Now, we’re pretty certain we don’t need a day to tell us to hug our hounds; we do it multiple times a day. But at the same time, we’re very excited a day like this exists so that we have an excuse not to let go of our furry friends. The second Sunday in September is Hug Your Hound Day—a whole day dedicated to displaying affection to our dogs.
Hug Your Hound Day was created by Ami Moore, dubbed the “Dog Whisperer of Chicago”, to reinforce the importance of having a long and affectionate bond between you and your pet, and how both of your health and happiness can be improved. The day encourages ways you can make your environment safer for your pet and to stop for a moment and truly appreciate them and how they impact your life.
Women adore Labradors
We collected 296 answers around which dog breed respondents think are the most huggable, and the verdict is in. The majority of respondents, equating to 16%, agreed that Labradors are the most huggable pooches, with 18% being female and 14% male. According to the data, it seems that there are gender differences in which sort of dogs we think give the best hugs. The majority of men (17%) answered that Cockapoos were the most huggable. Both dogs are big and fluffy, so it seems those are the characteristics we value the most from a hug with our four-legged friend.
The runner ups are a variety of sizes and texture of fur, with Bichon Fries, Boxers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, Huskies, and St Bernards all coming in a joint second.
How to celebrate Hug Your Hound Day
First, no matter what breed or size they are, give your pooch a hug and let them know how much you love them—tell them, too! If your dog is displaying any negative behaviours, try to put yourself in their paws and think of ways to remedy anxious or destructive behaviour. We know that modern life can be busy, but when you get in from a long day back at work, they may just be wanting more attention and affection off you.
Most negative behaviours are signals of unhappiness, so use Hug Your Hound Day the way it was intended—to display affection and recognise how we can create a safer and happier environment for our dogs.
If you don’t have a furry friend in your life, why don’t you spend the day visiting local animal shelters to see if you can bring a forever friend home—but only if you’ve been thinking about it seriously. Try to avoid bringing a dependent animal into your life because of lockdown. There are many rescue dogs that have been left without a home after owners realised that they weren’t ready for the responsibility. If you’re not prepared for a four-legged companion, then spend the day volunteering or donating money to your local dog shelter!
If you own a business, you could put measures into place to make your business dog friendly, so owners can bring their dogs when they venture outside. This can have tremendous effects for emotional wellbeing in work, with research showing that canine colleagues can improve both staff wellbeing and productivity—a win for everyone.
Why does hugging your hound feel so good?
Research reports that as well as tremendous emotional benefits hugging your dog can improve both your physical and mental health—reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease, and helping fight depression. Physical affection also helps soothe your pet, so it is a mutually beneficial relationship!
So, celebrate the best day of the year with your dog. Why not take them for an extra special walk or feed them their favourite treats too?
Dotson, M.J. and Hyatt, E.M., 2008. Understanding dog–human companionship. Journal of Business Research, 61(5), pp.457-466.
|german shepherd||4.9%||german shepherd||3.0%|
|st bernard||4.9%||st bernard||3.0%|
|chow chow||4.9%||chow chow||0.0%|
|golden retriever||4.9%||golden retriever||0.0%|
|bichon frise||2.4%||bichon frise||6.1%|
|staffordshire bull terrier||2.4%||staffordshire bull terrier||6.1%|
|burnese mountain dog||2.4%||burnese mountain dog||0.0%|
|english bull terrier||2.4%||english bull terrier||0.0%|
|springer spaniel||2.4%||springer spaniel||0.0%|
|west highland terrier||2.4%||west highland terrier||0.0%|
|border collie||0.0%||border collie||3.0%|
|coton de tulear||0.0%||coton de tulear||3.0%|
|king charles||0.0%||king charles||3.0%|
|lhasa apso crossed with bichon frise||0.0%||lhasa apso crossed with bichon frise||3.0%|
|miniature poodle||0.0%||miniature poodle||3.0%|
|miniature schnauzer||0.0%||miniature schnauzer||3.0%|
|old english sheepdog||0.0%||old english sheepdog||3.0%|
|shar pei||0.0%||shar pei||3.0%|
|shih tzu||0.0%||shih tzu||3.0%|
|soft-coated wheaten terrier||0.0%||soft-coated wheaten terrier||3.0%|