There are a few reasons why your dog might not enjoy cuddling.
They may be anxious or stressed, which can cause them to want to avoid physical contact.
It could also be that they’re not used to being touched in that way, or they simply don’t like being restrained.
The Science Of Dog Cuddling
Dr. Patricia McConnell, author of the book “Train Your Dog” and an expert on animal behavior, says that dogs are naturally tactile animals who love to be petted and hold onto their owners with their teeth.
When you give your dog affection, she’s likely to want more, and this includes touching.
“Dogs need touch to feel loved,” Dr.McConnell explains.
“They need a lot of it.”
This is especially true for puppies, whose needs change as they grow up.
“Puppies are born with no fear of people or other animals, so they have very little instinctual fear of new things.
As they get older, though, they learn what is safe and what isn’t,” she adds.
As far as the science of dog cuddling goes, there are some clear benefits to giving your dog affection.
Studies have shown that cuddling reduces stress levels in both humans and pets, and it increases oxytocin (or the “cuddle hormone”) production in both species.
Oxytocin is known to increase feelings of trust and bonding between people, and it’s thought to improve communication between couples in relationships.
In addition, studies show that cuddling helps to reduce depression and anxiety, and it can even help to alleviate symptoms of dementia in elderly patients.
But before you start snuggling up with your dog, there are a few important factors to consider.
Read on to find out if your pooch will benefit from cuddles.
Why Some Dogs Dislike Cuddling
If you’ve ever tried to hold your dog for the first time, then you’ll know how awkward it can feel.
Even if you’ve got experience with dogs, there’s still something about having a body pressed up against yours that can make you nervous.
For some people, this is enough of an issue to stop them from holding their dogs at all.
But even if your dog doesn’t mind being hugged and kissed by you, there are some instances where they may find the idea of cuddling less appealing.
Here are just a few possible reasons why your dog might not enjoy cuddling.
- Dogs who aren’t used to being handled
- Sensory issues
- Fearful dogs
- Some breeds have a reputation for disliking cuddling
How To Get Your Dog To Love Cuddling
If you’ve got a dog who doesn’t like cuddles then here’s how you can get them into the habit of accepting love and affection from their owner.
1. Start by Cuddling With Them In The Morning And Evening
Forcing your dog to accept cuddling when they’re tired and groggy isn’t going to work very well.
You need to make sure that your dog is comfortable with cuddles at any time of day.
Start off by cuddling your dog in the morning and evening after breakfast and dinner.
Make sure that you’re doing this while they’re still awake so there aren’t any distractions that would make it difficult for them to relax and enjoy it.
Once you’ve established that your dog will happily accept cuddles throughout the day, start adding more cuddles later on during the day.
Gradually increase the amount of time that you spend cuddling until it becomes a daily routine.
2. Keep A Record Of How Often You Cuddle Your Dog
It’s important that you keep track of how often you cuddle your dog.
This will help you gauge whether or not your dog enjoys cuddling and gives you an idea as to what days are best for cuddling.
When you first start cuddling your dog, try to do it every day.
After a couple of weeks you should be able to reduce the frequency of cuddles down to once per week.
Once your dog has been used to having cuddles regularly, you can gradually decrease the number of times that you cuddle them each week until you reach once per month.
You can use this record to see if your dog likes cuddles during certain times of the year.
For example, if you find that your dog prefers cuddling in the spring, autumn, and winter, you know that they’ll be most relaxed in these seasons.
When you’re planning out your dog’s schedule, take this into account and plan accordingly.
3. Give Your Dog Time To Feel Comfortable With Cuddles
You can’t force your dog to enjoy cuddles, but you can give them time to adjust to the idea.
If you rush into cuddling your dog straight away, they won’t have had enough time to warm up to the idea.
Give your dog a chance to acclimatize to cuddling by giving them several minutes to feel comfortable before starting.
As soon as you think that they’re ready, start cuddling them, and continue to do so until they show signs that they’re happy to be cuddled.
