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What Kind of Cuddler Is Your Dog?

I've identified five cuddle styles. Which does your dog prefer? Or do they have one I didn't list? Let's talk about cuddling!

Wendy Newell  |  Mar 8th 2017


Dog cuddles are the best! My sweet baby boy, Riggins, is 11 years old. Although he used to be a big cuddlier, he tends to seek out his own space now more and more. That’s okay because I am a dog sitter and surround myself with cuddle monsters to get my fix.

Every dog I know has their own cuddle style, and they all give me the warm fuzzies. Here are five favorites:

Snuggling in bed with Riggins. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

1. The chin elevator

Boone, a gorgeous black Lab, lives for cuddling. No matter what I’m doing, he wants to be right by me. When I’m working at my desk, he will lay with his chin on my foot. While I’m lounging on the sofa, he is right next to me, his head on my thigh. In bed, he will maneuver so his head is propped up on some part of my body. It doesn’t matter what part as long as he has a human pillow.

Fredo naps in the sun with his mommy. (Photo by Kris Saints)

2. The protector

These come in all shape and sizes. I care for a little terrier mix named Monkey who will lie on top of me while I sleep, and if anyone, besides my own dog, tries to get up on the bed, she will jump up and give them what for before doing a circle circle plop back on my chest.

Then there is deaf Dalmatian Luna. She is so amazingly soft. I love when she climbs under the covers and burrows down to settle right by my shins. That’s her spot, and her velvety fur is so comforting to have against me. Of course, I can’t move because if I do she will growl until I settle back down. It’s not her fault; she can’t hear herself and I woke her up. Imagine how deeply she sleeps being able to tune out all the noise everyone else is making.

Louie and Dot perfect the “behind the knee” snuggle. (Photos courtesy Kris Saints)

3. The attack kisser

Louie, a Chihuahua mix, is a master of the cuddle-kiss attack. He will leap into your lap and settle, and then WAM! cover your entire face in kisses. Right when you have him settled again, he will look up into your eyes and BAM! another kiss attack.

Riggins hangs out with me in his grandparents’ motor home. (Photo courtesy Wendy Newell)

4. The jealous lounger

This is my baby. During our years as dog sitters, he has gotten used to me giving attention to other dogs, but once in a while his old jealous ways come out. When he decides it’s his turn to get cuddles, no one or nothing is going to stop him. He will sit next to me on the sofa, and then lean over until he effortlessly falls into my lap, 80 percent on me and 20 percent still on the sofa. Or he will come up next to me, sit down and push until I take notice and cuddle. He has been known to push me a few feet in my wheeled work chair during this passive-aggressive cuddle attack.

Sadie cuddles up as close as possible to her mommy. (Photo courtesy Michelle Cramton)

5. The full blanket

Riggins use to be a full-blanket cuddlier but grew out of that phase. I’ve known a few other dogs who use this technique, but one who stands out is Louise, a Pit/German Shorthaired Pointer mix. This stocky guy is a precious love bug. His ONLY lounging position is covering my entire body. Sleeping, watching TV, just hanging out. His goal is to see how much of his body can cover mine.

Puppy Beau snuggling up on his mommy’s lap while he is still small enough to fit! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

You may ask, “Why do you like this?” Why do I like it in the early mornings when Riggins finishes eating and jumps up in bed next to me, and I can curl up around him, throw my arm over his body and mush my face into his fur? My response is, “Why wouldn’t I like it?”

Jack Jack and Shirley are both “tucked-in-the-shirt cuddle pups! (Photos courtesy Giovanna Gogreve and Wendy Newell)

A cuddler provides warmth on a cold night and a body to snuggle. The weight of a pup provides comfort, and dogs intuitively know when we need their support the most. They aren’t selfish or stingy; they are happy to give as much as we need and then some. Our cheek, leg or arm up against their soft fur is a reminder of the unconditional love and friendship we share.

Not to mention it’s an acceptable form of love and support that one creature can give another almost anytime, anywhere. I can’t very well ask my mom to sit under my desk while I work and put her head on my feet, can I? That’s Boone’s job!

What kind of cuddlier is your dog? Let us know and show us pictures in the comments.