Dogs are very affectionate animals that deserve tender love and care. Most dogs like to be pat or hugged by their owners.
However, getting your dog to cuddle is not a task that they learn automatically. So, how will you get your dog to cuddle with you?
Read below to find out.
How to get your dog to cuddle with you?
Start early with cuddling when your dog is still a puppy and do it daily if possible. Observe the body language of your dog and use your judgment to determine if your dog likes to cuddle or not. Always ensure that you respect its own space. If you think your dog might enjoy it, practice every day and use positive reinforcement. You can either praise your dog for the job well done after the cuddle session or give him a treat, or both.
Know Your Dog’s Preferences
Just like humans, dogs have their own likes and dislikes.
Some dogs love to cuddle, while others like to have their own space. Some dogs like to be shown affection, which includes hugs, while others only tolerate this or dislike it totally.
People tend to assume things that dogs enjoy when they are probably just tolerating them.
Therefore, it is important to determine your dog’s preferences and respect those things. This is vital in order to form a great connection with them.
Read the Body Language of Your Dog
Reading your dog’s body language will tell you if it is up for a cuddle session or not.
If your dog is trying to get your attention or wants to interact with you, its posture will be relaxed. Its mouth will be open, and its tail will be wagging.
They will also place themselves near your lap or on top of it. A dog who craves to interact with you will shove its head and body in contact with your hands or legs.
What to Do If Your Dog Doesn’t Like to Cuddle
Some dogs that have behavioral issues dislike cuddling and can put you at risk due to their aggression. Therefore, an alternative route should be taken.
Interactive touching can be a great alternative for dogs who dislike too much physical contact. An example of this is massaging your dog gently.
It is vital to give your dog his own space because forcing it can be dangerous. It may give it a reason to bite you or cause a tainted relationship between the two of you.
If you just adopted a puppy and you want to cuddle with it, it is best to train first. Teaching it at a young age will be advantageous because it will always be easier moving forward.
Just like the quote – “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,”. If your dog grows up without you training it to cuddle, don’t expect it to cuddle with you whenever you want it to or ever.
Have a Routine
This routine is only for puppies.
First, place your dog on your lap. Place a finger beneath his collar so that it won’t jump off. Stroke its head continuously while talking to him in a calm voice.
Massage the end of its ears and chest if it is resistant.
Rub your puppy’s tummy in a circular motion with your palm. This will relax your puppy.
If your dog is resistant, kindly restrain it, but don’t be harsh in correcting it. You need to be patient and consistent with your puppy for this routine to work.
Continue massaging your dog’s chest and ears.
When it is relaxed, pick it up and hug it gently. This will help your puppy to get used to the whole process and enjoy it along the way.
Gently release it and praise it for its great work.
Stick to Your Routine
Repeat your routine many times every day until your dog enjoys the attention.
Caress its legs, feet, and face. When your puppy gets used to being touched, it will be easier for you to treat it when a health problem occurs in the future.
Gradually extend the length of the routine. At first, maybe a hug or pat is what your dog is only interested in, but in time, it may sleep on your lap when you are cuddling it.
Know When to Stop Cuddling
If your cuddle session with your dog has gone too far, its body language may show stress, fear, or anxiety.
Signs of these include lip licking, panting or freezing, tense muscles, and stiff posture. More obvious signs include moving away and growling at you.
If your dog exhibits these body language expressions, it’s time to give your dog rest. You can try to cuddle again with your dog another time.
Health Benefits of Cuddling
Pets can bring many health benefits to their owners. Pets can reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, decrease depression and anxiety, decrease the risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure.
Cuddling may also have health benefits for dogs. It is hypothesized that stroking them increases their oxytocin or “love hormone.”
It may also decrease their blood pressure and heart rate.
Therefore, cuddling is both beneficial for humans as well as dogs, but only to the extent that is okay for both.
You should determine your dog’s preferences and study its body language to know if it likes to cuddle or not. Puppies are easier to train to cuddle, but patience and care should be the mantra when trying to cuddle with any dog.
You should always give your dog the necessary attention but also the right amount of respect for its own space.
The essence of this article is to start early to cuddle with your dog and never stop, so both of you can enjoy the added health benefits and affection.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cuddling with A Dog
How Can I Reward my Dog for Cuddling with Me?
You should praise your dog every time it cuddles with you so that it will look forward to the attention. Another way to reward it is by giving it a treat. It will associate cuddling with food, so it will be more willing to do it again.
How Often Should I Cuddle with my Dog?
Cuddle with your dog every day. Cuddling with it when you wake up will make you feel calm, happy, and relaxed for the day. Cuddling before you go to sleep can help you feel restful and might ensure a good night’s sleep.