If your dog cuddles with everyone but you, this post will show you why it might be happening and what you can do about it.

So, why does my dog cuddle with everyone but me? Possible reasons why your dog cuddles with everyone but you are that it was trained to do it with the other family members, you appear threatening to it or that you inadvertently trained it not to cuddle.

Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the most likely cause, it should become a lot easier for you to figure out what you should do about it.

Why your dog won’t cuddle with you

Below are some common causes and what would make them more likely.

You have inadvertently encouraged it not to do it

It could be the case that you have trained it not to cuddle with you by giving it rewards when it does not do it. If you tend to give it things such as toys or treats when it goes away from you, it will likely encourage it to do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to train it to cuddle with you as shown below and to reward it when it shows signs of cuddling with you.

You appear threatening to it

The cause might be that you appear threatening to it. This would be more likely if it shows signs of being submissive around you by doing things such as hiding, crying, hiding its tail or making itself appear smaller. It would also be more likely if you show threatening body language yourself by doing things such as shouting, making bold movements and staring at it.

Instead, it would help to be calm with your dog and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want it to.

The other family members trained it to cuddle with them

It could also be the case that it does it with other family members because they trained it to cuddle with them. In this case, it would help to try and train it in a similar way to how they did it and to use the tips below.

The other family members give it rewards

Another possible reason is that it associates the other family members with rewards. This would be more likely if they tend to be the ones to give it exercise, treats and food. In this case, it might help if you start feeding it in the mornings and giving it exercise yourself.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when it stopped doing it

If it did cuddle with you in the past but it suddenly stopped, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped doing it.

If it stopped doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as if you stopped giving it as much attention, if you stopped playing with it or if you stopped giving it training.

If your dog always avoids cuddling

If it does cuddle with you sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does do it.

For example, if it does it when it’s alone with you, it would be more likely that it does it with the other family members because they tend to give it more things that it wants such as exercise and food.

Not cuddling does not mean that it does not like you

If you think that not liking to cuddle means that it doesn’t like you then that wouldn’t be true. Dogs can show affection in many ways and not necessarily in ways that we would expect. Getting excited when you come home, coming when you call it and keeping pace with you on a walk can all be signs of affection.

How to get your dog to cuddle you more

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to cuddle with you.

Positive reinforcement training

One thing you can do is to try positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your dog for doing things that you want it to with attention or treats.

To use it to get your dog to cuddle you more you could do as follows:

  • Tell your dog to come where you are sat. If you have not trained your dog to come on command then I have written about how you can do it here.
  • Reward it for coming to you
  • Then reward it just before you think that it will leave
  • Repeat the above. Each time you do it wait a little longer before you reward it for staying with you until you can get it to stay with you without leaving.

Avoid negative reinforcement training

As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have encouraged it not to cuddle with you. It would help to be calm when interacting with your dog, to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.

Be the one that feeds it and gives it exercise

It could also help to be the one that gives it food and exercise. This is because it should help to associate being around you with rewards which should help to encourage it to cuddle with you instead.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.