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Why Won’t My Dog Cuddle With Me Anymore?

If your dog no longer cuddles with you, there might be a good reason why.  In fact, there might be several reasons why your furry friend no longer wants to spend a lengthy period of time next to you on the couch, floor or in another part of your home.

So don’t assume your dog just randomly decided you are longer his or her friend, or that your dog no longer loves you.

Perform some critical thinking, make a concerted attempt to figure out why your dog is no longer affectionate toward you and you just might piece together this complex puzzle.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at why some dogs no longer want to cuddle with their owner and what can be done to get things back to the way they used to be.

Dogs Have the Potential to Change

Dogs gradually change just like humans do.  As time progresses, your dog might lose interest in being close to you as well as other people.

It is certainly possible that your dog will simply become less social as he or she transitions away from the puppy years to being a full grown dog.

Recognize the fact that your dog has the potential to change and don’t force him or her to cuddle.

Your Dog Might Have Been Harmed

Though no one wants to entertain the prospect that their pooch has been struck, neglected or hurt in another manner, it is possible.  The sad truth is there is a chance your furry friend has been harmed by another person.

If a prior owner or anyone else has inflicted abuse or trauma on the animal, he or she will be afraid of people in general.

Unless you spend the entirety of your time with your pooch, you have no way of knowing whether he or she has been harmed by another person.

Furthermore, there is a chance another dog has harmed your furry friend.  Take a close look at your pooch’s fur from different angles to see if there are any cuts, blood or other signs of harm.

If you notice any such physical ailments, bring your dog to the veterinarian’s office for an in-depth analysis and treatment.

It is quite possible that once your dog’s wounds are tended to, he or she will be more sociable, possibly to the point that he/she wants to cuddle with you once again as physical contact will no longer cause pain.

Old Age

Some dogs no longer feel the need to cuddle as they age.  Puppies are particularly affectionate as they seek warmth and love from their mother.

If you take pups from their mother in their infancy, they will naturally gravitate toward you, cuddling with you and your family, possibly on a nightly basis.  However, some dogs simply want their personal space as they age.

If your dog wants to remain in his or own space instead of cuddling after hitting the age of five, 10 or older, go ahead and let him/her remain alone.

The lack of cuddling is not a sign that your dog does not love you.  Rather, it means he or she wants personal space and would prefer you show your affection in another way.

Your Dog Feels as Though You are Forcing the Matter

If you stare at your dog for an extended period of time, attempting to induce affection, he or she might feel as though you are forcing the issue.

It is even possible prolonged staring and “baby talk” directed toward your pooch will cause him or her to look away from you and completely avoid cuddling.  In short, the moral of this story is it is not wise to force cuddling.

Let your dog move toward you when he or she wants to cuddle instead of attempting to force the matter.  Such a natural affection sets the stage for additional cuddling in the days ahead.

Your Dog Breed Might Not Be Inclined to Cuddle

Some dog breeds favor cuddling while others do not enjoy being close to their master or anyone else.  The bottom line is certain dogs are more sociable than others.

The breeds that greatly enjoy cuddling include the Pomeranian, the Golden Retriever, the Newfoundland, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The Dog Was Not Raised Right

Unless you are a dog breeder, you probably did not raise your dog from its birth.  It is quite possible an improper upbringing is the cause of your dog’s failure to enjoy cuddling or completely avoid cuddling altogether.

Even the most social dog breeds will refuse to cuddle if they were not raised properly.

Excessive scolding, physical abuse and the failure to pet/hug a dog sets the stage for minimal or even no cuddling down the line.  If you suspect your dog was mistreated in the past, be patient and gentle with him or her.

You should not expect cuddling.  Rather, view it as an added bonus that has the potential to occur at some point down the line.

In the meantime, your dog might prove affectionate in another way such as petting, playing fetch or simply sitting next to you, untouched, on the couch.

Consider The Fact That Dogs Generally Do Not Like Hugging

Animal scientists have studied the facial expressions of dogs when they are being hugged.  Sadly, these analyses reveal dogs simply do not enjoy hugging.

Though there are exceptions to this stereotype, the truth of the matter is most dogs would prefer to be petted, play with their master or simply sit next to him or her, untouched, rather than being hugged.

The Dog Is Rattled After A Trip To The Vet’s Office

In some situations, the resistance to cuddling stems from an uncomfortable or painful experience with another person.

Even something as basic as a vet performing a medical examination that made your dog feel uncomfortable has the potential to cause him or her to no longer want to cuddle.

