If your dog wants to cuddle all the time, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you five common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog cuddle so much? Possible reasons why your dog wants to cuddle so much are being affectionate, it enjoys it, separation anxiety, nature, or having learned that the behavior is rewarded.
It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Reasons why your dog wants to cuddle so much
Below are five possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
The cause might be that it is just being affectionate. This would be more likely if it has not been doing it excessively and it is affectionate in other ways such as by sleeping touching you. Affection would also be more likely if it does not show signs of being fearful or anxious and it has more relaxed body language such as by having its tongue out, a relaxed face or wagging its tail.
It enjoys it
Another likely reason why it does it is that it likes it when you cuddle it so it wants you to do it more. This would be more likely if it gets very excited when you are cuddling with it and when it is getting you to cuddle it.
Rewarding the behavior
The cause might also be that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it begs to cuddle, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
The cause could also be that it has separation anxiety and it wants to know when you are leaving it. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more just before you normally leave home and if it starts to become anxious when you are leaving.
It could be the case that your dog does it naturally because it feels safer when it is around other members of its pack. Dogs were bred to be pack animals and would spend most of the days around their owners. With that being the case, it is likely that your dog will feel more secure when it is around other members of its pack.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What is different when your dog begs to cuddle
If your dog does it more at certain times, it would help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does not do it as much when you arrive home, it could be the case that it does it before you leave due to separation anxiety.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always want to cuddle, it would also help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded or something causing it to become anxious.
The body language it shows
It would also help to consider the body language it shows when wants to cuddle. If it shows positive body language signs such as having its tongue out, wagging its tail or being relaxed, it would be more likely that it is doing it more due to excitement or affection.
Whereas, if it shows signs of anxiety, such as pacing or crying, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to something causing it to be anxious such as having separation anxiety.
How often it does it
If your dog has to cuddle with you constantly, it would make it more likely to be due to something causing it to be very anxious especially if it shows other signs of being anxious. In this case, it would help to get professional help. Whereas, if it does not do it constantly, it would be more likely to be due to nature, learning that the behavior is rewarded and being affectionate.
What to do about your dog begging to cuddle
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want it to and to avoid giving it rewards when it does not.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
It could be the case that it has been doing it due to being anxious. It would help to limit possible reasons why it might be anxious by doing things such as letting it pee, get fed and walked before leaving it for a long time.
Give it attention throughout the day
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day so that it is less likely to do things to get you to give it attention. Ways to give it attention would be to play with it, pet it, train it and exercise it.
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