Have you ever wondered why some dogs are cuddlers and others are not? Well, this is something I have been thinking about a lot recently with our latest adoption from the Marin Humane Society, Sherlock (see our previous post about this). Sherlock, unlike her older brother Watson is much more of a cuddle bug and absolutely loves sleeping and napping in our laps or right next to our faces in bed. It is interesting to see the juxtaposition between the two when it comes to their morning naps. And as I am sure you are aware, all dogs, just like people, have very different personalities, interests, and preferences. Here is just a little bit about why some dogs like to cuddle while others do not.
Why Some Dogs Like to Cuddle
Perhaps one of the most obvious reasons some dogs like cuddles is that it is a protective measure. For instance, if you have the flu or a bad cold your dog might cuddle with you to show affection and support. Dogs have a very keen intuition that they have developed over the thousands of years that they have been man’s best friend.
Another reason that some dogs like to cuddle is that it might be a part of your dog’s DNA. If you have a breed or a mix of breeds that come from cold weather climates like a Husky then they are more likely to enjoy cuddling. This is because cuddling is a fantastic technique for cold weather survival and this behavior can still crop up in modern dogs who historically come from these more harsh environments.
Why Some Dogs Don’t Like to Cuddle
Although it might be obvious as to why some dogs enjoy cuddling it isn’t always so easy to pinpoint why others don’t like it as much. The main reason why some dogs dislike cuddles and hugs is that they are physical communicators and when you cuddle or embrace them it restricts their ability to effectively communicate. They feel uncomfortable and vulnerable if their communication outlets are hindered by cuddling. Additionally, most dogs dislike being restricted as their primary form of escape in scary situations is to run away. Therefore if you are cuddling or hugging your dog the he feels extremely restricted and unable to get away if he needs to.
So as you can see it is fairly simple to see why some dogs enjoy cuddles while others do not. But the good news for you is that you can teach your dog to enjoy cuddles to a certain extent. It is more easily done when they are a puppy, but it is also possible with adult dogs. They just have to understand that they can trust you at all times. It might take some patience and a little time, but you can get there.
If you are looking for a dog that is more naturally inclined to cuddling then you might want to check out these lists of the most and least affectionate breeds. Just remember though that even if your dog is an affectionate breed it may not be that your dog loves to cuddle and vice versa. Every dog is an individual with different experiences and preferences just like humans.