Dog Hugs

Dog Hugs Feel Good

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Sometimes having a dog makes us feel really good because we can just hug them anytime.  We hug our dogs to make ourselves feel better.  I believe it ultimately makes our dogs feel better too.

We don’t tend to hug people around us enough for a small reason, a big reason, or even better, no reason at all.  We’re concerned about having to explain the agenda.  We as a human race need to know why people are doing what we are doing.  It gets too complicated.  And so a simple thing like a hug that can make both you and the receiver feel good goes undone.

We do hug our dogs just because.  Why?

Because we trust our dogs to not force us into explaining anything.  We can just hug them and it makes us feel better and, contrary to some people’s belief, dogs do have emotions.  They react to our emotions.  The hug ends up going both ways.

Why are Hugs Powerful Feel Good Doses

Oxytocin is a powerful hormone. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up. It also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. In fact, the hormone plays a huge role in pair bonding. Prairie voles, one of nature’s most monogamous species, produce oxytocin.  It goes to say other mammals also produce this hormone, which is why it feels so good to hug our dogs and I’m sure it feels good to them too.

*please note as a professional dog trainer I don’t suggest you just hug any dog, only your own unless you know them very well!  Not necessarily true of people, but could be true in some cases!

The point here is that hugs make us feel good.  And we can learn a lesson from our dogs.  Start giving hugs for no reason.  Don’t feel like you have to give a reason and don’t require a reason from someone else.

And by all means keep on hugging your dog!

*yet another Maui Dog Trainer note:

No I don’t agree with all the “dog whisperer” theories out there, but I do support exercise, discipline, affection in action.  In other words, a dog only given affection is not necessarily fulfilled, and truth be told you won’t  find it a satisfactory relationship either.  Exercise, “discipline” or constructive manners and parameters to follow, and affection are a balance we all need in our lives including our dogs.

What do you think?  Why do you hug your dog?  And what are your thoughts on hugging people for the same reasons, no agenda, just to create more feel good moments?

Maui Dog Training and RetreatsJt Clough lives in Maui, Hawaii and practices health, happiness, natural remedies and training for dogs and their people. Her communication with both dogs and people is healing and her training is effective physically and emotionally. Her work at ReVIBE | Dogs + Joy + Vibrance is for people looking to live healthier and happier lives through their dogs and her passion for it has helped so many to find and do that thing they’ve been talking about or wishing to happen for so long. If you would like to work privately or schedule a retreat please contact her here.  Her latest publications are Pumpkin Dog Food + Treats Recipes , 5K Training Guide | Running with Dogs, and Treading For Dogs DVD.

*photo credit: By Drongowski

 

 

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