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Why Do Dogs Like to Cuddle? 4 Reasons & Benefits

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

man hugging his dog

Why Do Dogs Like to Cuddle? 4 Reasons & Benefits

Dogs are fun pets to spend time with. They are usually fond of and loyal to their family members, yet they challenge us with mischievous behavior from time to time. They also like to do adorable things like cuddle with us. So, why do dogs like to cuddle?

There are many reasons that your dog might enjoy cuddling with you and other family members in the household. But do note that not all dogs like to cuddle. Here are the most common reasons that many dogs like to cuddle, as well as an explanation of why not all of them enjoy doing so.

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Top 4 Reasons Why Dogs Like to Cuddle

1. To Get Warm

Sometimes, dogs get chilly and want to warm up. There is no better way to do so than to cuddle with a human family member! If it’s early in the morning, late in the evening, or cold and rainy outside, you may notice that your pooch cuddles with your feet or gets on your lap when you are hanging out on the couch.

Maybe your pooch enjoys getting under the covers and cuddling up while you sleep throughout the night. If they seem to want to cuddle whenever it’s chilly, you can safely assume that they are doing it to get warm.

dog and owner sitting on couch
Image by: Piqsels

2. To Bond

Another reason that your pooch might enjoy cuddling is to bond with you deeply. Your pooch enjoys your company and wants to make sure you feel the same way, so they may utilize behaviors like cuddling to show their love, affection, and loyalty, hoping to receive your loyalty and affection in return.

The bottom line is that cuddling can be a reassuring activity for your dog that gives them peace of mind in knowing that you love them just as much as they love you. Cuddling to bond is most typically seen during naps or bedtime.

3. To Enhance the Pack’s Unity

Dogs have a pack mentality. They know how important it is for everyone in their pack to share a common bond and respect for one another. In the wild, you will see wolves and stray dogs on top of each other because they are creating unity among the pack. A pack that sleeps together eats together and protects one another.

Therefore, your pooch may have a desire to pile on your legs while you sleep or slink into your lap while you watch television to create that pack unity that they yearn to have. If you have more than one dog, you may notice that they pile up near you while sleeping and lounging.

pet owner sleeping with dog on her bed
Image by: Daniel Myjones, Shutterstock

4. To Show Subordination

If you are doing a good job in your role as a pack leader, your dog will want to show signs of their subordination to you. One effective way for them to do this is to cuddle up with you whenever they can. Snuggling up under your chin while you nap on the couch or around your legs when you’re lying in bed could be signs that your dog thinks of you as their pack leader, and they want to show you respect as such.

Dogs that cuddle to show subordination may come and cuddle anytime that their owners ask them to.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-03 Not All Dogs Like to Cuddle

owner and her dog sits on bed
Image by: VK Studio, Shutterstock

Not all dogs like to cuddle, or at least not all the time. Some dogs will show interest in leaning against you while they sleep, but they won’t get up as close and personal as a cuddly dog would. This is simply due to their personality and independence. Some dogs don’t require much physical attention to feel confident in their position in the household.

Conversely, some dogs do need physical reassurance that they are the center of your life. Therefore, they are more likely to cuddle up on your lap and nestle in while on the bed with you. These dogs are typically not as independent or confident as the pooches that don’t seem to desire much cuddling.

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Dogs are interesting animals that can display a variety of different behaviors, depending on their natural instincts, breed, genetics, personality, and temperament. Therefore, it is important to look for clues as to why your pooch is a cuddler or not.

Either way, you can be sure that they love and respect you just as much as you love and respect them.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Daxiao Productions, Shutterstock

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