Your dog cuddles with you but never with your husband.
Is your dog resenting him for not getting a bite of his pizza?
Or is there a more serious concern?
Buckle up because you’re about to find out:
- Whether personality plays a role in who dogs choose to cuddle with.
- How your husband’s smell could be drawing your dog away from him.
- 3 easy tips to apply if you want your dog to cuddle with your husband.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog cuddle with me and not my husband?
Your dog cuddles with you and not your husband because you’re the primary caretaker, they like your smell better, have positive associations with you, don’t have a bond with your husband yet, are fearful of him, want to protect you, you two have the same sleep cycle, or similar personalities.
9 reasons why your dog only cuddles with you
#1: Your dog’s used to you but not to your husband
Simply put: Whoever puts in the time gets the dog.
Well, you’re both your dog’s parents… But one of you will get more attention and affection. You could look at t this way: what you give is what you get.
Perhaps your husband is happily greeting your dog after work. But this alone is not enough. Maybe it’s because he’s often missing from home. Or he works long hours.
Another possibility is that he’s exhausted upon coming home. And he just can’t find any energy to join in on the fun games.
As a result, your dog may be more fond of you. Because they know for sure that they’ll receive attention, affection, and a lot of fun thanks to you.
Here’s another thing to consider.
Have you been with your dog before you’ve met and married your husband? If so, your dog might still be adapting to your man.
And the pooch might still need some warming up before they fully accept your husband. Especially if they’re living under the same roof since recently.
#2: Your dog chooses you because of your smell
“What?! How do I smell?” you might be thinking.
I mean, by now, you’re probably aware that dogs find some smells that are disgusting to humans appealing.
For example, dogs like the smell of another dog’s ass… Plus, natural smells like the one poo carries.
But don’t be too quick to worry that your smell resembles any of these.
It might be that your scent is a combination of food, pheromone, or another animal’s scent.
On another note, if your husband smells like alcohol or another unpleasant odor to dogs, your dog could try to keep their distance.
My dog, Lissa, really dislikes the smells of beer and wine. And other alcoholic drinks, for that matter. So if you’d go near her smelling like any of these, she’d pull her head away.
Almost as if to say, “Please, don’t. Go brush your teeth and try again later.”
But if my partner or I smell sweaty, she doesn’t mind. At all. So she tries to steal a lick or two after an exercise session.
Whatever the repulsing smell, your husband shouldn’t take it personally. Instead, test if your dog reacts more affectionate to him in different situations.
#3: Your dog senses how you feel about them
Does your heart melt whenever your dog looks at you? Do you feel over the moon whenever your dog comes to you for petting and scratches?
If you’ve answered “YES!”, chances are your dog’s aware of how happy you are to have them. They sense your enthusiasm.
Dogs are incredibly smart.
In one study, 565 owners were asked what they think of their dog’s mental abilities. 45.7% answered that the cognitive skills of their dogs equal these of a 3 or 5-year-old child.
Besides that, dogs have emotional intelligence. And they’re very good at getting cues from humans.
So if your husband doesn’t evoke cuddles, it may be because he has some reservations about your dog. And maybe he’s not as expressive as you are.
Or, if you two are fighting and are about to split up, your dog could lean to one person more. That’s whom they’ll give empathy to. In this case, it’s you.
#4: Your personality comes closest to the dog’s
Just like us humans, dogs come with personalities. So you can’t expect them all to act the same. After all, it’s not like a robodog that does everything you want from them.
And that’s the beauty of it. Your dog’s personality could match yours to a great extent.
Think about it… How different are you and your husband? And to what extent are you alike? For example, one of you could be more dynamic, while the other one is more laid-back.
Nothing wrong with that. But bear in mind that dogs are either low or high-energy. And while some love hiking, running, others fall into the category of a couch potato.
With this in mind, think how close your personality comes to your dog’s.
Do you have some favorite activities together?
Maybe you like to chill on the couch and read a lot. Or watch a lot of movies. In the meantime, your dog becomes your snuggle buddy.
At the same time, your husband could be doing something different. Maybe he’s out to train in the open. Or he’s doing something on his PC.
It could also be that you’re the type of person who loves to jog. Or hike. But your husband would rather spend a quiet afternoon at home.
So you’d take your dog friend with you. To burn off some energy together.
Dogs need and love physical stimulation like that. And if your dog is high energy, you two would make the perfect match!
So after the experience, the pooch will feel more bonded to you. And they’d love snuggling together with their human soulmate.
#5: Associations-based preference
Maybe your dog prefers to spend time with you because you’re the giver of all good things. Do you love to spoil your dog? It could be through scratching, petting, cuddles.
