HUG ME BABY!

By Thursday, December 22, 2011 0 , , Permalink

With the blog in full swing now, I find myself watching the “boys” much more closely. I then “jot” down notes to research later – out of curiosity more than anything else. Sometimes what I find is actually “blog worthy”, and I want to share it with you.

The other day I watched my daughter playing with them, and when they finished rough housing, they all sat down and she preceded to hug them as I watched in amazement at how they responded. Harley is a snuggle bunny – he will allow you to hold him in a choke hold if you want – as long as there is a continuous touch, rub, or stroke from you, he’s in heaven!

Leo on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily want to be caressed as much as he wants to be next to you, so he just uses his weight like a WWF competitor to make contact. Most of the time, he’s the one relaxing and comfortable, while you’re in an awkward yoga position accommodating him. In the photo below, tell me if you can find Tiffany, yes she’s in the picture too!

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I read an interesting article “Teach Your Dog to Hug” by “Shibashake” which talked about “dogs not having the language for hugging the way we do.”

Did you know?

“According to experts (Turid Rugaas and Patricia McConnell), the closest thing a dog knows to a hug is mounting or placing a paw on another dog’s neck and back. Both of these gestures are commonly used for dominance. When you try to hug a new or unknown dog, he will likely interpret that gesture as threatening and will either run away, submit, or return the challenge. Many people naturally find it disturbing when dogs shy away from their touch, or worse, respond with dog aggression. This is not surprising, because when a person shies away from our hug or responds with violence, we can quite rightly surmise that the object of our affection may not feel the same way as we do. However, when dogs do it, it is not from lack of love or dislike. The dog is just misinterpreting our gestures because he speaks a different language than we do.”

This made me think about a few dogs I’ve met that didn’t cuddle, or beg for contact intimacy from either their owners or myself. I used to think it was the breed of dog, but now I know that not to be the case. But have no fear…. This can change! All you need to do is teach him that when you are hugging him you are not trying to dominate him.

The article went on to explain:

“Start handling exercises with your dog as soon as possible. It does not matter how old your dog is; all dogs can learn to like or tolerate handling. First get your dog to go into a down position. Then touch his body briefly, and treat him; touch his paw briefly, and treat him; touch his ear briefly, and treat him; and so on. Once your dog is comfortable with brief touches, you can start to lengthen the duration of the touch.”

We humans like hugging. We hug in greeting and we hug in parting, We hug to show love, support, happiness and much more. It only makes sense that we want to display this same degree of affection to our pets. So fret no more…if your dog hasn’t really taken a “shine” to quality “hugging” time with you, and you want to start – do some research, incorporate some exercises and before you know it – you will have a cuddle bug of your very own.

If you still can’t find Tiffany in the picture – look again you can barely see her knees on the sides of Leo. He politely walked over as she was rubbing Harley’s head and PLOPPED in her lap!

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