You feel betrayed, hurt, or at least confused.
Out of the blue, your dog decides they won’t cuddle with you anymore.
What’s going on? And more importantly: How can you fix this?
Continue reading to discover:
- What dangers to look out for if your dog isn’t cuddly anymore.
- The role of timing in whether your dog would want to cuddle or not.
- Whether you do this one mistake that could be driving your dog away.
- 3 easy tips to get your dog to cuddle with you again and keep it that way.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
Why won’t my dog cuddle with me anymore?
Your dog won’t cuddle with you anymore because your timing is wrong, the house rules are not cuddle-friendly, your dog is unaware of what you want of them, you don’t encourage the behavior, there’s a new dog in the house, someone mistreated your dog, they’re sick, injured or old.
Why won’t my puppy cuddle with me anymore?
The reason why your puppy won’t cuddle with you anymore is because you’re approaching them at the wrong time. Puppies are full of energy, and after they wake up, they like to indulge in activities such as playing or chewing on something to ease their teeth. Other reasons include sickness or injury.
7 reasons why your dog won’t cuddle with you anymore
It could be that there’s nothing wrong. Other than the timing you choose for cuddles that is.
Imagine you’ve been staying in your house the whole day, working on your PC. And then, all of a sudden, a family member comes to you.
But not with the proposal to go outside for a breath of fresh air. Not even with the aim to take you out for dinner. Or to do something fun like play bowling or go to the movies.
Instead, what they offer you is to chill on the couch. But after sitting at your PC for 8 hours, you crave to move. At least a bit. And do something out of the ordinary.
So, the family member’s proposal doesn’t seem appealing to you at all. It’s not even slightly exciting. But that’s the only option they offer you.
They don’t ask you what you want. It’s all about how they feel like doing at the moment.
Would you then rather do something entertaining on your own?
And that’s how your dog feels too.They’re already bound to stay at home for the most part of the day. What their soul and body crave is something different. A highlight of their day.
And when your dog has been lying down all day or sleeping, they’ve gathered some pent-up energy. So they need to get rid of it. Otherwise, they’ll be restless.
It’s kind of like the relationship between yoga and meditation. You can meditate without first doing the physical part. Meaning, yoga.
But chances are that you’ll have a hard time calming your mind if you haven’t first taken care of the body. And the body needs exercise.
Through moving, your and your dog’s body create happiness hormones. Also known as endorphins.
A study has proven that dogs experience an increase in endorphin levels after exercise. This reduces the chances of negative behavior.
But there’s something more to this method.
After you do exercise, your mind craves relaxation. You don’t have to push yourself hard to relax and let go of thoughts. It happens naturally.
As a result, meditation is not a struggle but a natural continuation of the process.
In short, your dog is more likely to cuddle with you if you’ve first met their need for exercise. After they’ve run, jumped, and walked, they’ll need to relax.
And they’ll be delighted to do so with their favorite human. Because your dog won’t be confused about what to do with all that energy bursting inside of them.
#2: House rules
Has anyone from your home established strict house rules for the dog?
Maybe the dog isn’t allowed on the couch or bed anymore. So then they don’t really get many opportunities to cuddle with you.
If you don’t sit or lie on the ground, that is. That’s what I call adding friction.
It could be your dog is just unaware of how much you want to cuddle with them. Especially if you haven’t established a habit of cuddling.
Do you shower your dog with words when you want to cuddle them? If so, it might be confusing for your pooch.
Another reason could be that you don’t have a cuddling routine. And you’re not encouraging cuddling by luring your dog with a dog snack.
Then you could talk all you want. Or even use hand gestures to make the dog come closer to you. But it might still be unclear for your dog what’s the main thing you want of them.
This one might seem confusing. As there’s no logic of encouraging not cuddling with you. But it’s possible nevertheless because it could happen unwillingly.
What I mean is that you could be encouraging other behaviors and not this one. This would be the case if you’re rewarding your dog with treats as soon as they get off the couch.
#5: A new dog
Have you recently added another furry member to the family?
If so, your first dog could feel uneasy. This can happen if all of the human(s)’ attention is directed to the newcomer.
Previously, your first dog used to get all the scratches, petting, and treats. But now, they see there’s another canine. And they get showered with attention.
