This may seem natural to kiss and hug your furry friend, but such gestures may feel threatening to some dogs. On this page you will learn, how to read their response to your affection as well as show your love in a way they understand.
So, what do you think that your dog likes hugs and kisses? Well, if he is like most dogs, then he does not enjoy this type of human affection. We humans especially children want to show love to dogs by giving hugs and kisses, because this how we show affection to people we love. Hugs are not a natural form of canine interaction to show affection. To show your dog that you love him, learn to give him the things that he really likes.
Dogs know what you want when you ask him to “gimme kisses” or “give sugars.” This is a human way of expressing love to the dogs. Although, they understand what you want, but do they understand the real meaning of smooches? At first, they do not know anything about it, but can come to learn it is a gesture of affection.
Kissing Vs. Licking
Hugging and kissing are very important displays of affection among humans, but not in most dogs behavioral. Whereas, dogs like to lick each other, and that is something humans do not do! I have a dog and most of the times I do not mind him licking. However, depending on when, where, and for how long he chooses to deliver his licks to me, it can become annoying. Meanwhile, I wonder if my hugs or kisses annoy him as well.
How To Tell?
The best way to know how dogs feel is to observe their behavior. If a dog enjoys your displays of affection? Your dog should not tense up and remain relaxed. His tail should stay high and ears forward. For instance, if my dog likes kisses, he should not try to avoid being kissed and move away. If I stop kissing him and he wants me to continue, I would expect him to move towards me and show a behavior that has worked in other contexts to get what he wants, i.e. leaning against me or pawing at me.
My dog seldom asks for more kisses. If I stop stroking him, he frequently asks for more petting by pawing at me, or simply placing his paw on my arms. Further, if I pair kissing his head with massaging the ears, he often moves his head nearer so I can easily reach the back of the ears.
However, if my affectionate displays frightened or annoyed, his behaviors would be completely different. I can expect to see him tense up while being kissed, his tail to go down, ears to go back, and eyes to get wider. He can also duck away or move from me, as he does when he is too busy to be petted or stay still.
It is natural for dogs and people to display their affection with behaviors that are typical for their own species. The term “affiliative behaviors” is used by behaviorists to describe gestures among individuals with a social bond.
Dogs show doggish behaviors to demonstrate affection, but their behaviors are different from kissing, cuddling, and hugging that human beings show to express their love.
- Most social animal species (including dogs) lick others, they are attached to. Licking behavior is known as “allogrooming”.
- Being close to each other is also an affiliative behavior in dogs. Ever noticed that your dog likes to sleep curled to you or next to one another. Following each other from 1 place to another is also a sign of social attachment. My dog likes to follow and monitor what I am doing.
- Last, but not the least, “play” is one of the best affiliative behaviors that could be used to create and maintain social bonds.
Important Things To Do With Your Dogs To Show Your Affections
1.Play With Your Dog
- You are advised to play different games, i.e. hide and seek and fetch that do not involve rough play or chasing.
- Taking your dog for a walk is another good idea.
2.Understand Your Dog
- Try to read the body language of your dog. This will let you know what your dog is trying to tell you.
- Anxious dogs may show a half moon of white in their eyes or they may lick their lips or yawn. He may turn his head away or walk away.
- Dogs with closed mouth, ears forward and/or with tail held high are busy thinking about something and they do not want to be bothered.
- Dogs that suddenly go stiff & still are very dangerous and often are ready to bite.
3.Reward Your Dog
- Whenever your dog does the right things, make sure you praise and treat him. Avoid yelling or hitting any dog.
- Giving your dog a Chewber, stuffed Kong or other long lasting chew toys is a nice idea that they can enjoy while lying on a mat.
Never Kiss Or Hug Unknown Dogs
You are highly advised to avoid kissing booths of unknown dogs. Such setups may become a recipe for disaster and the dogs may end up being euthanized instead of finding a good home. Such a kiss can stress them and ultimately set them up for a failure.
The Bottom Line
Whether you should hug and kiss your dog or avoid doing it? No one can tell you to stop doing things that your dog seems to enjoy. However, it is always in your best interest to carefully evaluate whether your dog is enjoying. Always practice caution. According to a study, a dog who is enjoying the interaction should not try to avoid or move away. If the cuddling or kissing stops, the dog will surely want you to continue by pawning, moving closer or leaning against.
However, the best option is to never test the behavior of a dog in response to things that they may not like. Engaging in behaviors that your dog enjoys more and learn easily is a way better approach.