Do dogs like hugs or are we annoying them?

Man hugging a dog in order to answer the question do dogs like hugs?
We love giving out four-legged friends hugs, but do our dogs enjoy them just as much as we do?

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Humans love showing affection by hugging. We hug our friends, family, partners and we even hug our dogs! We just enjoy it so much to give a big ol’ hug to our four-legged friends. But do dogs like hugs? Do they even enjoy it when we hold them in our arms? Or are they just annoyed by us?

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That’s exactly the question we’re going to answer today. We’re going to learn whether or not our beloved doggies like it when we hug them.

Do dogs like hugs?

I am so sorry to disappoint you, but your dog hates when you hug him… I know it’s heartbreaking, but unfortunately, it’s also true. Now if you think “No my dog LOVES hugs”, you’re wrong. Therapy dogs, for example, tolerate it, but no dog actually likes being hugged. Think about it, does your dog go stiff or still when being hugged? Well, those are signs that he is not enjoying that hug!

Signs your dog doesn’t like being hugged

If you don’t believe us and still think that your dog loves getting hugs from you, pay attention to a few signs. Your dog is always communicating with you, of course they can’t speak, but they send you cues. You just need to be aware of them

There are a few ways your dog is telling you they don’t like hugs:

  • Mooneyes: Your dog will widen their eyes when they are stressed. It kind of looks like they’re giving you the side-eye, or looking off to the side, but this is actually a sign for you to back off!
  • Their ears go down or backward: When dogs are happy, their ears perk up. When dogs are on defense mode, they put their ears down.
  • Stiff body: If there is a change in breathing or posture from your dog, they might be exhibiting signs of discomfort.
  • Rigid back hair: Did the hair on your dog’s back stand up? This means they are frightened and ready to get defensive!

Also read: Can Dogs Have Spinach?

What you can do instead

A picture of a dog getting a pat on the head
Instead of hugging your dog, give them a pat on the head or a back scratch!

Now that you know that hugs feel uncomfortable for your dog, try not to cross their boundaries. We know you just want to bond with your dog, but hugs can actually be more stressful than beneficial. There are other great ways to show your dog how much you love them, and I am going to share just a few with you!

  • Pets, cuddles, back scratches – Dogs LOVE cuddling with you. They also love it when you give them a nice back scratch. So focus on giving your dog pets, It’s a simple gesture that lets them know you care!
  • Walks – Going on long walks with your dog is another way to show them you love and care about them. It’s a great way to bond with your dog and they will get some exercise too! And to be honest, after spending the whole day inside while you were at work, your dog looks forward to being outside with you!
  • Good treats – Buy your dog high-quality, healthy treats! By caring for their well being you are showing them that you care about them! And besides this, what dog doesn’t like treats?
  • Speak to your dog, tell him how much you love him – Dogs might not always understand what we say, but they do understand how we say it. Your dog will understand when you tell them what a good boy they are (or girl), praise them! They will love that!

Also read: Can Dogs Get Colds? Signs And Treatment


The answer to the question do dogs like hugs is pretty clear, they do not! But don’t be too disappointed. The fact that dogs don’t like hugs doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy any affection from us. They just prefer cuddles, belly rubs, and a nice back scratch! So please, remember this when you want to hug your dog the next time!

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