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Seeking 2nd opinion about hugging dogs.

I suspect there is a knowledgeable canine behaviorist (hint, hint) amongst us and I seek a second opinion. Recent articles have nixed hugging your dog because they are "just putting up with it" and really feel threatened in some primal way. I have had black, gold and chocolate labs and never noticed any of them seeming uncomfortable with a human child or adult hug. In fact, they seemed to relish it. Is there not truth to a release of oxytocin on the part of both dogs and humans when they embrace? Maybe labs are a particularly affectionate breed compared to others, but it has me wondering.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201604/the-data-says-dont-hug-the-dog

Comments

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I'd just use common sense. Depends on the dog. Depends on how long and strong the hug is. Depends on personality(?) I started responding to this hours ago, just got back from my errands. :3

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Agree with @silver - I have one kid who loves a hug and one who doesn't like being touched.

    Maybe dogs are the same?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Agree. We have a boxer who sometimes loves a hug and cuddle. Other times she will box you in the head if you try, LOL. Respect their space the same as anyone else.

    dhammachicksilver
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Generally I find that with animals it is best to let them come to you.

    lobster
  • A lot of dogs won't give you moments peace.. and it depends upon the size of the human and canine counterpart as to who immobilizes who/what? I can't exactly hug the dog I care for. He is small, feisty and usually spins around to escape my clutches, but he does get a pat while I'm reading.

    Another concern is separation anxiety. Your companion wants to do whatever you're doing; always wants to be attached to you and freaks out when you leave. Interestingly enough there's a new techy application you can get which beams a image of your face to a monitor attached near where your companion is stationed, should you ever be need to keep in touch.

    It's common sense yes, you wouldn't grapple or immobilize one of your human counterparts in most situations would you? Nor would you grab both their cheeks going 'coochie coochie coo!'

    So, as a rule of thumb give your canine companion a nice pat, speak in a calm relaxed manner and don't leave him her in a hot car or alone with fireworks going on. etc

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Dogs are extremely aware of the nuances in our emotions, and we are far less so about theirs.
    Because children cuddle teddies, they also cuddle dogs, but should be taught from an early age that dogs are not toys. Dogs need to be respected, and deserve their space, and to be left alone, if they're just minding their own business and enjoying a quiet time alone....

    I agree with others here who say that it depends entirely on the dog, the situation the relationship, the temperament and the individuals involved.
    To make a sweeping statement that dogs feel stressed or pressured when hugged, is inaccurate, to say the least....

    dhammachicksilverTigger
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    I've had dogs most of my life; I currently have a one year old beagle puppy. In my opinion, some dogs hug and like to be hugged...

    dhammachick
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @IronRabbit said:

    @dhammachick, Skye looks like a good girl, easy to love I am sure. I've been bitten by three diffferent dogs, having nothing to do with snuggling. Totally my fault in each case for not giving a dog (Chihuahua, Shiba Inu & Heeler) his space whether in play or in discipline. I suppose since I like dogs so much and fear them so little (and in some cases respect them too little), I have crossed the line. Not with my labbies though....

    Skye is a good girl, we're very lucky with her. I think I'm ruined now and can only have Labs now. Although I still love Beagles

    _ /\ _

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 16

    Every single dog we have bred, we bred for a purpose. They were bred to udertake specific tasks, and although 99% of those tasks (in a normal domestic household) are now totally redundant, that principle is not absent in the dog. A retriever still wants to retrieve, a pointer still wants to point, and a terrier still wants... well, terriers are a breed unto themselves!
    There are more differences WITHIN a breed, than there are BETWEEN breeds, because all breeds basically descend from one source, wild dogs, be they coyotes or wolves. So they have that, in common.
    But this is why you will get two pugs whose temperaments are entirely different, and even a brother and sister who will be at opposite ends of the scale. Because temperaments, count.
    Look at how many dogs are put forward as assistance dogs. look at how a few special ones, ar chosen, even if all form the same litter....

    In order to give dogs what they need, we have to understand what it is dogs are asking for.
    They want, food, shelter, protection, food, loyalty, food and affection.

    And food.
    Unfortunately, some serving dogs (labs, retrievers, some rottweilers, beagles) have a genetic propensity to never having the hunger instinct satisfied, which is why one sees so many overweight labs/retrievers/beagles...Rotties not so much. I think sometimes these particular dogs are over-fed through ignorance ('he's a big dog, he needs a lot of food!') and intimidation ('he comes into the kitchen when I'm cooking and if I don't give him titbits, he growls!' This last one was bad husbandry and impolite behaviour. Soon fixed that one!)

