It’s worth noting at the beginning of this post that a dog’s reaction to our human behaviours and ways of interacting with our dogs will vary from dog to dog. Some dogs will be very trusting and so will tolerate situations in which they might feel uncomfortable, some will not. Some dogs might be used to hugs, kisses, head pats, and may even like them, some, probably most, will not.
The point of this post as well as my previous one on Hugs & Kisses is not to say that everything you do is actually be making your dog feel uncomfortable. The point of both of these posts is actually just to encourage you to consider how your actions might be felt by your dog. The best way to get a good idea of how your dog might be feeling is to observe them, and if they display a lot of calming signals in response to your actions, then perhaps it is time to try another approach.
It is you, the owners and friends of your dogs, that should know your dogs the best; what they like, and don’t like, what makes them uncomfortable, and what makes them feel better, so simply use your skills of observation to understand your dogs’ feelings, and then adapt your behaviour to show them that you’re listening. <3
In the below two resources you will find a quick reference guide to things that we do, which are often unnatural for our dogs, as well as a potential alternative; the muzzle nuzzle.