Your dog prefers you due to the pleasant associations they have with you. Such as a treat here and there, a pat on the head, a soothing tone of voice when you speak to them.
The dog just can’t get enough of it! And they love spending time with you.
But your husband could have created some boundaries for your dog. And although the pooch respects them, they don’t quite like them.
It’s like a child of two parents. One of the parents is mellow, while the other brings discipline to the table.
So your dog is aware that they could act goofier around you. Not being bonded by restrictions.
On the other hand, when being around your husband, they could be walking on eggshells. So they’ll feel more comfortable cuddling next to you than with your husband.
Another possibility is that your husband has been aggressive or hostile towards the dog. Hence your canine is scared of him and trying to keep a safe distance.
#6: It’s the position in which you cuddle
Dogs love to cuddle with someone who doesn’t move all the time.
Perhaps you cuddle in bed. And your husband moves a lot, so the dog can’t settle. If your husband twists and turns, he might be squishing your dog.
In a search for comfort, the dog would turn to the other person they could cuddle with. And before you know it, they’ll end up on your side.
#7: You’re the primary caretaker
The primary caretaker is often the most important figure in a dog’s life. And it’s understandable.
Imagine you have two people in your life. One is giving you the world-talks to you, feeds you, entertains you, and teaches you new things. And also shows you unconditional love.
Then there’s the other one. Kind and lovable, but only present at some of your life events. You can tell they have good intentions, but that’s about it. You don’t have many memories together.
Who would you feel more comfortable with?
In short, your dog sees you as their ultimate resource.
You might also enjoy this read: 15 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Trying To Be Close To You + Tips
8#: Your dog is protecting you
Sure, cuddling looks and feels cute. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Your dog could be cuddling with you to be able to protect you from danger.
Dogs in the wild sleep together, touching their backs. This way, they guard each other and react quickly if there’s a disturbance in the pack.
#9: You and your dog have the same sleep cycle
Do you and your husband go to bed at the same time? Or does he join in a bit later?
If so, the explanation for your dog’s behavior could be that they feel like sleeping at the same time as you. It makes sense when you think about it…
If you’re the primary caretaker, you have surely set a routine so that you can do all of your chores efficiently. This includes feeding, walking, and sleeping time.
As a result, your dog adapts to your routine. And follows your lead, be it with feeding, walking or sleeping time.
3 tips to get your dog to cuddle with your husband
Are you ready to make your husband a snuggle buddy for your dog? Great! Let’s dive into these easy tips.
#1: Let your husband reward the dog for coming closer
Your dog will be more likely to come to your husband if they get some kind of reward. Positive reinforcement does wonders with dogs.
If your husband is consistent with giving treats as rewards, your dog will feel closer to him in no time.
Here’s what your spouse can do:
- Sit on the couch and pat on the place next to him.
- Tell the dog “come” and use a body language gesture with the hand.
- Let the dog get closer and give them a treat even before the dog has jumped on the couch.
By doing this your husband will invite the dog. And show them he’s open to give and receive some love. This way the dog will feel encouraged to come closer and eventually cuddle.
Positive reinforcement training is not only very effective. But also a fast method to condition a dog to do something.
My boyfriend and I have trained our dog Lisa with this technique on multiple occasions:
- Getting over her fear of walking on bridges.
- Teaching her to come to us when we call her name.
- Training her to perform commands such as: sit, lie down, pin, paw.
#2: Create husband-dog time
You’re already close enough with your doggo.
Your husband, on the other hand, needs to put in the work. That’ll be easier if he and the dog have some alone time.
Your spouse will then have all the dog’s attention for himself. So the dog will be more likely to notice him and interact.
To do that, they could go out on a walk once a day. During which they could play fetch. Or your husband could start teaching your dog new things and reward them with treats.
This way they’ll spend quality time together. And your dog will feel physically and mentally stimulated, which is a winning combination.
Not to mention how happy they’d be if they earn their treats. A study has shown that dogs prefer working for their treats instead of getting them just like that.
Your husband can use this information to his advantage. Give him your blessing and let him have a go. 🙂
#3: Leave the feeding to your husband
Even if your husband is busier than you, this could work out. Just make sure you prepare the food aforehand. And then let your husband give it to your dog.
This way, your dog’s brain will form positive associations with your husband in no time.
BONUS: Know when it’s time to speak to a behaviorist
Not cuddling with your husband is one thing. But… what if your dog is fearful of him?
If this is the case, you should be careful because this fear could make the dog guard you. And if your husband gets close, he may get bitten.
In case you spot fear-related aggression, contact a behaviorist right away.