Almost to the point as if they’re the only dog in the family…This could irritate your pooch and make them withdraw a bit.
Some dogs would react differently when they see a newcomer though. They would get physically closer to you on any possible occasion.
It’s as if they’re saying “Here I am, look at me! Pay attention to me! I’m all you need!”.
But there’s another possibility why your initial dog wouldn’t want to cuddle anymore. Previously, your clothes would carry their smell.
While now, they’re drenched with the smell of the newcomer. And that’s unpleasant.
Have you or has someone else acted harshly to the dog?
Some dogs are more sensitive than others. This means that they can easily get intimidated. It can happen when you raise your tone of voice, tap with your foot on the floor, or yell at them.
Not to mention if someone from the family hits the dog. Or punishes them for something they’ve done.
This is a recipe for behavioral disaster.
Science backs up the theory that it’s better to use positive reinforcement when training your dog.
Scientists also warn that punishing the dog could lead to problematic behaviors in the future.
And that’s not all…
The unwanted behaviors that stem from punishing the dog can be hard to deal with.
And since many people are unaware of how to deal with them effectively, a lot of dogs end up in shelters. Or on the street.
That’s why it’s best not to go that route.
To tell if your dog is fearful of someone, look out for these signs:
- Flattened ears.
- Head turned to the side.
- Tail tucked between the legs.
- Whale eyes (you see the white of the eye showing).
Note: If you notice your dog is showing whale eyes, your dog is either anxious, stressed, fearful, or/and defensive.
Signs of aggression include:
- Flattened ears.
- Lowered head.
- Stiff body posture.
#7: Sickness or injury
If your dog suddenly stops cuddling with you, there might be something wrong with their health. If they’re in pain, they will likely avoid physical touch.
Signs that your dog is sick include:
- Loss of appetite.
In case you notice any of these signs along with your dog’s changed behavior, head to the vet.
#BONUS: Old age, new page
If your cuddly dog suddenly stopped wanting cuddles, it could be due to old age. Old dogs are prone to certain kinds of medical issues.
Such ones are:
- Gastrointestinal issues (GI).
- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD).
Arthritis affects the joints. It can make even simple daily activities unbearable for your dog. For example, your dog might have a hard time finding a comfy position to rest in.
Research points out:
“While it can develop at any age, osteoarthritis is commonly considered a disease of aging and the most commonly reported sites affected by osteoarthritis in the dog include the stifles, hips and elbows.“NCBI
If your dog has gastrointestinal issues, you might see them vomiting or having diarrhea. If the latter two don’t stop soon, you should get in touch with a vet.
These two symptoms could point to a more severe condition such as kidney disease.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
This condition can disorient your dog. They may become forgetful of you and their environment. And may act strange as a result.
All of this can make your dog uneasy, shocked, and even defensive.
3 tips to make your dog cuddle with you again
#1: Bet on the vet
Although this article equips you with valuable knowledge, it’s best to speak to a professional. This way, you’ll rule out any medical condition that might need urgent attention.
Bear in mind that an illness or an injury might cause any abrupt changes in your dog’s behavior.
#2: Prepare your puppy for cuddle time
Preparation is key even more so when you have a small puppy. By getting them used to cuddle, you’ll create this habit early on.
Then, you’ll enjoy cuddles throughout your dog’s adulthood.
But before you start a cuddle party, there are some things you should know. Namely, how to handle your puppy correctly so you get them in a cuddling mood.
To get an idea of how to do that, check out this video:
#3: Reward your dog appropriately
O.K, we all know dogs are suckers for treats. But this isn’t the only effective way to reward your dog when you want them to do something.
You could also scratch them behind the ears. Or give them belly scratches. Pet them. In other words, get touchy-feely with them.
#BONUS: Divide attention equally
Even if you have a new dog, you should keep giving your old one enough attention.
To show your first dog that the newcomer isn’t a threat to them, do this:
- Introduce the two dogs in one room.
- Start giving treats to the dog who you’ve had for longer.
- As soon as you take away the new dog out of the room, stop giving dog snacks.
This will show your older dog that the newcomer brings treats. Which in turn will help your first dog associate the new one with positive things.