Home > Dog Behavior, Pet Ponderings > “Cuddle-bug” dogs – Do you have one?

“Cuddle-bug” dogs – Do you have one?


Lady

I was thinking about “cuddle-bug” dogs the other day and pondering the fact that throughout all the dogs I have had in my life, I’ve never once had a full-time cuddle-bug dog. Do you know what I mean? The type of dog that just wants to be near you all of the time and would prefer to cuddle up on the couch with you when you’re reading a good book or watching TV or having a sick day.

Daisy likes to cuddle for a belly rub in the morning, but that’s pretty much it. Jasper likes belly rubs but would prefer to play ball. And then there’s Lady, my off and on cuddle-bug dog. Ever since she’s come home, she’s been more affectionate, often lying on the couch next to me as I pet her or give her a belly rub (Last week I gave her a body massage and now she’s really affectionate!). But, being a Sheltie, she doesn’t like to cuddle for too long because she gets too hot. So as you can imagine cuddle sessions are rather fleeting here at Casa del Mel.

Jasper


Given that I’ve always adopted dogs who are not cuddle-bug type of dogs, it made me wonder… is this my preference or merely chance? What do you think? Do you have a cuddle-bug dog? Do you have a preference when it comes to dogs and their need to cuddle? It seems to me that little dogs are more likely to cuddle than the bigger dogs, but maybe I’m wrong. Do you have a large cuddle-bug dog?

  1. January 24, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    I think it’s an interesting question about whether it’s your preference since you’ve had so many non-cuddly dogs.

    Honey is a big cuddle-bug. She loves sitting on our laps.

    My sister Mel once said she could never get a cat because a cat would hurt her feelings. Why? Because he wouldn’t care if she was there or not (obviously not true of all cats).

    Maybe loving non-cuddle-bug dogs (say that 10 times fast) is your way of showing that you really love dogs for being dogs. And that you aren’t looking for your dogs to fill other needs in you. You’re happy to see them being dogs and to share your life with them.

    What do you think? Is it preference? Or is it chance?

    • Mel
      January 24, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      I think in my case it really may be preference Pamela. I like dogs to be dogs – you were spot on with that one.

  2. January 24, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    YES I have a large cuddle-bug dog! Georgia’s 43 kg and still wants to sit/sleep on us. [ON, not by!] She’s the first dog we’ve ever had like that. We now believe that Jordan would have liked it too, but we never used to allow dogs onto the couch/bed :( Georgia was very insistent though. Apparently it’s the Dane in her that makes her want to sit/lie on us.

    • Mel
      January 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      I knew Georgia liked to scoor her butt up on you, but sleep on you too? Maybe it’s the Dane in her. She’s so adorable, how could you resist?

  3. January 24, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Ike, our 50 lb Border Collie is sure he’s a lap dog. He spends every evening stretched out on hub’s lap in the recliner. His sister, Tina only weighs 35 lbs and will spend some time cuddling, but if you twitch, she is down on the floor.

  4. January 24, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Buster is a total cuddle bug! Whenever I lay on he sofa he rests his chin on the end and looks at me “asking permission” to come up. And then he actually lays with his head on my chest and his paw across my stomach – like a person. It’s pretty hilarious. Ty, once again being completely opposite from Buster must be coaxed onto the sofa for family cuddle time and then snuggles begrudgingly, all the time looking for an opportunity to escape our affection for the comfort of his bed.

    • Mel
      January 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      I knew Ty wasn’t much of a cuddler, but Buster is a cuddler? I love how he lays on you. He’s such a love. :)

  5. January 24, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    I kind of wish my dog was more cuddly. It’s taken us two and a half years just to get her to tolerate touching us while she sleeps. Previously she would curl up at the end of the sofa by herself and if I so much as brushed her with a foot, she’d be grunting and jumping away. If I try to pull her into my lap, she starts flailing. Not that she doesn’t enjoy affection, but it has to be when she deliberately seeks it out.

    Maybe my next dog should be a lap dog. Knowing my luck, I’d get the world’s most hyperactive shih-tzu.

