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Old 05-04-2016, 07:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Study: Hugging Your Dog Stresses Him Out

Ill be the first to admit that I hug my dog not frequently (Im not much of a hugger in general) but enough to be troubled by the news that hugging your dog actually stresses him out. According to a recent report, hugging your dog may cause your his stress level to increase, and even though you might feel better, your dog certainly doesnt.

The idea of hugging your dog is widespread, with books such as 'Smooch Your Pooch' gracing many a bookshelf. The book talks about how kids should hug and kiss their dog anytime they please. The book was so popular, while being so incorrect, that the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) released a statement explaining that they strongly advise parents to avoid purchasing the book, as the information it contained could cause children to be bitten by dogs.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree it totally stresses the majority of dogs!

Except Jack. He loves to hug me and asks for them several times a day. <3
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's true, but not all dogs dislike being hugged. Hugging is more for the human than the dog. We all do it, it feels so good ! I think dogs tolerate it for most of them. I wouldn't stop doing it if it's moderate, unless the dog clearly is very uncomfortable.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had no idea!
Hugging is not something I do much either but certainly once in awhile. I think it helps me more than my spoo's. Is giving them a gentle kiss taboo as well?
I better check out that link!
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I spend a lot of money and time having pets. If hugging and kissing them stresses them a bit, well, nothing in life is free.

But above all, I would hope that any good parent would teach their children about appropriate behavior with animals. And hopefully a parent would have the intelligence to know whether or not their child and dog are not a good match.
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My girls love to be hugged, they they will take their paws bury their head in my chest wanting more. I do believe that kids can stress dogs out by grabbing and hanging on to them. I always say Mommy needs lovin, and they come running
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would always give light hugs to my dogs now and then, and they never seem to mind it. But as for big huge hugs, Or doing it constantly, I can understand why it could be stressful for them. Heck, I don't even like big huge hugs from anyone!

I love this:

"No matter what happens in life, be nice to people. Being nice to people is a peaceful way to live, and a beautiful legacy to leave behind."

- marcandangel

( Found on Google Search )
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Old 05-05-2016, 05:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Opie doesn't seem stressed out by me hugging him. I would imagine if it was a point of stress then he wouldn't climb me like a tree every time I sit down. I mean, we can teach them to sit, lay down, fetch, and all other sorts of things. One would assume that they would learn on their own that if they get up close to us that we are going to hug and kiss on them.

I'm sorry, I just can't agree with this new finding as a blanket statement for all dogs.

Opie on YouTube
MULLY & Tomoko
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is lame in my opinion.I don't even know how some people come up with things like this.My dogs love me to hold them & kiss them and sleep with me.Sometimes I think people do these things to just get 10 minutes of fame.Maybe not ALL dogs like being hugged I have never known ALL dogs.It's kind of like Dr,Spocks teachings about let babies cry it out & put them in their own rooms alone.My parents were going to raise me like that til they read the entire book.My precious dad said HELL NO!Put me in their room til I was 2 years old.I see my dogs rub against eachother & lick each others mouth's like dog french kissing.LOL
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree that it naturally stressed out a dog. Hugging and even petting isn't a natural thing for's foreign at first. It can resemble some aggressive behaviors to dogs. HOWEVER...I believe that dogs become accustomed to it and when these things are paired with good things (food, happy voice, things that they know are good things) those activities...hugging, smiling in their faces, patting the tops of their heads etc, transform into non-stressful, feel-good things. My dogs hug ME! lol. They burrow into the crook of my neck to get closer. My Doberman use to hug and when you'd kneel on the floor in front of him, he'd put his paws up on your shoulder and then when I'd try to get up, he'd pull me closer. Here he is hugging my daughter. I hate cameras. His eyes look completely spooky.

Here are two dogs hugging each Dobe with my son's dog.

So, my feeling is that hugging and grinning, sticking your face in a dog's face is not an intrinsic or natural thing for dogs. And they can perceive it as an aggressive move or it just makes them uncomfortable. However, big however...I also think dogs are evolving and some are okay with it. And there are some, that are perfectly at ease with it if they've had love and happy things associated with it. Lyric, up Doberman looks freaky because of his eyes in the photo. But he's the one who would instigate this hugging. I remember my daughter trying to get back up and he would pull her shoulders in to keep hugging. He had associated this with fun, love, attention and good things so it became a good thing. Don't ever do this or anything obtrusive with a dog you don't know.

Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend.

"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776
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