If your Malamute never wants to cuddle, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you six common reasons why Malamutes do it and what you can do about it.

Your Malamute might actually be doing it for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.

Why your Malamute doesn’t like to cuddle

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.

Previous owners

The reason why it does not like to cuddle could be that previous owners mistreated it. This would be more likely if it was adopted from a shelter recently.

In this case, it might begin to improve as it gets used to being in its new environment. However, it would help to give it lots of positive attention in the form of training, exercise and play and to follow the other tips below.

Illness or injury

The reason why it has not been cuddling could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has stopped doing it suddenly and if it has been behaving like it might be ill or injured by doing things such as limping or vomiting. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.


The cause might also be that something has been causing it to be fearful. It could be the case that someone mistreated it or that there is something causing it to be fearful in its environment such as certain noises like construction works.

Fear would also be more likely to be the reason if it becomes anxious when you try to hug it, in this case, you could try doing it more calmly.


The reason might be that it naturally does not like cuddling which would be more likely if it has always not wanted to do it.

This would not be unusual behavior since Malamutes don’t always show affection the way we might expect them to. Other ways that your Malamute might be trying to show affection could be coming to you when you call it, getting excited when you come home and keeping pace with you when on a walk.

I have written more about the ways your Malamute might be showing affection towards you and that it loves you in this post.


If your Malamute is still a puppy, it could be the case that it doesn’t want to do it because it is full of energy. If it is a puppy, it would be more likely that it will become more willing to cuddle as it gets older.

It wants exercise

Malamutes are a breed that is meant to get a lot of daily exercise. When Malamutes do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be why yours does not like to cuddle. This would be especially likely if it is more willing to cuddle when it has gotten exercise.

It is recommended for Malamutes to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults. If yours is not getting that much it would help to make sure that it does.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out why it has been doing it.

If it always avoided cuddling

If it did cuddle in the past, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to stop.

If it stopped doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as suddenly getting less exercise, a sudden change in its diet, becoming ill or injured, fear, mistreatment or rewarding it when it does not do it.

When it doesn’t cuddle

It would also help to consider the timing of when it does not want to cuddle since the timing might also have something to do with it.

For example, if it is willing to do it after it has gotten exercise, it would make it more likely to be the case that it needs more daily exercise.

Not liking cuddling doesn’t mean that it doesn’t like you

It’s also important to remember that not cuddling does not mean that it does not like you. It is not uncommon for dogs to not want to cuddle and there are many other ways that it might be showing you affection.

How to get your Malamute to like cuddling more

Below are some things you can do in order to get it to be more willing to cuddle.

Positive reinforcement training

One way to get your Malamute to cuddle would be to give it positive reinforcement training. This is where you would encourage it to cuddle you by rewarding it when it shows signs of cuddling with you and avoid rewarding it when it stops.

To use positive reinforcement training to get your Malamute to cuddle you more you could do as follows:

  • Tell your Malamute to come where you are sat. If you have not trained your Malamute 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

It could be the case that your Malamute has learned that it gets rewards, such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it does not cuddle you. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.

Don’t punish it or get emotional around it

It would also help to avoid punishing it for not doing what you want. If you punish it then it might not understand why it is being punished and it could cause it to become resentful. Instead, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave.

Give it lots of exercise and attention

It would also help to give it attention throughout the day, in the form of training, exercise and play, so that it is more willing to show you affection.

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