  6. January 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    I have 3 cuddle bugs,with 2 being related.There is Lucy(adopted NOV. 2010) Sally(Rescued from snow and cold Jan.2011) and Marcie (Born Feb 2011) At night,all 3 cuddle up to me.But as Lucy & Marcie run a lot,Sally(who is an older Chihuahua dog and Marcie’s mother)will not let me out of her sight,especially since my last hospitalization.She is constantly in my lap or by my side,even when the home health nurse comes by to check out how the stump is healing.
    Sally know to leave me alone when I’m at or repairing a computer,but she is very close.Bless her little furry heart.

  7. January 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Pearl is very cuddly when she sleeps… she always curls up right up against us on the bed or the couch. But I think it may be our warmth that she is drawn to, because she is so skinny and her hair is so short. If we wash her blanket and take it out of the dryer all warm she will curl up in that blanket and won’t follow us into another room or anything. I like having a somewhat cuddly dog, although I wish Pearl wasn’t so darn bony, because she isn’t the most comfortable dog to cuddle with unfortunately.

  8. Jan
    January 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    All of my dogs are and have been cuddle-bugs. Maybe it is a flaw in my character but I like it when they think I am a goddess who must never leave their sight when I am home.

    When I’m gone it’s probably a relief for them to stop the act.

  9. Perry Falconer
    January 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    I have had cuddle bugs in my life. And it’s not a particular breed – it’s all up to the dog. This past week we had a visitor dog for a week and he basically stapled himself to me. He’s the same breed as my “more independant” boy (papillon) but just is built mentally for 24-7 cuddles. I originally thought my guy was pretty cuddly – then this visitor cuddled way way more. Other cuddle bugs we’ve had were a bearded collie/ English sheepdog mix, a lahso apao and even a Yorkie.

  10. January 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Lilly is by FAR the biggest cuddler I’ve ever known. I wonder if she comes by it naturally or if we taught her to be this way. I asked our vet yesterday, what she thought, and she said she thinks some dogs are just naturally cuddly.

  11. January 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Though we presently do not have any pets, I had a Border Collie-Terrier mix when I was a teen who was definitely a cuddler. She was small, about 15 pounds. In our early married years, hubby and I adopted a Great Dane who was no longer wanted by her owners. She LOVED to cuddle and was always following either one of us around or curling up next to or on top of us on the couch. She was 150 pounds! Our Greyhound, however, was extremely warm blooded and did not like to cuddle. If you tried to lay near her on the floor, she would get up and move to a different spot; yet she was a very sweet dog and loved getting attention.

    • Mel
      January 24, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      Lindy – My friend has had 2 Great Danes now and both were cuddlers. Funny how the biggest dogs think of themselves as lap dogs isn’t it?

  12. January 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    I have 3 large cuddle bugs that would love nothing more than to be up on the couch with us 24/7 but they’re not allowed. So we have cuddle sessions on the floor. They each have their favorite spot surrounding/on top of me. Always keeps me warm when it’s cold out!

    • Mel
      January 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM

      Cuddle sessions on the floor. I like that idea Sarah!

  13. January 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    We have a 16 month old German Shepherd boy that we brought home as a pup. My husband used to cuddle with him on the couch every morning. As he got bigger we taught him to just put his front paws/chest on our lap and stand on his rear legs (we have a No Dogs on Furniture rule). This works pretty well as he’s a tall boy and he can get cuddles and give kisses without totally invading our space (he’s 82 lbs). Of course we provide lots of scritches in return! Last night he was in a super snuggly mood and stayed on my lap for about an hour while we watched tv. When he’s resting he wants to be near us, often lying on our feet or right under the recliners. We’re ‘large breed’ people and he’s the first big dog I’ve had that has been such a cuddle bug.

  14. January 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    My childhood dog Scotti was a major cuddle-bug. Bella’s not quite as cuddly – I’d say she’s about 50/50. Sometimes she loves to snuggle, but not always. I used to try to convince her to sleep on the bed with me, but she always hops down to sleep in her own bed.

