The German Shepherd is a beautiful breed. Their stature, color, and coat are features that are hard to ignore.
This is why it’s so easy to admire these dogs so much, sometimes even to a point where we can’t help but get snuggly with them.
But have you ever paused to ask: do they like this display of affection?
In this article, you’ll get the information you’re looking for.
Read until the end to find out the following:
- Does your German Shepherd like cuddling?
- 3 reasons to cuddle your German Shepherd.
- The right way to cuddle your German Shepherd.
- 5 reasons why your German Shepherd loves to cuddle.
- 3 reasons why some German Shepherds don’t like to cuddle.
- And more…
Table of contents
- Do German Shepherds like to cuddle?
- Do German Shepherds like to be held?
- How do German Shepherds like to cuddle?
- 5 reasons why most German Shepherds like to cuddle
- 3 reasons why some German Shepherds hate cuddling
- 3 reasons why you should cuddle with your German Shepherd (if they like it)
Do German Shepherds like to cuddle?
German Shepherds like to cuddle when they’re used to it since puppyhood and have a strong connection with their owner. To at least tolerate it, the dog has to first trust their owner. If the German Shepherd hasn’t been properly socialized, they might view a cuddling attempt as a threatening event.
Do German Shepherds like to be held?
Adult German Shepherds do not like being held. That’s because they’re big and heavy, and it’s not a practise for humans to carry them. So, it might come off as strange. A German Shepherd puppy might like being held if you properly lift them off the ground and position them comfortably in your arms.
There could be cases when you will need to hold or carry your German Shepherd to help or protect them.
These cases may span from carrying them back to the car from a tiring walk, to picking them up from the hot pavement, or after an operation at the vet’s.
In these cases and situations alike, you’ll be doing your German Shepherd a favor if you hold them.
How do German Shepherds like to cuddle?
German Shepherds like to cuddle when it comes naturally. They’d prefer to approach you and lie next to you. Or nose you, brush against your leg. Maybe lean on you. These are all signs of affection indicating your German Shepherd wants to be physically close to you. And spend some time touching you.
In general, dogs will not like it if you’re forcing them to a hug or a cuddle. A dog will see a hug or a cuddle as a threat or a restraint if it’s coming from someone they’re not close to.
It’s quite the same for us humans when it comes to showing and receiving physical affection. You wouldn’t want it from someone you are not close to. Nor ever give it to someone you do not like or know.
It’s always a matter of connection and trust; the same goes for dogs like German Shepherds.
I used the term ‘quite’ in reference to our similarities with dogs when it comes to hugging. This is because they also have a lot of significant differences that we need to consider.
If we like long hugs, your German Shepherd may not. If we like arms wrapping, your German Shepherd may like something else.
Do not be left wondering if your German Shepherd is not into arms wrapping. Your dog may prefer their version of skinship by leaning beside you when the two of you rest.
When they rub their head or whole body against you to try and catch your attention, it’s already cuddling.
This only goes to show that it’s also essential to take notice of your dog’s views on physical affection. Sometimes they display their affection in a different way from what is customary to you as a human.
5 reasons why most German Shepherds like to cuddle
I will now break down the common reasons why your German Shepherd wants to cuddle. These reasons are, on average, true regardless of a dog’s personality.
Note: The reasons why German Shepherds like to cuddle include but are not limited to the ones listed below. Your German Shepherd’s reason to cuddle may also vary because of their character.
#1: Their individual personality and upbringing
How your dog will age depends on how you take care of them. This includes their basic training, your approach to discipline, and the environment you cultivate for them.
It is common to hear prejudice towards a certain breed of dog from people who solely treat dogs by their breed. ‘Not all Great Danes are gentle giants’ is just as valid as ‘not all German Shepherds are aggressive.’
A German Shepherd that socializes at a young age will grow up to become a secure dog.
German Shepherds learn fast and are highly-intellectual. The reason why their potential to learn physical affection shouldn’t go to waste.
So much of it is up to you.
#2: They’re missing you
It’s safe to say that your dog missed you while you were away during the day. It’s evident after you come home from a long trip. They rush to you, pull on your shirt, and throws themselves at you.
This is a typical scene when you come home from the supermarket. The more if it’s an out-of-town trip.
Although, this is about the type of relationship you have with your dog and not the common longing they feel.
German Shepherds want to be close to their families and are generally wary of strangers. Because of the breed’s closeness to their pack, they don’t want to be alone for long periods of time.
Do you often leave your German Shepherd alone indoors for long? This will cause your dog to worry and be needy of you.
#3: To feel safe
During celebrations like the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve there are fireworks.
As a result, dog owners see their dogs hiding or curling up in secluded areas around the house. This is because the noise causes the dog to be stressed and alarmed.
It is also due to these types of causes that your dog may cuddle with you to feel secure in your arms. Yes, it is in your dog’s instincts to protect you; nonetheless, they may get too anxious at times.
