ANNOYING THE DOGS – THE HUMAN-CANINE COVENANT

I read an article the other day. It announced (with great solemnity and employing many big words and more than a few pie charts) that dogs — our dogs, your dogs, pet dogs — don’t like being hugged. Not merely do they not like being hugged and display measurable levels of stress when hugged, but they really totally hate being kissed and nuzzled.

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The article suggest a pat on the head … and a treat … would be much more appreciated.

Not by Garry or me.

I know they don’t like being hugged. It’s obvious. They stiffen and put their ears back when we hug them. They also don’t like it when I grab their tail and refuse to let it go. That’s what all the growling and head butting is about. You can almost hear them sigh, wondering when you’ll be through with this nonsense and get on to the important stuff, namely distributing cookies.

I told Garry about the study. He said: “Tough. They’ll just have to cope. Because I like it.”

My thoughts exactly.

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Our dogs are disrespectful. Messy. Flagrantly disobedient. They are masters and mistresses of selective hearing. Do I believe for a single moment when we tell them to go out and they stand there, in front of the doggy door, ignoring us, that it’s because they (a) don’t understand what we want from them, or (b) cannot hear us? That if I stand in the doorway calling them to come in that they can’t hear me or figure out that I want them to come inside? Of COURSE they hear me. They know. They’re just playing us.

If they can hear the click when we remove the top of the biscuit container from the other end of the yard, they hear us just fine. It’s a power play.

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Since they persist in disrespecting us, they will have to deal with our periodic compulsion to give them hugs, nuzzling, and the occasional (“Yuck! Stop that you stupid human!”) kiss on their big moist noses. It’s the price they pay for sofa lounging, high-quality treats and silly humans getting down on the floor to play with them.

We put up with them? They will have to put up with us, too. That’s our deal.

It’s a Human v Canine Covenant. I’ve got their paw prints on file.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

33 thoughts on “ANNOYING THE DOGS – THE HUMAN-CANINE COVENANT”

  1. So is hugging and nuzzling your dog now going to be considered cruelty to animals?

    “Yes, is this the police? I want to report a vicious lady who is…. oh the humanity…. HUGGING her dog! Yes, please send out the SWAT team right away! I fear for that poor pooch’s life!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could happen. We’ll just have to be very careful to hide the ugly truth. We will only hug them where no one can see us. Poor things, having to put up with hugs, kisses and actually WAIT for the next treat. Oh the torture, the cruelty.

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  2. I agree… this is a situation that works both ways… though while Ani may not enjoy bing hugged by us, she certainly seems to like the ‘I will sit on you, put all my weight on you and do something that isn’t a hug but seems remarkably like one’ thing that she chooses to do to her loved ones….

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  3. Proving that there is not a basic big difference between canines and felines, although Tabby just goes out and leaves us when the going gets fast. If she wants a tummy tickle, she acknowldges the words and lays on her back with paws in the air ready and waiting. If she does not want one, she just walks off. If she has enough of us she disappears through the cat flap to the outside world or visits an obtainable place like the top of the wadrobe. Perhaps felines have it easier, they can disappear. Canines have to put up with it.

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    1. We’ve had a few cats that totally loved being cuddled … well, as long as they were in the mood. Cats get a pass on manners. We expect them to disrespect us. It’s part of their charm. Most terriers dislike being without “footing.” They want something solid underfoot. In this house, I am considered ground and the two Scotties like to stand on me. When I ask them to please move, they are hurting me, they laugh. No, really, they just laugh. NO respect at all. I don’t get any respect.

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  4. I disagree with the study because all dogs are different. My jack Russell lily doesn’t like being hugged. My retriever who passed away last year however, he was am absolute attention whore and enjoyed any attention you gave him, hugs, nuzzles or pats.

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    1. Hey, I didn’t do the study. I’m just the messenger. However, I think it’s true enough that most dogs love you, but aren’t thrilled by hugs and snuggles … but also true in my experience is that BIG (or at least biggER) dogs are more likely to be happy huggers than little ones. Terriers (for example) hate being picked off the ground. They like having their feet on something solid … like, say, me.

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      1. Heh, I know you didn’t do the study it’s been all over twitter this week 🙂 I just think a blanket statement across all dogs is misleading because every dog is different 🙂

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  5. Seems fair to me. Not a problem I have as Cindy is a hugger and more often than not initiates the hugging herself. Our first dog, Tammy, was also a hugger so I would say that study probably needed a wider sample of dogs.

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  6. I’ve had dogs that hated to cuddle, but I’ve also had dogs that loved it. My Great Dane mix was convinced she was a lap dog. All 100lbs of her. She also liked to sleep with me – I sometimes woke on the floor, but I digress… Dogs are very much like us – some are huggers, some aren’t. And yes, I am well aware that I am “trained”. LOL

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    1. Big dogs think they are lap dogs and lap dogs think they are the toughest dogs on the block. Our dogs all became a lot cuddlier as they matured. They begin to mellow. And we are ALL trained 🙂 Not such a bad thing.

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