around our neck-shoulders, wagging her tail and giving kisses. She wags her tail or otherwise looks pleased when we give her hugs as well. But, we would never hug or so tightly that it would be painful, nor would we allow a stranger to hug her unless she approved first. ;)
 

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I can see where a dog wouldn't normally like a "hug", unless they were used to it. I don't particularly like hugs, myself, unless they're from people I like to hug. =P It's like...you're getting for too much into MY space.
 

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Kaki leans against me while I hug her and we'll spoon for hours on end. We usually wake up spooning in the same spot that we went to sleep in.

:p

I think it's all about how you raise your dog.
 

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Sadie doesn't like hugs unless she initiates it - and she will after a good 10 minutes of scratching and petting. She will snuggle up into you and ask for a hug.

I wouldn't hug a dog without making sure they actually LIKE it. Someone posted a picture a while back of dogs being hugged - they hate it!
 

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My last dog loved hugs and would jump on my lap and lean into me with his head on my shoulder if he wanted a hug and I didn't notice. He was super affectionate though and really craved physical contact.

Mojo tolerates my hugging on him, but he doesn't particularly enjoy it. He likes to be close and will curl up under my neck or on my shoulder on his own but if I never hugged him again I don't think he'd mind at all.
 

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I have read that book too and just kept it as a general mental tab on dogs in general. Like many others have said earlier, I think that if dogs know you, or consider you a friendly friend, they love to hug. All my Bull Terriers love to hug, kinda over whelming at times! They are 50 pounds or more and wish they were still puppys and want to lay on your lap, or on top of you were you to lay on the floor. After an initail meeting with someone next thing you know they are trying to snuggle their nose/head inbetween your neck and shoulder or under your arm, asking for hugs.
 

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Shadow loves to give hugs. It's nothing we've taught her to do, it's sorta something she just picked up. She is extremely gentle and just nuzzles into your chest in the perfect way. I love my Shadow hugs.
I don't know if she sees them as affection, but I sure do.
 

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I was reading The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell the other day, and in the first few chapters she says something about how hugging is a primate instinct and that dogs do not like hugs at all and see it as a way of establishing dominance.
Those derned dominance theorists again! Sorry, I couldn't resist.
 
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