You can begin by cuddling your dog for just a minute or two at first, but over time increase the length of time that you spend cuddling them until you’re spending around half an hour or more with them.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Force If Needed
Some dogs may take longer than others to get used to cuddling, and some may even refuse to accept it completely.
If you find that your dog refuses to let you hold them, don’t worry – just follow the tips above and eventually you’ll get your dog to accept cuddling.
If you decide to force your dog to accept cuddling, make sure that you’re gentle and patient about it.
Don’t push your dog to become accustomed to cuddling.
Instead, focus on building up the trust between you and your dog, and slowly increase the amount of time that you spend cuddling them each week.
The benefits Of Cuddling For Dogs
Cuddling for dogs can help them feel at ease, and it’s something you should do when they’re feeling stressed out, lonely, or bored.
The benefits of cuddling include improved health, happiness, and sense of well-being.
So what exactly does cuddling for dogs involve?
It involves the act of petting your dog with your hands, as if you were holding them.
You shouldn’t use your arms, because this can make your dog feel even more anxious than they already are.
Some people think that cuddling is just rubbing a dog’s belly or head, but that isn’t right.
You need to pet your dog using both hands, gently stroking their back, sides, and stomach.
This helps soothe them, while providing a calming effect on your own emotions too.
When you’re cuddling your dog, try to focus on how much they love you, and how lucky they are to have you as their owner.
When you talk to them, say things such as ‘I love you’ and ‘You’re my favorite’.
If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break from cuddling for a while and come back to it later.
Try to keep calm, and remember that you’re helping your dog relax and feel better about themselves.
The best way to start cuddling your dog is by sitting down next to them, and then slowly moving closer until you’re touching them.
Start off slow, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend doing it.
Don’t get carried away and hug your dog too hard — you’ll likely hurt them!
If your dog doesn’t seem comfortable at first, try giving them a treat afterwards.
A simple pat on the head will often put them at ease, and once they’ve relaxed, they’ll usually want to return the favor.
Dogs who aren’t used to being hugged can sometimes become fearful or nervous.
If your dog starts acting strangely, stop immediately.
Do some gentle petting instead, and don’t force them into anything they don’t want.
Take them outside if necessary, and give them plenty of attention after they’ve calmed down.
Remember that you’re not trying to replace your dog’s mother, so don’t expect them to behave like a baby.
Instead, try to understand your dog’s natural behavior, and help them express themselves in ways that suit them best.
The Best Way To Cuddle Your Dog
If you find it difficult to get your dog to let you hold them, then there’s no need to worry.
Here are some tips on how to soothe and comfort your dog when they seem to prefer to remain alone.
- 1. Don’t try to force your dog into accepting being hugged by you. Instead, try to make the experience as fun and relaxed as possible. Make sure that you have all of their favorite treats with you, and offer a reward for any time they look at you during the session.
- 2. Keep things short and sweet. Try hugging your dog for just a minute or two before moving onto something else. You’ll soon see that your dog will begin to relax and accept the attention.
- 3. Stay calm. When you hug your dog, do so from behind and rub their back gently. This should help your dog to feel more comfortable. Also, if your dog starts to wag their tail, give them a treat. They’ll soon recognize this as a sign that they’re being rewarded for being affectionate.
- 4. Be consistent. Once you’ve built up a good rapport with your dog, you should be able to hug them whenever you like. However, it’s important to remember that they probably won’t always respond to hugs. In fact, many dogs actually prefer to be left alone while you cuddle them.
How Much Should You Cuddle Your Dog
Cuddling should always be done with the owner present, and it’s best not to let them hold the dog too tightly.
This will only stress them out, so make sure you gently guide the dog into the position of your choice.
Once the dog is comfortable, you can start to stroke their body or squeeze their tummy, but make sure you keep the pressure light and gentle until they become familiar with it.
Gradually increase the amount of time spent cuddling as your dog becomes more relaxed.
If you’re going to cuddle your dog for longer than 20 minutes at a time, it’s important to do so slowly, and make sure you don’t overdo it.
You’ll need to take breaks every half hour or so, and you should never leave the dog alone for long periods of time when they’ve been cuddled.