Can Dogs Give Hugs?

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If you've ever cozied up with your pet on the couch on a Saturday night, you may get a nudge, rub, lick. snuggle, or cuddle from your best pal. Your dog may even lean in and give you a hug just like a human! You may start to wonder if it is just an adorable coincidence, or if your dog is demonstrating his devotion: does my dog know how to display true affection? Does my dog truly love me like a human, or is there something more to his maneuvers? Can dogs give hugs?


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How do humans show affection?

Humans are all about expressing their love. According to the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships, the expression of affection is essential to maintaining human relationships. Humans can show their affection in many different ways according to preference, the type of relationship. Some examples include different forms of touch, as well as verbal affection and gift-giving.


Do dogs understand humans?

Yes, dogs understand humans! If you ever feel lost or misunderstood, just look to your dog: it doesn't take a lot for them to understand what's going on. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, dogs are not only good at learning tricks and commands, but also they happen to be really great at reading and discerning subtle cues of human emotion. Canines can pick up on scents, body language, and even tone of voice. In other words, dogs are truly a human's best friend!


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Can dogs give hugs?

Yes, you may observe that some dogs can give hugs! Keep in mind, every dog is different. While one dog may be open to snuggling and initiate a snuggle as a sign of affection, other canines may be shy, or not be open to receiving a hug. Some dogs may be considered more affectionate and family-friendly than others, and some dogs, despite their breed and reputation may not want to be hugged, or may not interpret a hug in the same way. Please keep this in mind when approaching different dogs for some puppy love.


Does my dog like it when I hug them?

While some dogs can give hugs, it doesn't necessarily mean all dogs like them. Whether or not your dog gives or enjoys hugs may depend on the breed, temperament and situation. According to AKC, while some dogs, like specially trained and socialized therapy dogs, can tolerate hugs, in general, dogs may not enjoy an interaction that involves a human putting their face next to theirs or restricting their movement. This may scare your dog, and may not be signal affection, and rather be seen as a threat or an act of dominance. Some dogs may really like your hugs, but like any living creature, hugs aren't for everyone.


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How do dogs show affection?

Dogs show affection in many ways that humans do. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, one way dogs can show their love is when they sleep by their owner. Your pup's willingness to snuggle with you on the couch, accept those great belly rubs, and go off of their instinctual high alert is an indicator of comfort — demonstrating to you that they are a part of your "pack." Consider your cuddle time as a true sign of love and devotion. If your pup isn't a big cuddler, there could be other ways that your dog shows their affection for you. This can include touching, kisses, smiling, eye contact, and of course, wagging their tails.


In summary

Dogs have the potential to be very affectionate. They also have the capability to read subtle cues of human emotion, and may even give you a hug. Not all dogs enjoy hugs, however, and may interpret a hug as an act of dominance or invasion of personal space. Be sure to approach every new canine friend with caution and respect before going in for a snuggle!



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