Okay, today is suppose to be the day. I will keep myself very busy and try not to keep one ear on the door waiting. My book, it is suppose to come today. I will start now trying to keep my mind off of it. First I'd like to tell you about my newest website; Just dogs with Sherri. I just started it yesterday so there is still much to do on it and several completely blank pages. So give me a couple of days to get it looking half decent. I started it because I have alot of different websites, this one will bring it all together in one place.
I'd like to discuss the issue of dogs who don't like to snuggle or even be touched. I think about this each time I wrap my arms completely around my dogs and give them a giant bear hug. Not all dogs appreciate this, few really enjoy a big tight hug actually. There are many different degrees of body contact acceptance. Even in own my three there is a wide range of acceptance. Although there objection is a slight pull away, no growling or stiffening up ever occurs.
To really "get it" one must understand dog language; a hug for dogs is a dominant behavior. If a dog is hugging another dog unless they are breeding then they are being mounted. And for most dogs mounting is not okay. Sometimes dogs within a pack will mount other members, this helps to establish hierarchy. But a strange dog mounting a dog is a pure display of "top dogness" and something that should be deterred. It is a behavior that often starts a fight.
If you have a dog that is not the touchy feely type you have to accept it first. Then you can slowly help your dog to enjoy snuggles, you may never have a dog that loves a big ole hug but small hugs might just be okay. My Tilley is a good example, she loves to snuggle. She can often be seen up in someones lap; her head laying on that particular humans chest, which is likely a male. She loves her boys she does. But if that same persone tries to hug her, she clearly pulls away uncomfortably. So what's up with that?
The approach is what makes the difference, who is doing what? A direct approach and taking liberties is very dominant. If you would like your dog to accept your touch or snuggles then you must start slow and your you must pay close attention to your own actions. Your approach must be soft, not direct or threatening. Keep it short and sweet, don't over stay your welcome.
When I see strangers approach a dog and attempt to hug them it boggles my mind. I would never walk up to a stranger and hug them, how rude. So why do we expect a dog to accept a hug from a stranger? It is even worse for dogs because this is actually a very bad thing; well it is for humans as well if it is not a welcome hug. If you have a dog that growls at your approach or touch, that's a whole different ball game. Although it must be dealt with in baby steps as well. Creating a positive association to a negative activity can turn it all around; but you must move slowly.
By offering up your dogs favorite treat while you touch their feet or rub their ears can teach them to accept. Once they accept a small touch you can move on, but you NEVER move on until they are comfortable with the present touch you are working on. Most dogs can learn to enjoy hugs from pack members but do not expect your dog to accept a hug from a stranger or someone they do not live with; that is completely different.
But the fact remains, you may have a dog that is not touchy feely and some people don't have concerns about this. Just like people; dogs are all different. But when I wrap myself around my big blonde boy with his soft curls and linger, I love that he loves my hugs.