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scarfish 05-21-2014 09:37 AM

Dog doesn't accept hugs? (5 months old)
rambo, our 5 month old male, on the right doesn't like hugs. julie the 1.5 year old female does. we can hug her, lay on her, whatever we want and she loves it. if we try to hug rambo he flips out. he screams like someone is killing him. wife and i are assuming it's a dominance issue, he does't like to be dominated. we are going to talk to our trainer about it during next class but our trainer isn't god and i would like some other opinions on the matter. we never lay on him hard or squeeze him hard.

wife and i are thinking just keep forcing it on him 'till he submits or realizes we are in charge, can do what we want to him and will never hurt him. i just tried to hive him a hug from behind and he wailed out. i think my nose is broken from his head. it made a loud crack noise and my whole face hurts. looks to be in regular position but i am hoping not to develop 2 black eyes.

what's the issue here?

wyoung2153 05-21-2014 09:44 AM

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Um. well I certainly wouldn't FORCE the issue. How are you hugging him? And why is it necessary to begin with. I don't think it's really a dominance thing. I learned early on that Titan does not like to cuddle or snuggle. At all. He barely tolerates it now because he's 4 and knows sometimes I just wanna hug him. Otherwise, it's "get off me mom!" He just doesn't like it. He isn't dominant in that regard, very submissive to me, just doesn't liek snuggles.

You can't assume because your girl likes hug that your male will too. Every dog is different and some simply just don't like cuddling, hugging, snuggling. I personally think you should let that dream go and just accept it.

The only concerning factor would be the yelping or screaming when you do it. Have you had him since he was real little?

Jax08 05-21-2014 09:47 AM

Hugging is not a natural thing for dogs. You aren't going to prove you are the King to them by forcing it. It's not a dominance issue. If you have a dog that likes to be hugged, great. If not, leave them be and allow them their personal space. (Read The Other End of the Leash)

And just an FYI...the guy that came up with the whole dominance theory? He now says it's based on flawed science and is crap.

scarfish 05-21-2014 09:48 AM

we had him since he was 8 weeks old. he loves cuddles. jumps in bed and licks our faces. he just doesn't like arms around him.

ZoeD1217 05-21-2014 09:49 AM

They're both very beautiful. I have no advice on making him like hugs. Have you tried slipping a little something in his drink ;)
I think I've been under the impression many dogs don't like hugs. Does he enjoy getting petted?

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scarfish 05-21-2014 09:52 AM

yes he loves being petted.

ApselBear 05-21-2014 09:52 AM

Forcing a dog to accept anything it clearly does not like is always risky. I'd wait to see what your trainer has to say, he/she'll be able to assess body language and judge just what the dog is telling you.

Some dogs just don't love feeling restrained. Apsel has a similar yet milder reaction when I restrain him in any fashion. I haven't bothered to correct the squirm, because I learned to trade hugs, for him basically sitting in my lap. In situations like this, I think if one party compromises, it is only fair for everyone party to compromise.

If you start slowly, small steps may even get you all the hugs you've ever wanted eventually, but full immersion is not going to be a recommended route.

Sarah~ 05-21-2014 09:53 AM

Some dogs just don't like it, they aren't people and don't hug each other I think it just freaks some dogs out. Eko doesn't like it, he used to as a puppy but now he would much rather lay next to me or at my feet and be petted. My other dog loves cuddles, even lets me hold her on her back like a baby lol so I just give all of the cuddles to her.

And all of the noisemaking, assuming he's not in pain or anything he might just be being a drama queen. Eko is the same way he will yelp like he's being murdered if he is even slightly uncomfortable. My vet says she knows a lot of GSDs like that.

Jax08 05-21-2014 09:55 AM


Originally Posted by scarfish (Post 5546321)
we had him since he was 8 weeks old. he loves cuddles. jumps in bed and licks our faces. he just doesn't like arms around him.

So don't do it.

You need to teach him that when he has to be restrained to relax for emergencies and vet visits but you don't need to keep hugging him and irritating him.

For Seger, I hold him and when he relaxed I gave it a command and then released him. "Relax". I just needed to teach him to allow people to do that but I don't need to continuously force it on him because it is NOT natural for dogs.

Magwart 05-21-2014 10:00 AM


Originally Posted by Jax08 (Post 5546297)
(Read The Other End of the Leash)

I second this: The Other End of the Leash is one book EVERY dog owner needs to read. The author (Patricia McConnell) explains that hugging is a primate behavior that is unnatural for dogs. It can sometimes even translate as aggression in canine body language. Her study of canine behavior showed that some dog bites of humans are precipitated by a hug. This was also found in a NIH study. Some dogs are able to bridge primate communication and accept it--others aren't. So don't put your dog in a position where he may someday feel he needs to defend himself from you.

Here are a few links while you wait to get the book:

Doggone Safe: Dogs Don't like Hugs and Kisses

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