    • Mel
      January 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      None of my dogs like to sleep on my bed AJ. Jasper and Lady prefer to sleep near my bed, but not on it. Much easier to trip over them at night this way. :-)

  15. Jen
    January 24, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Sherman has never been a cuddle bug, he like to be in the same as us all the time but he likes his own space. Leroy however, well he is a cuddle-bug at times. Just last night we were cuddling on the floor and I fell asleep on him!

    • Mel
      January 24, 2012 at 10:25 PM

      I want your pillow Jen! That’s hilarious! I never imagined a Newf being a cuddler. :)

  16. January 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Moree, our Aussie, was not a cuddler. If I was a really bad day, he’d give in and cuddle with me. But mostly, he wanted to be guarding the house. He like to sleep so that no intruder could get to the room without having to go past him first.
    Smokey, our 65lb Lab/Pit was a total cuddle bug. His idea of heaven was lying across your lap, being petted with one hand and fed with the other.
    Junebug, our Beagle is most of the time a cuddle bug. She loves laps and sleeping next to us, but if there’s an interesting smell over there, or someone’s in the kitchen, then that’s the priority.
    Larry is a cuddle bug only when he wants to sleep. If he’s up, he’s up. He wants to be watching out the window or running around. But the second he decides it’s time to sleep, he wants to be under the covers next to one of us.

  17. January 24, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    ALL Vizslas are cuddle bugs! I’ve never met one that wasn’t. My Mom’s Pitties were cuddlers, too.

    • Mel
      January 25, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Yup! I definitely know that! Love Vizslas!

    • January 25, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      When I was young, on Saturday mornings when I was the only one awake, I’d invite our Vizsla on to the couch (the dogs weren’t allowed on the furniture) and use her as a pillow while I watched cartoons…

  18. January 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    desmond’s not a huge dog, but he’s certainly not small, and he loves to cuddle to the point that it’s too much sometimes and interferes with daily activities. he would prefer to be on top of you/leaning on you/touching you, etc., at all times of day. but honestly, i wouldn’t want it any other way. i think i’d be insulted if a dog didn’t want to love up on me. ;-)

  19. midknightrose
    January 28, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    I don’t think little dogs are more likely to cuddle than big dogs. All of our pitbulls have loved to cuddle it’s like they forget they are 60# dogs and think they fit perfectly in your lap. We had one pit named king who would wait till the couch was full then climb on top of everyone and stretch out on his back so that everyone could give him chest and belly rubs at the same time :). My last bouvie was also a big cuddle-bug.

  20. Arch
    September 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Graham, my 52 lb Pitt mix, is a rescue dog. Found him on the porch during a storm, my boyfriend and I had seen him before being chased by children and getting things thrown at him. Naturally, with as pathetic and small and sick as he looked, we had to take him in.
    At first he barely slept and was extremely wary of being near someone, especially when he was trying to sleep.
    Now, almost 2 years later, he is the largest cuddle bug: if I’m at the computer he’s trying to climb in my lap, if I’m on the bed he has to be curled up either against my ribs or my stomach, usually with his head laid on some area of my body. If we go out on a drive he wants to be in my lap, or sitting right next to me. He doesn’t enjoy when I leave the room unless he gets to go with me.
    I think some dogs may be naturally cuddly, but if they’re like Graham and they went through some kind of traumatic event as a pup or even when they’re older, when they are rescued they become cuddly. I’m not inclined to believe graham was naturally cuddly because of his actions as a baby, but now he is so very cuddly and attached to me, but only, I think, because I saved him and have shown him nothing but love and been very patient with him through his separation anxiety and various tantrums involving bathing.

  21. October 9, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Reading your blog on my phone I have 95lbs of malamute/bullmastiff (bullmastamute?) snuggled up to my legs. Ruby is a total cuddlebug and it sure isn’t just for warmth!

