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We had a dachshund many years ago, now sadly deceased. When she was picked up and hugged or squeezed a little bit more, she would sort of hum/make a deep moan (not a growl).

Sometimes she'd do it on her own when she buried herself into the bed sheets to have a quiet rest.

What was this expression indicating?

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It is indeed a moan and is part of the natural range of vocalizations a dog uses.

It can mean pretty much exactly what a human moan means. Some examples:

  • Content at stretching after waking up
  • Content at having that annoying itch scratched
  • Content at laying down in a comfortable position
  • Annoyance at being woken up
  • Annoyance at being hugged too tightly

As with most expressions of dogs, this moaning must always be interpreted in the context of the situation. It's seldom only positive or negative.

Some dogs are more vocal than others, moaning just to say something. Others are more reserved and seldom moan at all.

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