Dogs Like to Cuddle to Show Bonding and Affection
Dogs are social animals that thrive on bonding with their human owners. As mammals, they are extremely protective over their families and regularly engage in cuddling sessions with them to help demonstrate their affection.
A cuddling session releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone, into your dog’s system as they are cuddling you. In ancient times, cuddling was essential in providing adequate body heat to sustain long, cold nights out in the elements. Whilst most dogs don’t have to worry about this anymore, the penchant for cuddles (and the need for oxytocin) remain to this day.
Dogs are also highly loyal animals. Research has shown that dogs cuddle their owners to express feelings of gratitude, love, appreciation, and loyalty. Your dog may not be able to vocalize their appreciation of everything you do for it, but a good old hug is definitely an acceptable substitute.
There’s also an evolutionary element to a dog’s affection. As the canine’s status increased with humans, only the most loyal and hardworking dogs were showered with praise, food, and attention. As generations passed, the animals became more and more conditioned to behaving well, working hard, and snuggling up with their masters at the end of a workday.
Your pup is subsequently hardwired with thousands of years of affectionate and loving behavior. They are born wanting to forge loving relationships with humans and will demonstrate affectionate behaviors with those that they know and trust.
Why Do Some Dogs Like to Cuddle More Than Others?
Whilst dogs are certainly not as independent as cats, certain breeds will still be more aloof than others. Much like us humans, dogs are products of their environments, and their tolerance for cuddles will vary depending on the individual.
Working dogs tend to be raised in much different environments than lap dogs, for example, and may not be as prone to jumping on your knees as you sit on the sofa each night. Other dogs may enjoy cuddling for only a brief amount of time before seeking their own space again. How you raise your dog will be a huge deciding factor in whether or not they enjoy a prolonged cuddling session.