Decoding Your Dog’s Preferred Cuddling Style: Insights From a Veterinarian

Dog's Preferred Cuddling Style

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Fumipets

Decoding Your Dog’s Preferred Cuddling Style: Insights From a Veterinarian


In the delightful world of dog-human companionship, there’s a special bond that’s often sealed with cuddles. But have you ever wondered if your furry friend has a favorite way to be cuddled? Dr. Jo Myers, a veterinarian from Vetster, provides some insights into how to decipher your dog’s cuddling preferences.

Unique Personalities, Unique Preferences 

Just like humans, dogs boast distinct personalities and individual preferences, even when it comes to receiving affection. Dr. Myers highlights that understanding these preferences is key to fostering a strong connection with your pet. When your dog leans into your hand or nudges you for more attention, you’ve found their sweet spot.

Reading Body Language 

Dogs may not speak our language, but they are incredibly expressive through their body language. Dr. Myers emphasizes the importance of paying attention to these cues. Most dogs are adept at training their owners to understand what they enjoy best.

Dog's Preferred Cuddling Style

Belly Scratches Are a Hit 

Many dog owners can attest to the undeniable joy of their canine companion sprawling on their back, eagerly awaiting some belly scratching. Dr. Myers explains, “If your dog rolls onto their back and moves their legs out of the way, you can bet they want a tummy rub.” Some dogs revel in a gentle massage around their eyes and ears. The upward-pointing nose while you scratch under their chin is another indication of their favorite spot.

The ever-popular butt scratches also have a unique charm. Dr. Myers draws a comparison to the spot between your shoulder blades, which is hard to reach. It’s similar for dogs and cats, making it a sought-after area for scratching.

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Lap Cuddles 

While scratches are delightful, some dogs prefer a different form of affection—curling up on your lap. Dr. Myers suggests that this choice might be driven by a desire for proximity and comfort. Lap dogs, regardless of their size, often aim to maintain constant physical contact with their humans. When a dog peacefully relaxes on your lap, it’s a message of bonding and comfort.

Additionally, dogs that have a keen sense of responsibility for their humans and surroundings may opt for lap cuddles as a way to stay vigilant and feel secure.

Dog's Preferred Cuddling Style

Cuddle with Caution 

Although cuddling is a display of love, it’s essential to be mindful of your dog’s comfort. Dr. Myers advises that not all dogs enjoy cuddles, especially hugging. “Dogs have evolved to cuddle to conserve heat and demonstrate bonding, but they aren’t naturally accustomed to hugging as a display of affection.”

Understanding your dog’s body language is crucial. A happy dog will lean into the cuddle, asking for more. However, if your dog feels trapped or uncomfortable, they may stiffen up, pull away, or even snap as an instinctive response.

Picking Up the Love 

Some smaller dog breeds love being carried around, akin to being cradled like a baby. Dr. Myers encourages pet owners to pick up their dogs if it’s safe and if the dog enjoys it. Many dogs eagerly request to be carried, while others may indicate their disinterest. Paying attention to your dog’s cues is key to ensuring a pleasant interaction.

Cuddles with your dog can be one of the most heartwarming aspects of pet ownership. By reading their body language and respecting their preferences, you can make these moments even more enjoyable for both you and your furry companion.

For more heartwarming stories and insightful pet-related content, stay connected with Newsweek.

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