Do dogs like hugs and kisses?

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woman holding and hugging her dog

Do dogs like hugs and kisses?

You love your dog so much, and what better way to show him that than by giving him a big old hug or a kiss?

It only seems natural to show your love for your dog the same way like you would it towards another person, right?

But do dogs actually like being hugged and kissed?

And do dogs even understand hugs?

Let’s take a look at these questions now.

Do dogs understand hugs?

One of the ways that we humans show care and affection toward each other is by hugging. We’ve got these long arms that are perfect for hugs, so we might as well use them!

Well, as it turns out, hugging your dog may not be the best idea. Dogs don’t necessarily understand what hugs are, and the behavior might be confusing to them.

Dogs don’t have arms, so hugging isn’t a thing they really know much about. In fact, the closest behavior they may have to being hugged is called “standing over.” Dogs often do this when playing as a way to encourage a little friendly competition.

So, you can understand why a hug might be a little confusing to a dog.

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Do dogs understand when you kiss them?

Why do dogs lick you? Is it sort of like kissing?

We often refer to dogs licking us as kissing, and licking can certainly be a way for your dog to show affection. But licking can also be a way to seek out attention, identify any yummy smells you have on you, or even show submission.

So, what about if you kiss your dog? Is your dog going to understand what you mean when you give him a kiss?

Not necessarily. Since dogs and humans communicate in such different ways, your dog may not fully understand what your kisses mean.

When is it okay to kiss your dog?

Even though your dog might not know what your kisses mean right off the bat, that doesn’t mean he can’t learn. Your dog is smarter than you might think, and he can learn over time that kissing means you love him!

That said, it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s body language to make sure that it’s okay to give him a kiss. If you try to kiss your dog and he leans away, starts giving you the whale eye, or growls, stop right away.

But if your dog leans toward you and tries to get you to keep giving kisses, then you can take that as a sign to continue!

Do dogs like hugs and kisses?

We’ve talked about whether or not dogs understand hugs and kisses the way we do. But do they like them?

In general, dogs don’t necessarily like hugs. Hugging can make them uncomfortable, and it may even feel like you’re trying to dominate them.

Your dog might even start getting stressed out or anxious if it keeps happening. Dogs that are stressed may begin to show signs of reactivity, like growling or even snapping.

Your dog might feel like he’s being threatened, and he could bite to get out of the hug. If you have kids, that’s why it’s so important that they know not to hug your dog.

If your dog is stressed, make sure you check out my article “How to Calm a Stressed Dog Naturally—11 Tips.”

But with that said, bear in mind that all dogs are different. No two dogs will like or dislike all the same things. Some dogs even enjoy hugs or kisses.

Remember, dogs are intuitive animals. Your dog might eventually learn that hugging means you’re showing him affection.

Just make sure that you never force your dog into a hug, especially if he’s showing any signs of being uncomfortable. Never put yourself or your dog in a situation that could be dangerous.

man hugging his dog

Do dogs like being cuddled and kissed?

Dogs don’t necessarily like hugs, but what about cuddles and kisses?

Cuddling is one dog behavior that’s natural for them. Dogs will cuddle their humans and with others dogs to show affection. When dogs cuddle, they get to enjoy warmth, comfort, and the release of chemicals in the brain like oxytocin, the “love hormone.”

So, while dogs may not understand or enjoy hugs, there’s a strong chance that your dog will enjoy cuddles.

Just remember that all dogs are different, and your dog as an individual may not like cuddles as much as another dog. If your dog doesn’t like cuddling, don’t force him into it!

Now, what about kissing? One of the ways dogs might try to show dominance over each other is by looming over them. If you start moving toward your dog in that way, it’s easy to see why he might not think you’re showing him affection.

Dogs usually don’t approach each other head-on, since that’s normally an indicator of dominance or aggression.

However, your dog could eventually learn that kissing means that you love him! Remember never to push your dog past his comfort level. If he seems uncomfortable with kissing, it’s best to stop it.

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Do dogs like kisses on the nose?

Whether or not a dog might like kisses could depend on where he’s being kissed. If you’ve ever noticed your dog licking your face a lot, you might wonder why that is.

A dog will lick another dog’s mouth or nose area as a way to show a sign of submission. But he might also lick another dog’s nose because this was one of the ways his ancestors might have eaten as puppies.

The mama dog would eat first, and regurgitate the food for her puppies. The puppies would then lick their mama’s mouth to get the “leftovers.”

It’s a little gross, but it’s natural behavior!

A kiss on the nose could mean a few different things to your dog. As always, just pay attention to his body language. If he shows signs of enjoying it, keep going. If it looks like it’s stressing him out or like he’s trying to get away, that’s your sign to stop.

woman hugs and kisses her dog

Do dogs like being petted?

Hugs and kisses can be nice for your dog, but a lot of it depends on the context and your dog as an individual.

So what about petting? Is it okay to pet your dog?

The short answer is: yes! Petting is nice for your dog, and it’s something you should absolutely do. Petting your dog is a good way to strengthen your bond, and it can help him feel more relaxed.

But that’s not all petting a dog can do. It’s also good for you! Petting your dog can help lower your stress levels and put you in a better mood.

Why does my dog hug me?

We’ve talked about why you shouldn’t give your dog hugs, but what if your dog jumps up and gives you hugs himself?

In general, it’s okay to let your dog hug you—as long as he appears calm and happy. But you should know that when dogs jump up and “hug” you, they’re not necessarily showing you affection.

One of the ways dogs rough-house with each other is by jumping up and putting their front legs on each other. This can also be a sign of dominance behavior.

So as long as your dog doesn’t seem like he’s trying to dominate you, you can let him hug you.

For some help on getting your dog to stop jumping up and “hugging” people, check out these articles:

Do dogs like music?

Have you ever turned some music on and looked at your dog’s reaction? Did he seem to be enjoying it?

You might be wondering if dogs enjoy music. The answer to this question depends a lot on what kind of music it is!

Most dogs seem to enjoy classical music and find it calming. That makes it a great option if you’re looking for a way to keep your dog calm in stressful situations.

However, louder music like heavy metal could just seem like noise to your dog. It might even encourage barking.

So yes, dogs do seem to enjoy some music. And playing music for him could be helpful in some situations, like when you’re trying to get him to settle down for bed!

Why do dogs lick your face?

If your dog is licking your face, he might be repeating the behavior of his ancestors when they were puppies.

But face licking could also be a sign of submission. If your dog is super submissive, this could become an issue down the line. Building up confidence is the best thing you can do for your pup.

For some more information on related issues, check out these 13 tips on how to stop excited or submissive dog peeing.


If you’re looking for ways to show your dog that you love him, then you might consider giving him some hugs or kisses. But your dog might not interpret hugging and kissing the way that you do!

If your dog seems to like it, then it’s okay to show him affection in this way. But if he seems uncomfortable, then try something else. Petting and cuddling are a few great ways to show your dog that you love him and to build up your relationship!

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