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Top 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Grunts When You Hug Him

Why Does My Dog Grunt When I Hug Him

When you cuddle your dog, they suddenly grunt and groan.

You can’t help but wonder:

“Is there something wrong with my dog?”

“Does this mean they like to cuddle or not?”

In this article, you’ll learn: 

  • Dog breeds that are prone to grunt.
  • Whether or not the grunting reasons are alarming.
  • 10 surprising reasons why your dog grunts when you embrace him.
  • And a lot more…

Why does my dog grunt when I hug him?

Your dog grunts when you hug him because they feel relaxed, sleepy, or stressed. Your dog’s breed may play a significant role in this. Another possible reason for this grunting behavior is your dog’s distinct personality. 

10 reasons why your dog grunts when you hug him

 #1: Your dog is at ease

A dog’s grunt is a means of showing joy and happiness. Your dog will grunt when they are happy and content. 

The grunt should have a comfortable texture to it. It should not sound like your dog is in pain but rather comfortable.  

It’s not uncommon for them to annoy you with grunts when you’re sitting with them on your couch. 

When you give your pooch special treats, you may observe that they grunt to show that they are satisfied. 

It’s like when you make a sound after eating your favorite snack. 

How to know if your doggo is truly at ease? Check for these happy signs:

  • Bowing.
  • Leaning.
  • Leaping.
  • Floppy ears.
  • Relaxed body.
  • High wagging tail.

Reading tip: 13 Reasons Why Your Dog Grunts And Groans (All The Time)

#2: Your dog reacts to petting

Grunting is how dogs react when they are petted and shown tender affection. 

Canines can communicate with people in many ways. 

They accomplish it in a variety of ways, one of which is by grunting and groaning. 

When your dog is cuddled or petted, they grunt to show that they are happy.

When you pet a dog, they frequently grunt as an involuntary relaxing response. 

You could be pushing the air out of them or subconsciously rewarding the action, or they could be signaling, “Keep going, mom!” or “Please stop.”

It could also be possible that your dog is trying to communicate with you as you pet them. 

Dogs have a limited vocal range. Grunting is a silent and low-impact exercise for your dog instead of wailing or barking.

It’s an excellent method for them to communicate with you. 

It is a way for your dogs to tell you that they enjoy what you’re doing and want you to keep doing it. 

Grunting is a simple method to catch your attention and return your hand to them to keep the party going. 

Research states that a gentle touch helps to relax your dog when they feel stressed.

However, there are instances when your dog may be grunting to tell you that they want you to stop. 

If your dog is stiff or starts grunting as soon as you pet them and stops when you stop, they may be telling you that they don’t enjoy what you’re doing, for whatever reason. 

Because you are the best person to read your dog’s behavior, you should now be able to tell if your dog is saying “yes” or “no.”

Just keep in mind that they could be trying to communicate something to you other than their comfortable contentment. 

#3: Your canine pal is terrified 

Your Dog Is Terrified When You Hug Him

One of the reasons your dog grunts when you embrace them could be fear. 

Dogs are known to grunt in response to displays of fireworks, lightning, or any terrible noise. 

Also, if a stranger or another dog from your neighborhood tries to enter your home, your dog may begin grunting to warn you of a dangerous situation. 

Be alert if your dog is grunting behind you.

Hugging a scared dog may provide them with a sense of relief. And it may also cause them to grunt even louder. 

How to know if your furry friend is terrified?

The most common signs of fear for dogs are:

  • Hiding.
  • Crying.
  • Panting.
  • Barking.
  • Shaking.
  • Yawning.
  • Low ears.
  • Trembling.
  • Grooming.
  • Nose licking.

It’s heartbreaking when our lovely dogs are scared. We can help them during this time.

You can try our tips below to help your scared dog cope:

  • Do not force.
  • Do not punish.
  • Turn sideways.
  • Reward good behavior.
  • Avoid making eye contact.
  • Use a happy and calm tone.
  • Avoid standing over your dog.
  • Squat or sit to get to your dog’s level.

With enough effort, love, and patience, your furry friend will be able to settle down soon.

#4: Your dog is guarding their food 

Dogs guard their stuff with the same devotion that people do. 

Grunting is one of the most common ways they express their emotions. 

It makes no difference whether you are the dog parent or not.

When a dog is eating, and you decide to remove the food from him, they’ll grunt to express unhappiness. 

When you decide to sit in the seat where your dog would typically sit, your dog may grumble and inform you, “That’s not your seat, buddy!” 

To protect what they own, they usually sigh and grunt.

#5: Your dog is not used to it 

Experts believe that anything unfamiliar to dogs could be a harm to them. 

So, if your dog isn’t used to being hugged, their grunts could be a kind of self-defense. 

If your dog doesn’t get enough human contact, this is likely to happen. 

Let’s say your pooch spends a lot of time alone during the day. They’re only waiting for their human family to return home. 

As a result, they have only a few physical interactions. So, when you hug them, they may feel uneasy. 

So, if you believe that your dog lacks social and physical interactions, the best course of action is counter-conditioning. 

Counter-conditioning refers to altering a canine’s emotional response, sentiments, or attitude in response to an event. 

When you’re working with your dog on counter-conditioning, you must use a toy or a favorite treat that your dog adores. 

Start by lightly touching your dog’s shoulder to expose them. To avoid startling your dog, touch them while they are staring at you.

Then offer them something to eat. After then, you can continue caressing them for more extended periods than before. 

If your dog appears to be getting comfortable with it, you can go a step further by hugging and cuddling them. 

Always remember to complement your touch with a reward. It will persuade them that being touched is not dangerous. 

They’ll see it as a positive experience with the help of rewards.

