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Why Do Dogs Like To Cuddle?

If you have a pup that likes to cuddle, consider yourself lucky.

Snuggling with your pup at the end of a long hard day can be very satisfying.

Love is the main reason dogs like to cuddle.

Cuddling is a way dogs demonstrate their affection and love.

If your dog isn’t much of a cuddle bug, don’t despair!

He probably shows love in other ways, like wagging his tail, licking your hands or face or wanting to play.

If cuddling is part of your pup’s personality, however, cuddle away to show him your love back!

Different Strokes for Different Pups

All dogs are different, even within the same breed.

Some like to cuddle – others do not.

Some dogs are complete cuddle bugs, while others tolerate some cuddling before wandering off to settle in their own, private spot.

Then there are dogs that are more independent and want nothing to do with cuddling.

That’s just their personality and has nothing to do with lack of love.

Some breeds have a history of being family-friendly due to human interaction over the years.

This could make them more likely to enjoy cuddling as its ingrained in their persona.

But that’s not always the case.

Take your large, guard-type dogs like German shepherds or Labradors.

You’d never think of them as cuddle bugs but many of them are!

On the flip side, there are lap dogs that have no desire to cuddle or be cuddled at all!

The Root of Cuddling

Dogs cuddle for warmth, affection and love.

When your pup cuddles with you, “feel good” hormones are released in his body.

These hormones make him feel safe and secure and loved.

In earlier times, dogs were more likely to cuddle to stay warm, particularly in colder climes.

Cuddling with people or other animals gave them body heat to keep the cold at bay.

Newborn pups cuddle with each other and their mother from birth.

Mama cuddles her pups to comfort and protect them from harm; it’s a built-in instinct with humans as well as dogs.

Cuddling has a comforting, calming effect on both people and animals, making it beneficial for both you and your pup.

Benefits of Cuddling Your Pup

If you’re a dog lover, you probably look forward to special cuddle times with your pet when watching TV, reading a book or taking a nap on the couch.

Did you know, however, that there are actual physical and emotional benefits to cuddling with your furry friend?

Here are some cuddling facts to chew on:

Dogs Need Physical Touch

Like people, dogs thrive on love and affection.

They’re especially partial to physical touch in the form of cuddling, pats on the head, tummy rubs, etc.

You can establish a strong bond with your pet through physical touch.

Dogs are pack animals.

They generally don’t like to be isolated or off on their own for long periods of time.

Isolating a dog could cause him emotional stress or produce aggressive behavior.

Although dogs need their freedom to some extent, they also crave human interaction and companionship.

That comes from your up-close-and-personal care.

Whether you have a small, medium or large breed dog, your love and affection will earn you his loyalty and trust.

Cuddling Strengthens Your Bond

Cuddling with your pup helps strengthen your bond.

If you have a new dog, you have to start from scratch developing a relationship of love and trust.

Setting aside time for cuddling together can get you off on the right foot.

Puppies need lots of cuddles to help them feel safe and secure after leaving their family and mom.

Personal interactions with your pup are essential to establishing a tight bond.

Your canine companion needs social interaction to integrate into your family.

Cuddling, petting, tummy rubs, playtimes, meal and snack times and grooming all provide opportunities to strengthen your bond.

Your pup will be a more loyal companion if he feels accepted and loved.

Cuddling Can Protect Your Dog’s Health

Dogs do better when they have a daily routine to follow.

Routines help them feel safe and secure.

Unfortunately, life is often full of changes beyond our control.

Changes like moving to a new location, being around new people or seeing you less often due to increased work hours can lead to stress, anxiety or fear in your dog.

Stress can cause all kinds of health issues in your canine, ranging from increased heart rate to hypertension to a weakened immune system.

Stress can also affect your pup’s behavior, causing him to lose his appetite, fidget continually or start urinating or pooping indoors, even after he’s well trained.

Here’s where cuddling can pay off!

Cuddling generally has a calming effect on dogs, giving them a sense of safety and security.

This helps relieve stress, fear and anxiety and makes it easier for dogs to adjust to changes in their household.

Cuddling reduces the level of cortisol in your pet’s body.

Cortisol is the hormone responsible for causing depression, anxiety and stress.

Daily cuddle times can do wonders in keeping your pup healthy and happy in your care.

Cuddle Bug Dog Breeds

Even though every dog is different, studies show that some breeds are more likely to enjoy cuddling than others.

Surprisingly enough, large breeds like Great Pyrenees, Labradors, Pitbulls and Golden Retrievers are natural cuddlers.

Malteses and Pomeranians are among the smaller breeds that like to be cuddled.

This is a generalization, however, and you will always find exceptions.

Keep in mind that dogs are different, even among their own breed.

They have distinct likes and dislikes, personalities and characters.

As you get to know your pup better, you’ll learn how to interact with him in ways he enjoys.

Some dogs love to cuddle and others don’t.

Respecting your pet’s boundaries is important to building a good relationship with your dog.

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National Canine Research Association of America