“Sometimes a hug is worth more than a thousand words.” – Unknown
Sprout (Sophie’s 4 1/2 month old therapy dog understudy – for those of you who haven’t been following my recent FB/Instagram Stories) is a master at hugging.
In fact, her biggest challenge in puppy training class right now is to learn to keep four-on-the-floor and wait to be invited BEFORE mauling with love.
The problem is that almost everyone adores how her heart seems to be busting at the seams as she throws her paws on their shoulders and gives countless puppy kisses to every part of their head – so training her NOT to do it spontaneously is proving to be a bit of a challenge!!
To me, this is an excellent problem to have!!
Eventually we will figure out impulse control, and she’ll learn to wait until people ask for hugs. But, having an expert hugger on staff is priceless!!
Research shows that just petting or looking into a dog’s eyes can release oxytocin – the hormone that can promote trust and connection and even be an antidote to depressive feelings.
So much of the work with complex/developmental trauma is repairing the attachment system – and puppy hugs are a wonderful means of facilitating this work!!
I would love to hear your thoughts!!