Dog Hugs


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.

About Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...
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4 Responses to Dog Hugs

  1. Aww, those images are so sweet. Makes me feel all warm on a shivery cold day. Guess this is what the weather should have been during Stock Show week?

  2. Love this Amy! I recently came across this quote: “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”

    • Amy Law says:

      When I started pet therapy, I read that we appreciate dogs so much because they are absolutely non-judgemental. At the time, I was totally unimpressed. But as I grow older, I realize that we all judge everything around us (including ourselves) all the time. And we know that others are judging us, and that those judgements are often very harsh. To have a creature that just loves us for who we are is WONDERFUL! So I agree whole-heartedly with your quote.

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