Dogs who like to cuddle, or not…

I know I must have written “DOGS DO NOT LIKE HUGS” about 10 times during dog bite prevention week.  All the while I was writing this I knew that while dogs don’t like hugs from strangers, and MOST dogs don’t even like hugs from their own handlers, there are some dogs who enjoy hugs.  I wanted to get a picture of Shayne being hugged because she really is a dog who likes hugs (from anyone who she likes).  She is quite the anomaly but I love it about her.

Shayne is leaning into the hug, her eyes are a softly closed, her ears are in a neutral state, she has a huge smile on her face, her face is very relaxed, and although it’s 90F outside, she’s not panting.  She is so comfortable being hugged and cuddled and really does enjoy it…  I had to have this photo taken 4 times because she kept flopping into me and curling up like a baby cradled in my arms trying to fall asleep…

Rio, on the other hand is NOT a cuddle bug (except at night when he snuggles close under the blanket… even when it’s too hot!).  He tolerates the fact that sometimes I want him to snuggle and even offers it on occasion but he’s not terribly comfortable with it and only does it because I like it.  He is my demo dog during orientation for my classes and on one such orientation a family had brought a young boy (maybe 7).  During the orientation I let Rio mingle and say hi to everyone (with their permission) because he is so calm and gentle with people (which is why no one believes me that he’s a monster!).  Well Rio came to the 7yr old and before I knew it, the kid just full-on wraps his arms around Rio’s neck and practically hangs there.. Rio shot a look at me and licked his lips.  I calmly told the boy that dogs don’t like hugs and to, instead, pet his chest.  I jackpotted Rio after he released his grip.  I was impressed… for a dog who doesn’t even liked being hugged by me, he was really good with this kid.

This isn’t an entirely accurate photograph… he was spying squirrels in the yard, but he was stiff, ears back, tightly closed mouth, and leaning away from the hug.  He’s really not pleased to be hugged (partially because I interrupted his squirrel watching to take the photo) but he tolerates my antics and lets me get in a squeeze though he’d rather I didn’t.

So yes, most dogs DO NOT LIKE HUGS even by their own handlers… there are indeed some dogs who enjoy the embrace and try to get hugs every opportunity they can!


About Success Just Clicks

I'm a dog trainer and enthusiast who moonlights as a blogger and custom tug-toy maker.
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8 Responses to Dogs who like to cuddle, or not…

  1. Anna says:

    Funny you should post this. I was just talking about this to a dachshund owner who was in for a lesson. Explaining that everyone seems to want to hug and pick up little dogs cuz they are cute, but a majority are not into it, and it can cause major mistrust/biting/growling issues because of them being pressured into it. We have the two ends of the spectrum here. Luna is VERY much a cuddler, and will lay like a baby in your arms, or tucked under your chin… Wyatt on the other hand tolerates it in his own calm way and would never bite I don’t believe. But he is not overly affectionate (funny how i seem to have the exception to the dog breed rules, he is a lab). He is all about pets and especially ear rubs but he does not ask for them, nor does he enjoy being held/cuddled.

    Sometimes people are a dog’s worst enemy…. okay more like a lot of the time. They usually need more training than the dog.
    Happy Wednesday

    • Great comment! There really are so many differences between dogs regarding their desire/acceptance/tolerance/hatred of being hugged. You are totally correct that human handlers often are clueless about their dogs “enjoyment” of being hugged. “Oh he loves this” as the dogs is snarling … oi… then when the dogs bites it’s “out of no where.”

      “Sometimes people are a dog’s worst enemy…. okay more like a lot of the time. They usually need more training than the dog.” yes! LOL!

  2. gotspots says:

    Delta so enjoys snuggling in the bed and such, but doesn’t like being hugged so much, however Doc doesn’t like to snuggle in bed (at least for a long time, Delta could spend the whole night in one spot right next to us) but Doc definitely likes hugs.

  3. lexy3587 says:

    I hadn’t thought of it before, but yeah, i guess most dogs aren’t a fan of being squeezed. My dog is the opposite – if i’m on the floor, he will come up sit as close as he can to me, and absolutely loves (no snarling involved, i swear… actual ‘loves’ rather than ‘i want him to like this’) me hugging him and scratching his chest.
    cute pics 🙂

  4. OMG Shayne! So cute and cuddly. Rio makes a face like Risa would. In fact, we used to use Risa as a demo dog to prove dogs don’t like hugs. She used to make ‘the face.’ Except now, she doesn’t usually. She will accept hugs from me. Not sure she really LIKES them but she doesn’t appear to dislike them. Cuddling, however, is a different story. 😉

    • Yeah shayne is crazy cuddly. Rio is cuddly on his terms .. he will seek out cuddle time but unlike shayne, if I just offer it, he just tolerates it.. doesn’t relaly love it unless it’s his choice LOL!

  5. Each dog is so different. Bailey is a snuggle bug, but he does not like to be squeezed as in a hug. He will push up against you and wants to be close. He has not trouble with a hand on him. However, we have to watch children closely when they want to “hug” him as he is not comfortable with that.

    Katy will choose when and where to snuggle. She is not one to allow you to start the process.

    • They really are so different and even though you can hug one of your dogs, it’s excellent to know that the other dog isn’t so fond of this… i feel like lots of dog-bites would be prevented if we remembered all dogs are different and what you can do to one dog isn’t going to be okay for another!

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