My Dog Growl At Me When I Hug Him

Why Does My Dog Growl At Me When I Hug Him

Why Does My Dog Growl At Me When I Hug Him

Why Does My Dog Growl At Me When I Hug Him: There could be many reasons why dogs get aggressive, nip, & growl at their owner when cuddled.

Dog owners love to hug their dogs and show their affection to them but it is not obvious that your dog also loves it. Many dogs growl at their owners when they try to hug or cuddle them. It is common in dominant dogs but other dogs do it also. Here we will discuss why your dog growls or nips at you when you hug or cuddle him.

Reason for Dog growling when the owner hugs him

You may have observed your dog growling at you when you hug him like he is warning you, and then you may have thought that other dogs love to hug their owner but why not mine?

There may be many reasons why your dog growls when you try to hug him. You need to understand that it totally depends upon the dog’s personality whether he likes physical affection like hugging and cuddling or not. Usually, when your dog growls at you when you try to cuddle or hug him means that your dog is not comfortable.

Dominant Personality of  the Dog

One of the main reasons why a dog growl or resist while you try to hug him is his Domination over you. Some dogs are dominant while many are submissive.

Dominant dogs are usually aggressive and have a powerful personality; usually, they don’t like much physical affection.  However, you may observe them showing physical love like licking you still they don’t like it when you get close to them.  They growl or show aggression as a clear warning signal

For Example– You may have observed your dog trying to clutch you but when you cover your hand around him he starts growling. This behavior of your dog clearly shows his assertive temperament however proper training and socialization could help you to minimize this behavior.

The dog could be Uncomfortable state

Though Submissive dogs don’t react much when you hug them, normally they are friendly and don’t growl unnecessarily. Such types of dogs only growl when they are uncomfortable or uneasy while hugging.

Too much Playful and Energetic

The Dog Could be very sporty, some playful dogs don’t understand that whether you are hugging him to show love or you are trying to wrestle him. Many of these dogs take this as a confrontation and get hyper. Such dogs need to be trained consistently to become calmer.

The Dog could be Anxious

This may also mean that your dog is anxious, some dogs usually smaller ones growl in their defense because they are a little scared and are in anxiety. You should consult dog trainers to help you to make your dog more confident.

Breed of the Dog

It also depends upon the breed of the dog. For Example, dog breeds that are known for dominant behavior could resist hugs like Chow Chow, while friendly dog breeds like Golden Retrievers love to cuddle

However proper training could make any dog less dominative and aggressive. For Example- Some Rottweilers hate to cuddle and some love to hug their owner.

How to train your dog for Hugs or Cuddles

Cuddling or Hugging is a behavioral way of showing love, some may like it and some may not. You can train your dog to hug you however you can’t force it.

The best method to teach your dog to hug you is by giving him treats. You can use your dog’s favorite dog biscuit to train him.

  1. Firstly make sure your dog is in the sitting position.
  2. Then command him by saying “hug” then slowly place his paws on your shoulder.
  3. Then give him a treat without placing his paws down.
  4. In the end, command him by saying “Fine” or “OK” and again give him a treat.
  5. Repeat this process and after some practice repeat this without feeding him treats.
  6. Make sure don’t train him for too long, make training sessions short, and do not let your dog get bored.

Things that you should do

Don’t scold or punish your dog if he resists or growls while hugging. By growling dog indicates or warns the owner that he is not comfortable and scolding your dog for growling could make him more aggressive.

  • Don’t Force him to cuddle you because it depends upon the personality of your dog.
  • Make your dog calmer by socializing and consistent training before teaching him how to hug.
  • Make Training sessions shorter.
  • Don’t punish him for Growling.
  • Socialize your dog with other dogs, it would make him more friendly.
  • Avoid playing games that make your dog aggressive, for example – Tug of War.
  • Always act patiently to your dog because some dogs learn fast while some are slow learners.
  • Try to make your dog happy and give him proper affection.


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