When you sign up to become a dog owner, there are a few things you know will almost automatically be a part of the package. Potty accidents for a few weeks before you figure out a routine. Energy bursts with or without some property damage. And cuddles! Lots and lots of cuddles.
Most dogs love to cuddle mainly as a way of expressing their affection and spending more quality time with their favorite humans. The best part is that cuddling actually has a number of psychological health benefits for the dog that translate to a happier and healthier dog.
If you want to truly understand what it is with your pooch and their love for cuddles, you have come to the right place. In the sections below, we shall take a closer look at why dogs like to cuddle, why it is important for their health as well as which breeds are more likely to be open to a snuggle session.
Why Do Dogs Like To Cuddle?
Dogs like to cuddle for many different reasons but the fact that it lets them give and receive affection is probably their biggest motivator.
Here are a few more reasons why your dog may choose to snuggle up to you randomly.
For The Company
Dogs love our company just as much as we love theirs. Cuddling allows the dog to spend more, quality time with us.
Here, the physical contact during the snuggle makes all the difference and has been shown to improve the release of feel-good hormones by the dog.
For The Warmth
Your dog could be coming in for some cuddles as a way to warm up. You will notice that they do this mainly when it’s cold and they have nowhere else to seek the heat.
This is especially common when the dog wants to take a nap or settle in for a good night’s sleep.
For The Comfort
Another common reason why dogs like to cuddle is the fact that it is a very comfortable experience for the pooch. They not only get to mooch off your warmth but they also get to use you as a bed or pillow for a cozier relaxation session.
For The Security
Finally, your dog could be snuggling up to you to get your protection. This happens not only with acutely stressful situations but also with dogs that are inherently fearful even when there is no active threat.
It is also a common way that dogs suffering from psychological issues like anxiety or depression seek emotional security.
Should I Let My Dog Cuddle With Me?
If you do not mind the invasion of personal space, you should definitely allow your dog to cuddle with you every now and then.
Studies have shown that cuddling with your dog increases the production of feel-good hormones like oxytocin and also reduces stress hormones like cortisol. What’s really awesome about this perk is the fact that this perk will be enjoyed not only by the dog but also by you.
Allowing your dog to cuddle with you also gives you a chance to bond with them and deepen your relationship. This will come in very handy, particularly with new doggies who need help settling in and getting used to their new family.
Finally, letting your dog cuddle with you pretty much allows the pooch to their job of offering companionship. Many dogs love to make their human companions happy, and seeing you calm and happy will do wonders for the dog’s psychological well-being.
Do Dogs Cuddle Out Of Instinct?
Cuddling is a basic human instinct that can be seen as early as the dog’s neonatal period. They instinctively cuddle up to their siblings and parents as newborn pups to get some warmth and security.
The positive emotions associated with cuddling at this early age cause most dogs to instinctively gravitate towards the love for cuddles even when they are older.
Do All Dogs Like To Cuddle?
Unfortunately, not all dogs like to cuddle.
There are of course some dogs known for their affectionate nature and their love for physical contact. These are more often than not small dog breeds, including English Bulldog, Boxers, and Frenchies.
However, this love for cuddles is just as prevalent in large and even giant dog breeds like the Newfoundlander, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, and Labradors.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are some dog breeds that typically prefer their personal space and are unlikely to initiate or accept cuddles. Here are a few such dog breeds:
- Irish Wolfhound
- Scottish Terrier
- Afghan Hound
- Chow Chow
It is important to note that even dogs, belonging to breeds known for their love of cuddles, can also be uncomfortable with snuggling.
This is common with dogs that have gone through some sort of psychological trauma involving physical abuse.