Do you have a four-legged friend that you love to cuddle with? If so, you’re not alone! Dogs have been known to be man’s best friend for centuries, and part of the reason why is that they love to cuddle. Don’t you just love when your dog jumps up on the couch and curls up next to you? We sure do!
But hold on, why do dogs love to cuddle? Do they feel the same emotions as we do when they cuddle? Does cuddling mean the same thing to a dog as it does to a human?
Dogs love to cuddle for numerous different reasons. From the fact that they love you, a desire and need to feel safe, or perhaps they can sense something in you that you might not even have noticed yourself!
Let’s explore this topic a little further.
Why Do Dogs Love To Cuddle? – Top 7 Reasons
Just like humans, different dog breeds have different personalities and preferences. But in general, most dogs love to cuddle for one (or more) of the following reasons:
- Love & Affection
Believe it or not, one of the main reasons dogs love to cuddle is because they love you and crave your attention. That’s what Dr. Zac Pilossoph, a veterinarian with Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, says. So, we can safely say that, yes, dogs do experience the same emotions as we do when they cuddle. They feel loved and appreciated, and in return, they show their affection for us by cuddling.
Furthermore, Dr. Zac compares dog cuddling to dogs meeting or greeting each other. They usually start by smelling one another. Then, if they like each other, they start rubbing up against each other (or, as you’d say, cuddle) to show their friendship.
Similarly, when your dog cuddles with you, rubs against you, or even licks you, they’re trying to show their affection and love towards you.
- They Feel Safe And Secure
Cuddling also makes dogs feel safe and secure. When they’re curled up next to you on the couch or in bed, they know that they’re in a safe place and nothing bad will happen to them.
Have you ever noticed your dog coming to you for cuddles when they’re feeling scared or anxious? Perhaps there was a loud noise outside, or someone new came to your house. In these situations, cuddling provides dogs with a sense of security and helps them feel better.
So, if you notice your dog cuddling with you more often than usual, it could be a sign that they’re feeling insecure and need some extra reassurance from you.
Dogs are pack animals by nature. Meaning, that they live in groups (or packs) with a social hierarchy. And within these hierarchies, there’s always a leader or an alpha dog. The mama dog is usually the leader when they’re still with their littermates. But once they’re adopted into a new home, the leader becomes their human.
Of course, showing them who is in charge isn’t always easy. It takes several days of training, socialization, and patience. But once your dog understands that you’re the leader of the pack, they’ll start to show signs of subordination. And one of these signs is cuddling.
So, when your furry friend cuddles with you, especially puppies, they’re essentially saying, “I respect you and see you as the leader of this pack.”
- You’re Pregnant
Dogs are truly amazing creatures. They have an incredible sense of smell and can often sense things that we can’t. For example, did you know that dogs can smell pregnancy before the mother-to-be even knows she’s expecting? Kate LaSala, a certified professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, says so!
If you’re pregnant and notice your dog cuddling with you more than usual, it could be because they can smell the change in your hormones. They might not understand pregnancy as we do, but it’s believed that they can pick up on the fact that something is different about you. And as a result, they become extra protective and loving towards you.
- They’re Cold
Another common reason dogs love to cuddle is because they’re cold. Just like humans, dogs need to keep their bodies warm, especially in winter. And what better way to do that than snuggling up close to their human?
If you notice your dog wanting to cuddle with you more often when it’s cold outside, it’s probably because they’re trying to stay warm. So, if you don’t mind, let them cuddle up close. You might just end up getting warmer in the process!
- They’re Bored
Paula Stewart, an animal behaviorist, states that boredom can make a dog more clingy than usual.
You’ve been out all day at work, and your dog has been home alone. Of course, they’ll be happy to see you when you walk in the door. But they might also be feeling a bit bored.
Think about it from their perspective. They’ve been stuck at home all day with nothing to do. So, when you come home, they see you as their source of entertainment.
To combat this issue, try hiring a dog sitter or walker to come over while you’re gone. They can help keep your furry friend entertained and may even prevent them from getting too bored.
- They’re In Heat
Female dogs go through a heat cycle about twice a year. And during this time, they’re more likely to want to cuddle with their human companions.
It’s believed that this is because they’re looking for comfort and reassurance during this difficult time. Our female readers should be able to relate: remember those uncomfortable, painful cramps you get during that time of the month? All you need is some extra TLC from your significant other, right?
The same goes for dogs in heat! That phase is painful, uncomfortable, and just plain difficult to deal with. So, if your female dog is cuddling with you more often than usual, she’s probably just looking for a little extra love and comfort.
Dog Breeds That Love To Cuddle
As we said before, all dogs generally love to cuddle. But some breeds are definitely more prone to it than others. If you’re looking for a furry friend that loves nothing more than snuggling up close, here are a few breeds to consider:
- Shih Tzus
- Golden Retrievers
- Brussels Griffon
- Bichon Frise
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Now, there is always some exception to the rule. Just because a dog is bred for companionship doesn’t mean it will necessarily love cuddling. We’ve seen some pretty feisty Chihuahuas in our day! But in general, the breeds mentioned above are known for being extra affectionate and loving towards their humans.
At the end of the day, it really just depends on the individual dog. Just like humans, every dog goes through unique experiences that help shape its personality. So, even if a dog isn’t bred for cuddling, it could still turn out to be the snuggliest pup you’ve ever met!
How To Cuddle A Dog?
Is there really a wrong way to cuddle a dog? Well, we don’t think so! However, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to cuddle with your furry friend.
- Making Sure They’re Comfortable
Always make sure that your dog is comfortable with being touched. Some dogs are more skittish than others and don’t like to be manhandled. So, before you go in for the kill, ensure your dog is OK with being touched.
You can tell if a dog is comfortable with being touched by its body language. If they’re leaning into you, wagging their tail, and licking your hand, then they’re probably pretty OK with it. However, if they’re trying to move away from you, have their hackles raised, or growling, they’re probably not too fond of being touched. In that case, it’s probably best to just leave them be.
- Start Gradually
Next, go ahead and give them a good pat on the head. If they seem to like it, then you can move on to petting their back. Once they’re comfortable, you can try wrapping your arms around them for a hug.
- Ways To Cuddle With A Dog
There are different ways to cuddle a dog – hugging, petting, belly scratches, cradling your dog’s face, giving them kisses, and so on. While some dogs have no problem snuggling on your lap, others may prefer to lie next to you or even just sit at your feet. It really just depends on the dog’s preference.
So, there’s no right or wrong way to cuddle a dog. Just do whatever makes them (and you!) happy.
Dogs are truly man’s best friend. Not only are they loyal and loving, but they also love to cuddle! So, if you’re looking for a furry friend who will always be down for a snuggle session, you should consider getting a dog.
Just make sure to do your research beforehand to find a breed that is right for you. And of course, always ensure that your dog is comfortable with being touched before you try to cuddle with them. Other than that, there’s no stopping you from having the best cuddle session of your life!
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.
Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be challenging, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs absolutely love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.
Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.
Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!