If you have a dog that cuddles, consider yourself lucky. Cuddles from your pup can turn a frown upside down, but not all dogs love to cuddle. Some like their own space and some like to sleep in their own bed. Others however, are super cuddly and can’t get close enough to you.
So why do some dogs love to cuddle? Cuteness aside, think of it from an evolutionary standpoint. When puppies are born, they snuggle with one another to keep warm. So sometimes your pup is snuggling under the blankets with you simply because they are cold.
When humans started domesticating dogs, they were there to protect their owners but they were also there to help keep their owners from freezing to death. The term “three dog night” refers to the olden days when humans had to cuddle up with three dogs to keep them warm. For thousands of years, humans and dogs have been cuddling up for warmth.
The definition of cuddle is to ‘hold close in one's arms as a way of showing love or affection. So cuddling is not just about warmth, is is also a way to show love and affection. Cuddling is also a way for dogs to bond with us.
In one study, researchers trained dogs to lay in an MRI machine in order to study their brains. In their research, they found that bonding with their owners is more important to dogs than it is to other kind of pet. And this is why I am not a cat person.
And just like you may also feel from a human partner, cuddling is a great stress reliever for dogs as well. It has been proven that petting and snuggling your best friend can increase oxytocin levels in both of you. Oxytocin is the "love hormone" and is associated with social bonding and also trust.
New research found that human/dog interactions can elicit the same hormonal response that mothers have with their infants. Well, this makes sense because they are your baby. It’s nice to know that they see you as their mother too.
Mutual gazing also has a profound effect on dogs and their owners. So if they are cuddling with and looking into your eyes, they are not just thinking about beef jerky. During a study, the doggie/parent couples that spent the most amount of time looking into each other’s eyes, had the highest rise in oxytocin levels.
So, why do some dogs like to cuddle more than others? It is believed that genetics has something to do with it. Certain breeds are believed to be more cuddly, while others tend to be less affectionate and more independent. Which ones are the cuddliest? I want that one, please!
You can rely on lap dogs to be more snuggly. Certain breeds like the Maltese, Pomeranian and Yorkshire Terrier have been bred small enough to sit in our laps. There are bigger breeds like the Golden Retriever and the Irish Wolfhound that are cuddle bugs as well.
But sometimes it is just about the individual dog and it has nothing to do with genetics. Every dog is different. Sometimes they will jump into your lap when they are scared or when they are cold, but could be standoffish otherwise. They are like humans. Some like to be affectionate, and some like to keep their distance.
There are also dogs that are referred to as velcro dogs. They are clingy and they like to follow their owner everywhere they go, but this doesn’t mean that they are also going to love to cuddle. Each dog expresses themselves in different ways.
You may have noticed that your dog doesn’t like to cuddle as much in the summer. Dogs have a higher body temperature than we do and when that summer heat comes, they need their space to cool down. Other cuddlers don’t care if it is hot or cold; they are cuddling to bond with you no matter what.
So there you have it. Next time your dog cuddles up, ask yourself why they may be doing it. Are they cold? Are they scared? Or are they just showing you love and affection? Yea, I’m going to go with love and affection as well.