  22. Sam
    January 3, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    I have 2 cavalier King Charles spaniels who love a cuddle. When I sit down they sit on my lap or when I go out the room they follow me. They love to sleep next to me and be close. One is blind and I’m sure she feels close to me do I protect her. The other dog just loves a snuggle. He lays on his back and nudges me to fuss him. Aaahhh

    • Mel
      January 3, 2013 at 6:34 AM

      Cavalier’s are such sweet dogs aren’t they Sam? I love those cuddle-bug dogs. :)

  23. Anna
    January 7, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    I like dogs that are extra cuddly, because I am extra cuddly. My boyfriend and I are high school sweethearts, but we went to two different schools. I’m in NC and he’s in GA. As soon as I moved off campus I adopted a dog from the pound to help with my loneliness. You never know what kind of temperament you will get from a pound pup, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew is that I wanted a bigger dog, so I would feel safe and so HOPEFULLY he/she would cuddle with me at night. I ended up adopting an American Bulldog/Pit mix. He was so happy to see me and be adopted that he ended up knocking me on the ground to lick my face. At first I got scared that I ended up with a super hyperactive dog, that I would never be able to keep up with. Despite being very active, he ended up being the perfect dog for me. I’ve had him a little over a year now and he’s now a little over 50lbs. He’s ridiculously cuddly and I love it. He follows me everywhere. Literally. I can’t even shut him out of the bathroom or else he whines at the door. He sleeps under the covers right next to me, and often ends up with his head on my back. He even tries to sit in my lap when I am on the couch, and even in a computer chair. People always comment on how attached to me he is. Maybe it is because he knows I rescued him(he was due to be euthanized within the week before I adopted him). Maybe he can sense that’s what I like. I’m not sure why, but my dog is a big cuddle-bug & the sweetest pup ever:)

  24. February 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    i have a westie that’s a crazy cute super cuddlebug!

    • Mel
      February 12, 2013 at 7:01 AM

      You gotta love a Westie. They are so adorable!

  25. March 10, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    My 5 year old choco lab is a total cuddle monster. He loves everyone and sits snuggled in on the sofa. If he’s feeling extra snuggly he lies over your lap on his back just looking at you and snuggling in more. He sleeps on the bed at the bottom and hugs my foot to drift off. He’s classed as a giant lab so sometimes the cuddles do squish you! I wouldn’t change a thing about his cuddling nature as he is placid, loving and caring to all.

  26. Hannah
    July 29, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    My one dog Bow loves to cuddle. I say cuddle cuddle cuddle really fast in a high pitch voice and he jumps up next to me flops on his back and leans against me thumping his tail. Sarah likes to go under the blankets and chase doesn’t like to cuddle at all.

  27. August 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    My father felt that a dog should be able to protect the family & property, as well as be a family member. Because of this, I’ve only had 1 small dog in my life. I guess that’s why as an adult, I’ve always had large breeds. They make me feel safe. I love to snuggle with my babies, but defer to their personal preferences of course. The girls I have now are both snuggle-babies, one more so than the other. My 6 yr old APBT Voodoo, weighs in at just over 100 lbs. She will let me hold her like you would a child, with her head on my shoulder & her body stretched out against me. She will stay there for a bit, then moves to her fave spot in the crook of my knees with her head on my legs. She does have to be touching me somehow when she’s close either by putting her head or paw on me, as if reassuring herself that Mommy’s right there. She’s extremely sweet natured & never fails to suprise people who have pre-concieved notions of what a “pitbull” is like. She is an outstanding example of her breed & I’m proud she’s mine. My AmBully, Roxann, is the MOST cuddly dog I’ve had in my life! She’s never slept by herself, she came from sleeping w/her 9 litter-mates to my house where she first slept w/my daughter, then w/me after Aleisha couldn’t handle getting up in the middle of the night for bathroom breaks. She sits in the 2nd chair at the desk when I’m on the PC, she sits in the recliner w/me when I watch TV, she is never more than arm’s reach away from me when I’m in the house. I love them both so much & adore their very individual personalities!

