Does your dog like to cuddle? Laika certainly does, and she sees no problem with being a 70 pound lap dog. But not all of my previous dogs were big on cuddling.
And before we begin I want to clarify one thing: this article is about cuddling, not hugging. There’s plenty of controversy over whether or not dogs like hugs. This isn’t about that.
This is about cuddling. Those moments when our dogs choose to be right next to us, the times when our dogs initiate closeness. So why do dogs like to cuddle?
Dogs Like Cuddling Because It Provides Warmth
The biggest clues when it comes to figuring out why dogs love to cuddle with us is from the definition itself: ‘to cuddle is to hold close for warmth or comfort or in affection.’
If you’ve ever seen a puppy pile you know how adorable it is. But besides being the cutest thing ever it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Puppies snuggle with one another to keep warm. When you get cold you can snuggle up under a blanket or put on some extra layer, for our dogs it’s not that easy.
Cuddling with humans was an important part of canine domestication. Early dogs helped us hunt and alerted us to danger, but we also helped each other out by cuddling and keeping each other warm. In fact, the term “three dog night” refers to those really cold nights when humans had to cuddle up with 3 dogs to keep from freezing to death.
Cuddling Provides Affection
But cuddling isn’t just about warmth – it’s also a way to show affection. Cuddling, and showing affection in general, is one way in which our dogs strengthen their bond with us. Researchers have even found that bonding with their owners is more important to dogs than it is to other pets. (sorry cat lovers)
The long evolutionary relationship we’ve had with dogs has reinforced many of the traits we see today in our pet dogs. We have a very intimate bond with our dogs, and that feeling seems to be mutual….