Another example is when a new visitor comes into the house abruptly, and your German Shepherd runs to your side; sometimes even signals you to pick it up.
When this happens, they feel intruded and want safety. They’ll cuddle up with you to see how you would react and handle the situation.
Cuddling and getting especially in close contact with you can be your German Shepherd’s way to feel safe.
#4: As their display of protection
One reason why your German Shepherd cuddles with you is due to their natural instinct to protect. They don’t seek it from you all the time.
German Shepherds, in nature, are loyal and possessive. They even identify specific members of their human pack as their favorites.
They will move to protect you from anything that poses a challenge to your safety. That’s how loyal they are. Sometimes, they’d do that by cuddling up with you to cover you.
German Shepherds observe anything they can pick up from in their surroundings. This comes natural because of their high intelligence and trainable nature.
At times, they will pick up from any random stimulus that will signal them to protect you. This is again because they’re always observing their surroundings.
#5: They love you
Like many dogs in general, German Shepherds will express their love to you through many varying methods. It is helpful to remember that they resemble us humans in that regard.
Some may rub against you, and some may tolerate cuddling. Others might just want to stay close enough to you to see you but not to be touched. It all comes down to the personal preference and the habits of your individual dog.
You are one lucky owner if your German Shepherd lets you express your love without complaint. This will show how much it loves and considers you as a member of its pack.
3 reasons why some German Shepherds hate cuddling
It upsets some of us when our German Shepherds are intolerable of our display of physical affection. But let’s see what might be going on in your German Shepherd’s head.
After going through the reasons why they love to cuddle, you’ll now find out the common reasons why they don’t.
#1: They’re uncomfortable
It’s normal to find physical contact as off-putting when you’re sweaty and feeling hot. The feeling is mutual with your dog.
Your German Shepherd may find it unbearable to be that close to you for too long. If they’re feeling hot, they’ll want to be out of that cuddle situation.
Just imagine how much more uncomfortable the experience is for your dog if the weather is hot. And humid.
During winter, their fur serves as their blanket and cover from the cold. It keeps them warm. But if it’s during summertime, the situation plays differently for their whole body.
Because of their body’s change in temperature, they’re more likely to feel disoriented when it’s hot. If they’re in this state, cuddling is the least of the things they’d want to do.
#2: Issues with aggression
If a German Shepherd lacks socializing, they tend to be aggressive to anyone that’s not in their pack. This is because they’re territorial and possessive.
Lifestyle will also have effects on a dog’s mood. An inactive one will cause them to exhibit an uncontrollable swing of moods.
The more when they lack the proper training from a young age. This, as a result, can make your German Shepherd insecure.
A German Shepherd’s aggression may cause them to be intolerable to physical affection such as cuddling. They may see your attempts to cuddle as an assertion of dominance over them and an invasion of their privacy.
#3: They’re physically unable
It may be a sign that they’re hurt if your German Shepherd pushes and winces away from you in a hug. Letting go of the cuddle would be best in this situation.
This can be an opportunity for you to spot your dog’s physical problems that you can address early.
Your German Shepherd having injuries or internal issues can also take place. It’s not always on temperament. If you sense it, don’t ignore it.
Your German Shepherd will accept cuddles if you have built closeness with them from their pup years. But if they contend with it, take it as a red flag. And back away.
3 reasons why you should cuddle with your German Shepherd (if they like it)
The best way to identify if your dog likes hugging is if they’re the type to jump on to you and start it themselves. Sometimes, they may even nudge you and curl up between your arms or legs.
An owner should take delight if their German Shepherds are the type that loves to cuddle. It gives proof of the bond it shares with its human.
The following are reasons you should give your dog more cuddles (that is, if they DO like it).
#1. It’s healthy for both of you
Cuddling can be good not only for them but for you as well.
It benefits you mentally aside from strengthening your bond with your German Shepherd. This is because the gesture helps the brain release serotonin, a.k.a the feel-good hormone.
It also helps the body to release the hormone oxytocin. That is if we hug for more than 20 seconds, studies claim. This hormone relaxes the body and diminishes anxiety.
#2: It reassures them
It reassures your German Shepherd if you hug them. This is again to say that your German Shepherd is already open to hugging.
It reassures them that you have their back when you hug them when they’re anxious. Primarily if they already identify you as a figure that they can trust.
It can also be a positive reinforcement when they excel in training, when they behave, or when they do something positive in general.
Positive reinforcements can also come from an expression of love or recognition. It’s not always through the giving of treats.
#3: Stress reliever for dogs
It also relieves your dog’s stress when you hug them, aside from it strengthening your trust and bond. It works quite like us, humans.
If a dog trusts you, receiving a display of physical affection from you will help them to relax. Their body temperature and heart rate normalize easier if they’re in a relaxed state.
Dogs can develop anxiety-induced bad habits from experiences that cause them stress. They can let go of these habits better if they are with someone that helps them to relax.