Why won’t my Dog Cuddle with me anymore? How can I make my dog love me again?

Dogs are generally very affectionate towards their owners but sometimes when your dog has suffered prior trauma or abuse by former owners then he or she will tend to be fearful of their masters. But that changes overtime when your dog gets adequate love and care  from you. However, you should know that not all dogs are sociable; they like to maintain their personal space which is not something to worry about. This does not mean that he or she does not love their human friend, it means they prefer to show their affection in some other way. 

Why won’t my Dog Cuddle with me anymore

My dog doesn’t cuddle me anymore: What can I do? 

There are some certain dog gestures that are different from human gestures. Dogs show their intimacy with their eyes so when your dog is maintaining a mutual eye contact while playing or cuddling it conveys its love towards you. But sometimes, when you force eye contact ro stare at him or her for a long time, it can make them feel uncomfortable which results in your dog looking away. You should not force your dog to cuddle. If you give time, hug him gently sometimes, it will be enough. 

My dog doesn't cuddle me anymore

Dog breeds that love to Cuddle:

There are certain dog breeds who are more sociable than others and likes to cuddle and play such as — 

  1. Golden retriever
  2. Cavalier king charles spaniel
  3. Pomeranian
  4. Staffordshire bull terrier
  5. Shiba inu 

To be honest, breeds do matter in some cases but what is more important is that you raise your dog with full care and attention. If you raise a dog badly then no matter the breed it will not act desirably. If you scold too much or beat your dog, that will leave a negative impact on your dog resulting in damage to your relationship with him. 

Why Are Some Dogs Not Affectionate? 

There can be some reason as to why your dog is not opening up to you. First thing you need to do is when you bring home a dog you need to check its background ; where he came from, how he was treated and things like that. 

Presently there have been many cases where dogs are not treated properly by their owners, they get beat up, starved and scolded often which makes them awfully fearsome of humans and they develop many mental conditions. 

Dog breeds that love to Cuddle

If you have a dog that has suffered previously then you need to be gentle with him or her. First give them time to adjust, take care of them without expecting anything in return, then when you have gained their trust they will come to you on their own. 

From that moment on you can build a better relationship with them. But in some cases dogs just prefer their personal space so they do not cuddle. But they show other gestures of affection. 

Why do Dogs Cuddle?

Dogs cuddle because they want to show their affection, get warmth and love back from their master and they can bond more with this gesture. Hugging and cuddling releases happy hormones in the brains which helps regulate our mental health. 

At first dogs used to stay in packs and cuddle with each other while sleeping because they needed the warmth, it stayed with them till now. It also means that your dog trusts you fully. Some dogs like to sleep in their master’s lap so they cuddle up first and then fall asleep. 

In general, dogs can cuddle for various different reasons, you will understand why your dog is cuddling after you spend a lot of bonding time with them. 

It’s been a long day- your boss yelled at you, you had a fight with your partner, and you added salt instead of sugar in your coffee. You come back home tired and weary, hoping to be greeted by a wagging tail and some tippy-taps. Exceeding your expectations, your furball is right there at the door, waiting for you impatiently with a gift for you- be it a ball or some toilet paper that he stole, or maybe your own shoe (which is not yours anymore). Your heart is filled with warmth as you settle down on the couch while Fido comes up to you and settles next to your feet. You settle down next to him, hugging him and snuggling into his fur. However, he seems to be uncomfortable and somehow repulsed. He gets up and walks away.

You may feel heartbroken in this kind of a situation, but don’t worry. Let us try to understand this from your dog’s perspective. He/she might not be displaying this behaviour because they dislike you, it may be a very different reason altogether which we must try to interpret. This is because dogs don’t display affection in the same way as we do. They have different ways of bonding and showing us that they love us. This display of affection is quite subtle sometimes- it may go unnoticed by us mostly.

Another thing that we must understand that some dogs are snugglers, some dogs are not. Sometimes, even the snugglers don’t feel like snuggling, and that is alright. Even dogs have their own idea of personal space, which they might perceive as being invaded many a time

Dogs are also known as cursorial animals. This means that their natural instinct is to run fast. This could be one of the reasons he does not like to cuddle. It is also highly possible that your dog may have had a negative experience with a hug or physical closeness with another human, which could explain the repulsion from cuddling. It could have been a simple incidence like a vet coming close for a medical examination, which caused some unpleasant emotions in your canine companion. It’s quite normal, you must not worry about this. It is important to understand how and why your dog is experiencing these emotions and empathize with him.

