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I ask because while i pet my dog a lot i also hug and kiss him a lot more so i am wondering if he recognize that as affection or not.
 

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As far as I understand they do not obviously recognize a hug and a kiss like we do but respond to body language and voice. When you show affection to your dog eventually they catch on that it is affection you are showing. I think the hugging and kissing is something they learn to recognize as affection once they form habits with their family. but i believe it is learned and all dogs have their own distinct personalities and they usually form around the personality of their owner. If you were not a hugging or kissing type and the dog was not accustomed to that behavior it might be afraid if someone tried to embrace him. Get what I am trying to say? anyhow My dogs LOVE to cuddle and always want to steal hugs and kisses from anyone who will give it. Praise and soothing talk is also a nice way to give affection to your dog.
 

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I don't think a dog is born knowing that petting, hugs or kisses are human forms of affection. I think a dog may learn over time that these things are our ways of showing affection because they go along with praise and happy body language. Some dogs do not even enjoy petting and many do not like hugging or kissing because these behaviors can be interpreted as threatening in terms of body language (looming over the dog, restricting their movement, getting in their face etc.). I think some dogs simply learn to tolerate these behaviors rather than really enjoying them though I'm sure there are some who do enjoy it.
 

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The book "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell has some interesting thoughts on how canines don't automatically recognize primate behavior, like kissing and hugging. In fact the book contains some very interesting pictures of dog expressions while being hugged. My dogs seem to recognize many forms of affection - physical and sound. I do find that they prefer to snuggle if they can move into me instead of me reaching out and holding them. I swear some of my boy dogs would crawl inside my skin if they could figure out how to.
 

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I think my dog mostly tolerates the hugs, which she gets a lot of lol! But when I kiss her she often kisses back and she asks for pets.
 

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Esther interprets the mere mention of her name as a sign of affection. It doesn't even matter what you're saying to her or about her - it's the tone that counts.

You could say (softly) "Esther you are the dumbest dog that ever walked the face of the earth" and her tail would start thumping furiously because all she would hear is, "Esther."

She likes getting her butt or back scratched, but barely tolerates petting. A hug would be an act of war.
 

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I think dogs learn to appreciate other forms of primate displays of affection too. My dogs will at certain times of the day come up and just lean into me until I hug/cuddle them. I really think they like it a lot, but Mia likes it more when it's on her terms. Mine really seem to enjoy cuddling and even being picked up and carried. But still, Mia would never offer this behavior to someone she didn't know and trust. Summer is kind of an attention hog.... lol. I've found the breed as a whole a lot more showy in their displays of affection compared to my past dogs.

I had one dog that came to us at about a year old that just did not like even being petted. He eventually learned to tolerate it but I was never convinced he like it. The only kind of petting he would solicit was butt scratches.
 

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My boy is definitely a snuggler and understands hugs and kisses as affection. I adopted him at just over 2 years old and he's been a snuggler with us since day one. Not sure if he learned to love it in his original home or he's just a born affection hog.

As an example he wasn't feeling well last night, ended up vomiting twice during the night, and he spent the night sleeping cuddled up to me even more so than usual. The first time he vomited last night we actually made it outside. Once we got back in I sat with him on the floor in the living room for a few minutes to make sure he was done and I wouldn't be racing back down the stairs minutes later. I was sitting on the floor with my knees bent and my legs apart, he came over, sat down and just leaned fully into my body and rested his head on my arm. He wanted to be as physically close to me as possible and I just hugged him and rubbed his chest for a few minutes.

So yeah, some dogs really enjoy that closeness of physical affection but it's not something I'd go up to a strange dog and do. Over time you learn what your dog likes or at least tolerates.
 

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Blu Boy ( and Leeo) loved the affection. They also wanted to be doted on when they felt poorly. Blu Boy still loves affection and to sleep with you.

Eddee took three months .. but has just started to initiate his form of affection by lying across my chest and rolling around in my arms as I lay in bed in the morning. He just licks and licks my neck and face and hands and arms .... drives me crazy!!! ... and snuggles .... of course I realize this may also be a ploy for me to "Get Up!" ... Lol! :)
 

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I think Bella knows it's my form of affection when I hug her (and I just can't resist kissing her forehead now and then)....although some days she's just not in the mood for a mommy hug and she'll give a little growl. If someone she doesn't know tries to hug her she gets really freaked out...unless it's a kid, she seems more tolerant of kids for some odd reason.

But as far as HER definition of affection, that would be "food".
 

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The book "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell has some interesting thoughts on how canines don't automatically recognize primate behavior, like kissing and hugging. In fact the book contains some very interesting pictures of dog expressions while being hugged. My dogs seem to recognize many forms of affection - physical and sound. I do find that they prefer to snuggle if they can move into me instead of me reaching out and holding them. I swear some of my boy dogs would crawl inside my skin if they could figure out how to.
I've read that book too, along with several other of her works. I also read her blog pretty regularly. I love her as much as you can love anyone unmet. She just has such a nice way with dogs and I really like her positive training methods.

That said, Plume is always overjoyed to see me whether it's a three minute separation to take out the trash or a four hour work separation. The feeling is reciprocated (well, work, not so much trash duty). Sometimes, I just forget myself and Trisha's wise words about canine/primate interactions and scoop her up into a hug. She tolerates it for a few seconds (humouring me) and then pulls away.

Seconds later, she is trying to burrow into my skin as if to say, "I want to be part of you." That's when I melt with love again and suggest that we go out for dinner. Champagne and candles. Or rather, "out" meaning food bowl out and filled with goodness. No champagne. No candles. But lots of chicken, etc ...
 

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I agree. Many Dogs hate to be hugged, initially... some learn to tolerate it, others learn to like it.
1. My 65 lb. dog likes close contact, gentle caressing, careful ear scratching (inside the ear, also), light nose rubbing, scratching certain spots. Including the base of his tail.
2. He LOVES to have his belly rubbed - He will walk up to strangers, let them pet him, slowly sink down, then collapse in a "submissive posture" inviting a belly rub, stretching and moaning at just the right time for best compliance ...
3. He doesn't like to be hugged, but he does like me to 'hug' (?) his chest ... like a thunder shirt. He also likes me to bounce or push him gently against a wall or the bed, which I guess feels the same as the chest hug.
4. I think that tug of war is a show of affection (?); as opposed to Fetch, which is just a game to play. ???
 

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My shih tzu, Rai Li, is very affectionate. If I'm reclining on the couch, he will upon occasion crawl up me to lie on me and press his head tightly up against me, almost like a full body hug. Occasionally he is apparently overcome with affection and will make lunges at my face (while up beside me or on me), trying to give me kisses, many many kisses. if I hug him up against me (he doesn't like being picked up) while he's in my lap he then lays his head back up against my shoulder and gives me sugar. He's a 12 year old sweetie.
 
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