Did you know dogs can hug? I don’t mean when they jump up an put their forelegs on you — but emotionally?
It doesn’t look like what you’d expect. A dog gives you a hug when they squint their eyes at you, with their mouths open and relaxed. And it doesn’t last long — just a moment. Dogs consider looking directly at you for more than a few second to be rude.
Look at how relaxed Zoe is. Her mouth is open and the corners of her mouth are pulled up. But it’s her eyes that are “huggy”.
Tegan isn’t usually a huggy dog. Here, she was walking with my daughter in a 5 k run/walk event, and was surprised to see me on the sidelines taking pictures.
We met Misty when we went to Denali last summer. She loved everybody, and showed it with her relaxed posture and soft, half-closed eyes. Her mouth was closed so she could nuzzle me.
Not all dogs give hugs; some show their affection in other ways. But when you get a squinty-eye look from a dog, with their mouths open, know that it is a really special emotion they are sharing with you.