  28. Cat m
    October 26, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Think sometimes it’s chance sometimes how you bring them up. Interestingly we have 2 springer crosses we have had since birth (his mums dogs were the parents so lived in the same house). My other half spent a lot of time bonding with crash, used to lay with the tiny pup on his chest snuggled into his neck. Now at 3 this dog sits like a person for cuddles etc.. We got his bro rudi cos he was deaf and so didn’t have as much constant cuddles in the beginning. But both are equally as cuddley. They sleep inside out skin!! One either side as close as they can possibly be!! Really cuddle bugs!

  29. Kendra Ulrich
    November 14, 2013 at 4:44 AM

    I don’t think little dogs like to cuddle more than big dogs. In fact, I’ve generally found that the smaller the dog, the more aggressive it is (witness the fact that Dachshunds are the most aggressive breed, followed by the Chihuahua and the Jack Russell Terrier). In an event, I currently have a 70lbs American Pit Bull Terrier – breed that is known for extreme human attachment and affection (yes, in spite of the media hype, actually testings of temperament show them to be some of the most stable and human affectionate dogs). My boy LOVES to cuddle. He sleeps every night with his head nestled into my neck. He’ll stay snuggled up with me in bed for as many hours as I’ll stay there. If I’m sitting somewhere where he can lay with his head in my lap, he does. That includes a recent cross-country journey from California to Washington, D.C. where, for days on end in the car, he awkwardly contorted himself over the center counsel to sleep with this chin on my leg. Not quite sure how that was comfortable, but he seemed happy, snoring away. As my new(ish) boyfriend put it, “I’ve never seen a dog who so enjoyed your immediate company as much as Cian (my dog) does.” Anyway, Cian is a young dog (14 months) and very high energy, not a lazy bones by any stretch. When it’s time to get up and go for a hike or for a good game of fetch or play time, he’s as energetic and zealous about it as any dog (pits are also extremely athletic and high energy). But, if there’s an opportunity to quietly cuddle up with me, he’ll take it and relish it until I get up. My previous dog, a black lab/pit bull mix, was exactly the same way.

    In any event, some breeds are more prone to be snugglers, but I also think it has to do with how you relate to your dog, or other animals for that matter. People are constantly surprised by how affectionate my two cats are too. The cats are constantly seeking out sitting my me, and it’s not uncommon for me to be sitting on the couch or in bed with Cian’s head in my lap, one of the cats laying across me from the other side, and the third sitting next to me. But then, I constantly reinforce positive attention. I go out of my way to give them an affectionate pat, speak sweetly to them, pick them up (I can’t pick up Cian now though!) and generally give them a lot of attention. All three come up to sleep with me, snuggled around like little furry heaters, all night and don’t get up until I do in the morning. Anyway, not everyone would want their animals to be so close and affectionate, but I just adore them.

  30. Kendra Ulrich
    November 14, 2013 at 5:12 AM

    Here’s a few of Cian:

    4 months old: http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u643/Kendra_Ulrich/cianasapup_zpsc1266a6f.jpg

    And:

    Cian now: http://i1326.photobucket.com/albums/u643/Kendra_Ulrich/ciannow_zps6436abb2.jpg

    Journey across the country:

    And the cutest laptop table on earth:

  31. Jenn
    December 15, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    I have a 60lv bulldog and she loves to cuddle! She cuddles on the couch, on the floor, and the bed. She even tries to cuddle in the car. If I leave the room, she follows me. People act afraid of her when we’re on walks because she has a hair lip and a large tooth that sticks out. But she’s a cuddle bug. She loves nothing more than to cuddle. She’s great in the winter lol

  32. tracey
    January 16, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    I have a rottweiler/lab mix who is about 3 yrs and she will cuddle with you all day if you let her, she once took a nap with me on the couch for 3 hours lying on her back, snoring away. But she is also very independent so it goes either way. Then there’s my presa canario who is a complete opposite. She is just under 1 year, she is a rescue and was kept in her cage a lot by previous owners and I think this is the reason for her being stuck to me at the hip. Constantly wants to be pet and thinks shes a 100 lb lap dog.
    So maybe it depends on the dog or the owner I don’t know, but i don’t think it depends on the size of the dog at all!

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