While I'm not saying a hug is in a dog's vocabulary of body language... I don't find that the VAST majority of dogs dislike hugging. Most dogs seems to like any attention from their people.... Petting, hugs, even eye contact (Generally, dogs don't maintain eye contact with one another, but many dogs sustain eye contact with people for various reasons that have nothing to do with trying to be aggressive, dominant, or any of the other things some people associate with 'eye contact" and dogs). Sometimes the eye contact is taught. Sometimes it's not. Some dogs just do it because they find it works to get them what they want (treats, attention, etc.) or because they're taking cues. In fact, the domestic dog is way ahead of both chimpanzees and wolves (even those raised with humans) in correctly interpreting human body language. I have that study somewhere on my hard drive.
I can dig it up upon request.... I hope!
I'd love to read more about that!
We never taught Katy, Indy, or Tucker to hug. They all do it "naturally". When we first met Katy, she ran out of her kennel straight to Steven (who was crouching down) and threw her front legs right around his waist, burying her head under his chin. He had to pry her off him, LOL. That's why we ended up adopting her -- she definitely chose HER boy.
She still does it to this day, although just a bit slower, especially when he comes home from work.
Anytime I'm sitting or crouching down at Indy's level, he will bury and rub his head right into my chest and stay there as long as I let him. If I'm sitting down, he'll put his front legs around my waist and then bury/rub his head on my chest. Every other body-language signal of his shows he's totally relaxed. Right now, because my hair is so long, he'll rest his head on my shoulders under my ears and just snuffle and sigh into my hair. I usually don't initiate this behaviour, but if I do he has no problem with me doing so. He'll also do this with Dr Blabs and my sister-in-law, but rarely with anyone else.
Tucker has always loved to run up to standing people (that he knows) and give them "bear hugs". He'll lock his legs around your waist, then slowly relax and slide down your legs as you pet him. Beware if you're wearing loose pants!
He's always initiated the behaviour and will gladly do it if you pat your waist -- he jumps right up for a "hug".
Shorty takes any human contact as an invitation to Wrestle Mania -- give her a hug and she's a lunatic! Mac is very aloof with most human-initiated contact -- he generally only allows himself to be touched on his terms and I would *never* hug him. It's just not something he either wants or enjoys.
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.