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Is It True That Australian Shepherds Like to Cuddle? Vet Approved Facts & Tips

Written by: Melissa Gunter

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

happy young woman cuddling australian shepherd dog while sitting on couch

Is It True That Australian Shepherds Like to Cuddle? Vet Approved Facts & Tips


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As a dog owner, the idea of cuddling with our pets throughout the day is one of the most appealing aspects of bringing a furry friend into your home. Unfortunately, however, as many pet owners soon discover, not every dog breed is up for this type of closeness. For those interested in bringing an Australian Shepherd into your home, you may wonder if this breed is one of those that enjoys a nice cuddle.

The truth is, most Aussies do enjoy a cuddle with their owner or close family member, but you will find some dogs of this breed that aren’t that big of fans. It all depends on the dog itself, its individual personality, and its temperament. Let’s learn more about Aussies and cuddling so you will know what to expect when making one of these adorable dogs part of your family.

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Understanding an Aussie

The Australian Shepherd was initially bred to be a working dog. This breed came to fame thanks to its ability to herd livestock and protect its owner’s herds. They are highly intelligent, strong-willed, and extremely loyal. When not out on the farm or ranch working, they are also known for their need to be close to their owners. They form strong bonds and aren’t fans of being left alone for long periods of time. This need for companionship makes them a great dog breed for families.

With the love an Aussie will show to their family, you’ll quickly realize, for some Aussies, this love can be shown with cuddles. You may find that your Aussie is the type to hop up on the couch looking for a good snuggle. He or she may even want to share your bed, if you’re okay with that type of behavior, so they can be near you. Then again, your Aussie could be a dog with the type of temperament where they want to be near the family, but not necessarily wrapped in someone’s arms. If that’s the case, you should honor their wishes and love them on their terms.

Close up Australian Shepherd
Image Credit By: Thabisfotowelt, Pixabay

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Things to Know About Cuddling Your Aussie

If you want a cuddly relationship with your Australian Shepherd there are a few things you should keep in mind. As we said, not every Aussie will be a cuddler. Then again, your normally cuddly pooch may decide against cuddles at certain times. Let’s take a look at a few things you should know about cuddling with your Aussie.

1. Keep It On Their Terms

As we’ve already mentioned, cuddling should be on your dog’s terms. If your Aussie hops on the couch and shows they are ready for cuddle time, take advantage of it. The last thing you want to do is push your dog away or act as if you aren’t accepting of their love. On the same hand, if you try to initiate cuddles and your dog shies away or resists your affection, don’t force it. The last thing you want is to make your dog nervous or fearful of your advances.

2. How Your Aussie is Raised Could Be a Factor

If you didn’t bring your Aussie into the family as a pup, the way they were raised could be a factor in whether they like cuddles or not. This is especially true when it comes to rescuing animals. In many cases, a rescue dog’s life wasn’t all that great before it found its way to the local shelter or rescue. If the dog wasn’t shown love and affection at an early age, it may not be accepting of it once they are in its forever home. This doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t love you. It simply means they don’t understand the gesture or it makes them uncomfortable.

Man Carrying a Australian Shepherd Dog Beside a Woman
Image By: Cottonbro, Pexels

3. Age

While Aussie pups are cute as can be, they aren’t the most cuddly. Why? It’s their age. Puppies are full of endless energy. In most instances, it’s hard to keep them under wraps long enough to give them the care they need. If your puppy doesn’t seem overly snuggly, don’t fret. If you show them lots of love as they grow, you may find they are more open to cuddles when they are a bit older.

4. Health Issues and Injuries

Dogs are a bit wary of things when they aren’t feeling good or are hurt. This includes their owners. If your Aussie has an injury or illness, don’t push cuddling on them. While you may want to show them extra affection at this time, they may not be up for it. Wait and let them come to you when they are ready to be doted on.

Australian Shepherd dog lying on the floor
Image By: Jana Behr, Shutterstock

5. No Cuddles with Strangers

When friends stop by the house they may see you and your Aussie cuddling and try to get in on the fun. This may not be great for all Aussies. As we said,  Australian Shepherds are loyal and protective of their families. This doesn’t mean random visitors to the home. If your guests try to cuddle with your Aussie you may notice a bit of growling or resistance. Instead of allowing your dog to go through this, ask your friends to refrain from pushing themselves on your pet and let your dog decide who they hang out with.

6. Don’t Force Anything

We’ve already brought this point up but it’s worth mentioning again. Do not force your Aussie to cuddle if they don’t want to. If you are constantly trying to initiate cuddles, you are reiterating the fact that your dog doesn’t like them in its mind. Take what your Aussie offers you. They will show their love for you on their own terms.

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Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Australian Shepherd is a family-oriented dog that wants nothing more than to spend time with you and keep you happy. They show this love in several ways. One of these shows of affection is cuddling. If your Aussie loves to cuddle, embrace the affection. If they are the type of dog that prefers to love you on their own terms, be accepting and don’t force anything on them. This will make your dog more comfortable in their home and a great best friend to you.

Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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