    1: Titbits should be calculated as part of the daily diet.

    2: It doesn't hurt a dog - AT ALL - to skip food completely for a day.

    Love your dog the way s/he's telling you s/he needs to be loved. Learn body language, and the world is your oyster. The pearl therein, will be priceless.

    dhammachick
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @federica said:

    Unfortunately, some serving dogs (labs, retrievers, some rottweilers, beagles) have a genetic propensity to never having the hunger instinct satisfied, which is why one sees so many overweight labs/retrievers/beagles...Rotties not so much. I think sometimes these particular dogs are over-fed through ignorance ('he's a big dog, he needs a lot of food!') and intimidation ('he comes into the kitchen when I'm cooking and if I don't give him titbits, he growls!' This last one was bad husbandry and impolite behaviour. Soon fixed that one!)

    1: Titbits should be calculated as part of the daily diet.

    2: It doesn't hurt a dog - AT ALL - to skip food completely for a day.

    Love your dog the way he's telling you s/he needs to be loved. Learn body language, and the world is your oyster. The pearl therein, will be priceless.

    We had to get 8 kilos off Skye and when we said "done" the vet was like "Yeah right, ok" and lo and behold, next visit she'd lost it. The vet was like "How on earth?" And we said "By feeding her according to her needs, not her begging skills"

    federicasilver
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited February 16

    Our boxer has never seemed to have any skill to know when not to eat, lol. Unless she is feeling sick, she will eat whatever and however much you give her. We don't let her free-feed as a result. She eats around 50% dog food and 50% "people" food but she doesn't beg much at least. She loves yogurt, beets, raspberries, bananas, meat of course, eggs, spinach. Really she will eat anything except grapes and carrots (she will actually eat around them in something like stew, lol). We don't give her chickpeas and other legumes because the gas will kill us all. Both of her parents died of cancer by the time they were 6 years old, and she's 100% healthy at almost 8 years. I'm convinced it's, in part, due to her diet. She eats a lot of vegetables for a dog! And wild game.

    We have started looking into a service dog for our youngest. It's not time yet, they do not place diabetic dogs in homes with other dogs, at least the place nearest us that trains them. But in the future it's likely. I look forward to someone else keeping watch at night so I might get more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time!

    dhammachick
  • Dog love is pure.
    Service dogs are unsung heros.
    I have seen enough 2-3 hour nights myself, @karazti. You have my prayers and wishes for the best for you, your youngest and your entire family.

    Peace to all

  • IronRabbitIronRabbit Veteran
    edited February 22

    I want to say that I think dogs know when they are loved and cared for - but I wonder at their loving us, even after my lab stares into my eyes unflinchingly for as long as I will hold her gaze. I want to say that dogs don't love as much as they lovingly take their place in their pack and act in a way to secure their position that looks for all intents and purposes like love and loyal devotion to we besotted humans. I freely admit my love for my dogs and all the anthropomorphizing that entails. I just have this sneaky suspicion that they're putting one over on us to keep this cushy living arrangement and food source going for another 50,000 years.......the fuzzy little opportunists.......

    lobsterTiggerfedericasilver
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    There is no question that the kind of love and devotion dogs give us is to an extent, self-serving. But establish a great relationship with your pet, and what you get is unconditional LOYALTY.

    Dogs that obey through being hit and mistreated are doing so as a question of survival. They comply, unwillingly, yet do so because to not do so would bring worse consequences.
    Dogs - and other animals too, of course, but we're specifically talking dogs, here - fully understand 'consequences'.
    But always remember the adage, "A man dog convinced against his will is of the same opinion, still." Just because it's obeying, doesn't mean it is happy.

    When you begin a successful relationship with a pet, you're establishing a level of mutual cooperation.
    As I said, dogs will work for food.
    If there's something in it for him/her, so much the better.

    Tiggerdhammachicklobster
  • Tara1978Tara1978 UK Veteran

    Ah, I've gone all warm and fuzzy reading the stories of doggy love and companionship. Thank you all for brightening my day! =)

    dhammachicksilverTigger
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    I'm not sure I hug my dog, but he gives kisses for treats and we snuggle up and sleep together on the sofa or bed. He's got his own bed (right beside me), but every morning he wakes up early and I lift him onto our bed and he'll have an hour between me and his mum.

    photo IMG_8015_zps54u3ern8.jpg

    He used to spend a lot of time trapping us by sleeping in our laps, but as he's gotten more elderly, it doesn't seem to be his thing anymore, which is a shame.

    dhammachickTiggersilver
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