Your Dog Craves Space

In some situations, dogs simply have a desire for more personal space.

If you recently moved to an apartment or downsized your house to a ranch or another smaller living space, your dog might crave additional room and resist the temptation to cuddle with you or other members of your family.

The bottom line is certain dogs simply need more space than others.

Your Dog Is Stressed Or Angry

Stress and anger will overpower feelings of affection.  If your furry friend has flattened ears, is turning his or her head away or if you can see the whites of his/her eyes, these are signs of stress.

If your pooch has stiff body language, is growling, showing teeth, has a lowered head, a tight mouth or closed ears, it is a sign he or she is angry.

In other words, something happened to cause your dog to feel enraged or stressed out so now is not the best time to cuddle.  Allow your dog some time and space to settle down.

It is quite possible your dog will be willing to cuddle an hour or so after this episode of rage or stress.

You Have Been Cuddling The Wrong Way

It is a mistake to cuddle with your dog and keep your eyes on the TV, computer or something else in the room aside from your furry friend.  Rather, the right way to cuddle is to maintain eye contact with your pooch.

When dogs look at their owner, oxytocin is released within the brain, making him or her quite happy.  This “love chemical” really does enhance the bond and connection between a dog and his/her master.

So be sure to look your dog in the eye when you start cuddling.

This positive interaction encourages your dog to remain cuddling for an extended period of time and also seize the opportunity to cuddle in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Alternatively, if you were to cuddle with your dog and stare at the TV or engage in a discussion with a family member, your dog would feel neglected and suspect you do not value the cuddling experience.

Make it clear that you appreciate the fact that your dog is willing to cuddle by making and holding consistent eye contact.

Such eye contact encourages your dog to cuddle for extended periods of time, releases the aforementioned pleasurable chemicals within the brain and also bolsters your pooch’s confidence.

How to Encourage Your Dog to Cuddle Once Again

If maintaining eye contact while attempting to cuddle with your dog does not convince him or her to spend time close to you on the couch, floor, in bed or elsewhere in your home, don’t give up!

Be proactive, continue to try to win affection from your dog and you just might convince him or her to cuddle with you once again.

Set aside some time each day to bond with your fur baby.  Carve out at least half an hour per day to interact closely with your dog.

Use this time to hold prolonged eye contact with your furry friend, play, take walks and sit next to one another.

Long walks and play sessions with your dog really will bring you closer together, ultimately enhancing the chances of cuddling later that night or at some point down the line.

Tire Out Your Dog

Dogs are more likely to cuddle if they are not full of energy.  An energetic fur buddy simply does not want to sit still, instead choosing to play, run around the house, look out the window or prove prone to distractions.

Try to tire out your dog during the day with games and long walks.  If possible, bring your furry friend to the local dog park so he or she can run around.

If you are not located near a dog park, find a local little league baseball field with lockable gates where your dog can run around to his or her heart’s content.

This release of energy gives your pooch a much-needed outlet, keeps him or her healthy, provides a psychological benefit and increases the chances of a lengthy cuddling session later that night.

A fatigued dog is that much more inclined to remain still on the couch, cuddling with you late at night simply because he or she is tired from all the activity that took place earlier in the day.

Brush Your Dog’s Fur

Brush your dog while on the couch or while on the living room floor and it will put him or her in the mood to cuddle.  In short, brushing your dog’s fur serves as a valuable bonding experience.

Think of brushing your furry friend as similar to pampering him or her.  This activity makes your fur buddy feel at peace, relaxed and happy.

Continue to brush your pooch with regularity and you will generate an all-important rapport that makes it that much easier to cuddle for an extended period of time later in the evening.

Ideally, you will spend half an hour per day brushing out your dog’s fur.

When In Doubt, Ask Your Veterinarian for Suggestions

If you have tried all of the potential solutions detailed above and your dog still does not want to cuddle, it is time to ask the proven experts.

Your veterinarian will likely have at least one or two suggestions, some of which might differ from the ideas suggested above.

Explain exactly how your pooch reacts to your attempts to cuddle and listen closely when your veterinarian suggest potential solutions.

However, there is always a chance that your dog has simply outgrown cuddling or wants to be left alone.

If the suggestions detailed above do not work and the potential solutions proposed by your veterinarian do not work, don’t force the issue.

Rather, you should let your pooch have his or her space and bypass cuddling as desired.

Otherwise, if you were to force the issue, you would run the risk of your dog acting out by biting, barking loudly or viewing you as a threat as opposed to a friend.

image: Pexels

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National Canine Research Association of America