I know a lot of dogs owners who would immediately answer that question with a resounding “Yes!”, but is that really the case?
Don’t forget, having a hug or cuddle is a human expression of love and affection not a dog one. And whilst they may tolerate it because they love us, it doesn’t mean they’re enjoying themselves – and this could potentially be a problem if a child were to do the same thing.
You see many dogs I know, enjoy being close to their owners – and place themselves on top of feet, or lie next to them on the sofa. Some of my dogs are like this – the male dogs particularly like to be in contact with me whilst I’m sat at my desk, and take turns under the desk or by my chair.
“Asking” the Question
But do they enjoy being physically hugged? And how can you tell? Whilst I was writing this post, I had the perfect opportunity to show you how I get my boys to “ask” the dogs if they wish to continue being stroked and cuddled. Here’s a short clip of my oldest son Jamie with our youngest dog, 2.5 year old Border Collie Jade.
NB: And no, I don’t encourage Jade jumping up on children, but I would say that she is doing it in a very gentle fashion and not looking to hurt or knock over one of her favourite little boys 🙂
I think that lots of misunderstandings between dogs and their owners – both adult and children – could be potentially avoided if we learned a bit more about what our dogs are saying to us. I don’t mean in a dog whisperer/ Dr Dolittle sort of way, I mean in a practical, observing body language and visual clues sort of way.
Dogs are communicating with us all the time, but sometimes we can misinterpret what they’re saying. The book below is a short read, packed with lots of useful information and photographs to help explain what your dog is trying to tell you.