About Canine Communication Signals?
Do Dogs Enjoy Hugs?
The question of whether or not dogs enjoy being hugged by humans tends to spark a great deal of discussion and controversy. While there are some who state that dogs do not naturally enjoy the intense physical closeness of a hug (and may even perceive hugs as threatening), there are others who insist that hugging dogs is not only acceptable, but one of the preferred ways in which they interact with their dog.
Of course, as with many things science, the truth lies someplace in the middle. While some dogs readily lean in for the closeness and physical contact of a human hug, others find hugs to be unpleasant and prefer other ways of interacting with their human friends.
Ask the Dog
Today, scientists, dog trainers, and other dog professionals know a great deal about canine communication, body language, and facial expressions. Collectively, these signals can be used to tell us if a dog is feeling relaxed and happy, stressed, fearful, or potentially aggressive. Carefully observing a dog’s communication signaling can provide an accurate indication of how he or she is feeling emotionally about a particular situation.
Take the Quiz
This Science Dog quiz originated as a college course exercise that I used to help students develop their canine observation skills. We are providing it for free through The Science Dog Courses to allow our students and Science Dog followers to self-test their dog-reading skills. We hope that you enjoy it – Please feel welcome to contribute your thoughts and questions in the discussion section of the quiz!