Dogs that actually like to cuddle and snuggle up have many different reasons for doing so- they actually love being taken close. This because dogs crave attention and affection from their owners and family. Dogs have another natural instinct, to travel in packs which makes them also love warmth and closeness. They also snuggle up to you to express love and care. You may notice if you’re unwell or sick, that your dog comes up and sits close to you. This is a way of showing that they are trying to comfort you. They can sense if you are in pain or if something is wrong- not just physically, but also emotionally. Some of this behaviour might be according to instincts, or sometimes even learned behaviour.

Signs of Stress –

Some signs of stress are:

  • Head turned away
  • Flattened ears
  • Whites of eyes showing

Some dogs may also display signs of anger and aggression when subjected to too much physical proximity or contact they dislike.

Signs of Anger –

Anger can be displayed through the following actions:

  • Growling
  • Teeth showing
  • Lowered head
  • Flattened ears
  • Closed lips
  • Tight mouth
  • Stiff body language

It is best not to cuddle your dog at this moment, as he could get triggered to bite you. You must give him his space to cool down for a while and make sure he knows he is in a safe environment. If your dog almost always shows signs of distress when hugged, contact a behaviourist regarding this behaviour.

We must understand that we as owners understand our dogs best. As they cannot explain what they feel in words, we must empathize with their actions and behaviours. Long periods of exposure to stressful situations can cause many neurological and cardiological problems in canines such as heart attacks, seizures, etc.

If your dog does not snuggle up, it simply means he does not like it. That does not mean he does not love you- it just means he has a different way of showing he loves you.

Your dog loves you unconditionally, no matter what- only that he has very different and weird ways of showing it.

How dogs express their love?

Let us now try to understand how dogs express their love and affection:

When dogs snuggle up close to you while sleeping, it is a sign of trust and love. They trust you enough and want some warmth and affection from you. Even something as simple as your dog wanting to sleep in your room expresses a lot of trust and loyalty. He does not want to be separated from the pack and thus wants to be as close to you as he can.

You might want to rethink letting Fido on your bed now!

Holding eye contact is another very important way in which dogs show affection. This is because when your pooch looks at you, his brain releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a happy chemical released by the brain and it is also called the ‘love hormone’. This chemical promotes a deep connection and bonding between the owner and the pet and is very important during puppy years, especially during the pups training days. Eye contact is also believed to boost your dog’s confidence.

A piece of advice would be to maintain natural eye contact while playing or cuddling. Do not try to force eye contact, as it may make your dog feel uncomfortable, causing him to look away.

Some trainers also say, “Dogs don’t hug with their arms- they hug with their eyes.”

Tail wagging also signifies love, as you might have expected it. However, not all types of tail wagging mean the same thing. Some wagging is associated with happiness and joy, whereas some wagging can be interpreted as fear and insecurity. Understanding your dog’s body language is very important in terms of tail wagging. For example, if the dogs tail is held at middle height, it indicates that the dog is relaxed. As the tail moves upwards, it indicates the dog is becoming more alert and threatening. An upright tail means the dog is being dominant.

This video will give a better insight into tail wagging and its meaning:

Many other small gestures, such as they don’t freak out when you’re gone, they can’t control their happiness when you return, leaning against you, and even yawning in front of you!

Who doesn’t love that wagging tail at the doorstep, eh?

How to make your dog love you again

Many owners think that they must do something to gain their dog’s attention and love. This question might arise in many of our minds:

How to make your dog love you again?

The truthful answer to this would be, you don’t need to make your dog love you; he already does, with all his heart. You just need to try to understand his language of love.

However, you can try to win his trust in a better way, as a responsible pet parent. Bonding time is very important between you and your fur baby.

Dogs love being outdoors. Taking Bruno out for a hike or long run can be a fun activity for you as well as him. It is also a great source of exercise and stress relief for you! Even a long walk can do wonders.

Similarly, playing some outdoor games with your dog can boost your relationship.

This link will guide you as to what kind of games your dog would enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OTlgI6R7Ns

Games also are an energy release for your dog. Playing active games on a regular basis has many physical as well as psychological benefits for your pet.

Another activity that can help you bond with your dog is brushing his fur. Brushing is like pampering your pooch- he will feel relaxed and peaceful. He will know that he can trust you and thus make him closer. Spending about 30 minutes daily with your canine to brush out his fur will prove to be useful.

You can also consult your veterinarian for more tips and tricks for bonding with your baby. It is a therapeutic activity for Fido and for you as well. Having a healthy and positive relationship with your dog is highly beneficial. So, go ahead, pick up the leash and collar and spend some quality time with your pup!