Do Dogs Like Being Hugged?

Hugging Dogs pic
Hugging Dogs

A lawyer with over three decades of experience, Horace Nalle is now a principal at Atlanta-based Oriole Animal Health, LLC (, a consulting and investment firm focused on innovative vaccines and medicines for animals.. Horace Nalle is also the board chair of the Atlanta Humane Society (AHS), where he works to reduce pet homelessness in Georgia.

A nonprofit organization established in 1873, AHS has transitioned from child protection and animal welfare agency to a recognized pet adoption and veterinary center. It also performs animal advocacy work and publishes a regular blog on animal welfare.

In one of its recent blog posts, AHS addresses recent debate about hugging dogs. The writer, certified dog trainer Mailey McLaughlin, wrote the post out of concern over the misinformation floating around social media that a scientific study showed that dogs do not like hugs. McLaughlin rebuffs the statement, claiming that no scientific study can accurately represent all dogs. She did, however, offer her opinion based on experience: she believes that many dogs dislike hugs, some just tolerate them, and a few dogs that actually like them.

McLaughlin also warns against hugging dogs that one doesn’t know, as doing so might result in dog bites. Moreover, in order to avoid provoking aggression, people must learn to approach the dog properly by asking permission and waiting for the dog to come to their space.