Do Dogs Like Hugs?

Do Dogs Love Their Owners

Opinions remain divided on this topic.  Dogs may experience much of the same emotions as humans and react accordingly, but they do not always act on their emotions in the same way that humans do.

From an evolutionary perspective, dogs do not show affection the same way that humans do, and vice versa.  In much the same way that you wouldn’t walk up to a friend and sniff their rear or lick their face to say hello, dogs do not instinctively place their front paws around each other in an embrace.


In fact, placing a paw on another dog’s back or using the torso to embrace another dog is actually seen as an act of dominance, forcing the recipient into submission.  Some dogs may submit, but not without feelings of discomfort and anxiety. 

In the case of pet owners hugging their dogs, the same applies. Some pets may allow it, but do not take this to mean that they prefer it. As much as your dog loves you and will submit to you as his caregiver, his instinct is to resist forced submission.

Essentially, forcing your dog to hug you is disrespectful. It is best to refrain from hugging.  But don’t feel bad.  There are countless other more dog-like ways to show your pup some love.