You probably shouldn’t be hugging your dog. They interpret hugs completely differently than we do!
Hugs are one of the most common ways that humans show love, affection, or compassion with one another. As a natural instinct, we hug our pets to show that our love extends to them too. New studies show that we may be sending our dogs the wrong message when we hug them.
Patricia McConnell has her Ph.D. In Zoology and is known for her animal behavior books. She is an expert in the field of animal behavior and focuses on the interaction between humans and their canines. While a hug may mean symbolize affection to us, to dogs it shows a sign of weakness. When a canine puts a limb over another animal's limb, this is a sign of dominance. The dog feels that it is in charge when you place it's limbs over your shoulders.
This could be trouble for dogs who were not trained properly and are still learning who their master is. It could also be confusing for dogs who are trained, because it is sending them mixed signals as to who is really in charge. Next time you want to give your furry friend a great big hug, remember, it means something different to them.