Please make sure not to force your dog. Take it one step at a time.

If your dog licks their lips or yawns, it’s a sign that they are under stress. Back away from hugging them for some time.

#6: Your dog is from a breed of grunters

Any dog breed can grunt. There are, however, some canine breeds that grumble more than others. 

These are the brachycephalic breeds. 

Brachycephalic breeds are described with snouts and heads that are short. These canines are commonly referred to as short-headed breeds.

This category includes the following dogs: 

  • Pugs.
  • Boxers.
  • Shih Tzus.
  • Boston Terriers.
  • French Bulldogs. 
  • English Bulldogs.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

These breeds’ appearances appeal to us since they resemble human babies with their large ‘puppy dog’ eyes. 

They also make delightful companions, so it’s no surprise that people want to add them to their households, but they have more health issues than their species with longer snouts. 

Experts say that brachycephalic breeds frequently have breathing problems and obstructions. 

The tiny bone structure of their muzzle is the cause of this. Soft tissues can also be seen on their nose, mouth, and throat. As a result, they are more susceptible to breathing issues. 

Their airways are commonly distorted and limited as a result of this. As a result, each breath requires less oxygen which could also result in heart problems. 

The following are symptoms of respiratory issues in brachycephalic dogs: 

  • Grunting. 
  • Snorting.
  • Wheezing. 

Given that your dog is a member of the short-headed breed, it’s possible that hugging your dog will prevent them from breathing properly. And that is why they grunt. 

#7: Your dog is still young

When you embrace a puppy, it’s typical for them to grunt or groan. 

One of the ways that baby pups communicate is by grunting. 

In the first weeks of your pup’s life, they will yelp, whimper, and grunt before developing more advanced communication skills.

A study about dog sounds revealed that a puppy’s grunt is an indication of joy. Puppies settling down for a nap on a comfy bed are an example of this. 

As a result, your hug may bring joy to your tiny dog. That’s why when you do so, they grunt. 

There are also more ways for a puppy to express that they’re joyful such as: 

  • Leaning.
  • Grinning.
  • Wagging tail.
  • Relaxed ears.
  • Tongue lolling.
  • Droopy eyelids.
  • Flicking tongue.

Study says that a puppy’s environment is a significant factor in growing up as a happy and obedient dog.

As a fur parent, make sure that your pooch is well taken care of by giving them healthy meals, playing with them, and taking them out for walks.

Training and exposure to different stimuli at an early age will also make them more confident and secure.

Do you need more tips on how to take care of your puppy?

Watch this video:

#8: Your canine is dozing off 

Did you hug your dog while they slept? 

If this is the case, your dog’s grunts could be due to this. Because when a dog sleeps, they grunt involuntarily. 

Dogs sleep around half of the day, relax or lie down about 30% of the time, and are only active about 20% of the day. 

However, depending on their age, breed, health, and even personality, your dog may sleep more or less. 

Some dogs are quite content to spend their days resting on your lap or at your side, and any dog can be either sleepy or playful. 

Puppies and older dogs sleep up to 18 and 20 hours a day, respectively, more than adults.

Puppies are prone to get exhausted rapidly as a result of their play and other activities. 

Older dogs just get exhausted faster and require more rest to recover. 

So it’s possible that your dog isn’t getting enough sleep and is grunting about it. 

These are the signs that your dog isn’t getting enough sleep include: 

  • Forgetful.
  • Weakness.
  • Unfocused.
  • Disoriented.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Personality change.
  • Disinterest in activities.

If your dog starts grunting the next time they’re spread out on your lap, take it as a compliment. 

Grunting is a contented expression; think of it as a canine version of purring. 

But what about grunting while sleeping? Should I be concerned? 

Don’t get too worked up if your dog grunts while sleeping. It’s possible that grunting is an involuntary activity that occurs during sleep due to decreased hard breathing. 

If a dog has a stressful dream, they may also grunt while sleeping. 

#9: Your dog is having digestive issues 

Your dog’s grunt when you embrace them may be related to stomach issues. Gastroenteritis is one of them.

It is a disorder in which a dog’s intestines and stomach become inflamed.

The signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal issues are: 

  • Vomiting.
  • Dehydration.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Frequent diarrhea.

In this instance, a dog’s scream for help will be grunting and moaning. 

Bring your furry friend to the vet if you detect any of the following symptoms listed above.

#10: Your dog has respiratory issues 

Grunting does not always associate with happiness and joy. 

When your dog is having respiratory issues, they may start grunting heavily. 

A dog parent must be able to tell the difference between regular and abnormal grunting. 

Some of the respiratory issues that cause dogs to grunt include: 

Reverse Sneezing  

Your dog’s grunt will resemble that of a pig as a result of this. 

When a dog’s throat muscles tighten, and the soft palate is damaged, this happens. 

Despite its frightening appearance, it is entirely harmless. 

Your pup may be inhaling too much air, which causes him to grunt. 

Read next: Why does my dog grunt like a pig?

Trachea Injury 

Is your dog often wearing a collar? 

If that’s the case, their grunting and groaning noises could be due to that. 

Let’s pretend you’re walking outside with your dog on a leash. If they suddenly run, it’s a common thing, especially when they’re in a good mood. 

The person in charge of the collar is frequently caught off guard. As a result, a dog’s collar puts a lot of pressure on its neck.  

What’s worse, it could result in a trachea injury. When a dog’s trachea or airways collapse, this occurs. 

It will make it difficult for a dog to breathe. 

If your dog is grunting a lot, it could be an indication of a respiratory problem. 

Watch out for other signs along with grunting like:

  • Fainting.
  • Gagging.
  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Bluish gums.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Activity intolerance.

When you observe these symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with your veterinarian.