can dogs be claustrophobic?

Colby likes to be cuddled and stuffed but then he pulls away after a little bit

Asked by Colby on Apr 2nd 2011 in Behavior & Training
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Bruno CGC

Well, sorta, but I think what is going on here is that Colby is just being a normal dog. Dogs (and their ancestors, wolves) don't hug or pet each other. (Can you imagine, dogs standing up and hugging? Nope, not gonna happen.) It's a human thing really, and hugging and petting is actually upsetting to a lot of dogs.
A lot of things humans do to dogs, that we percieve and friendly and affectionate, they percieve as rude or threatening- like strong eye contact, hugging, bending over them, and such.
Colby is probably putting up with it because he loves you, but pulls away after a while because it goes against his instincts and makes him uncomfortable.

Bruno CGC answered on 4/2/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

I agree with Bruno on this one.
Cookie always got suspicious whenever people she wasn't familiar with would try to hug one of her family members. We actually had to tell her it was okay whenever that happened to keep her from going into defense mode. To a dog it's considered fighting. (I guess when we hugged each other or her she just considered it play fighting. xD)

I'm sure it's possible for a dog to be claustrophobic, but generally dogs actually like small spaces.

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 4/2/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


yes, I think they can. And I think our shelter dog someone has locked her in a hot car before, she'll panic big time and try to rip the windows off even though I never go anywhere when it is hot with her.
And my boston he does not like cuddling. he hates it, he doesn't mind snuggling under my legs in the morning and rubbing his head on my pj's but he hates being held.
My dog will also snuggle a little then pull away, she would rather play then do that. some dogs are like that.
and bridget she loves to lay on you but sometimes 90# is a bit much. I find it hurting my leg
she thinks she is a lap dog!

Dieta answered on 4/2/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I don't think dogs really like hugging in general. It doesn't have the same meaning to us as it does to them, that's for sure. Libby loves to cuddle, but she also likes her space. I think sometimes she gets hot when there's prolonged snuggling. Really, humans are like this, too; we cuddle for a while and then, when it gets a bit old, we go load the dishwasher, or something.

I have wondered whether claustrophia in dogs is a real thing. Do you have problems crating or kenneling Colby? Libby is impossible to crate, but is otherwise the most mellow dog ever. She becomes destructive (she destroyed a rug, some toys, and a quilt in under five minutes) and will not calm down when crated or kenneled. She will destroy a crate or harm herself if necessary in order to escape. The vet either has to sedate her, let her roam around the office, or call me to come get her.

Libby answered on 4/2/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer