Behavioral changes in dogs happen for a reason. If your dog suddenly becomes overly affectionate or more cuddly than usual, it is important to understand the reasons for that change.
Why is My Dog So Cuddly All Of A Sudden?
A dog’s behavior can change overnight, such as when a dog suddenly becomes more cuddly. This change could be caused by stress, a change in the environment, or some other factor. Dog owners need to understand why their dogs’ behavior changes and find a way to help.
What are the signs of an overly affectionate dog?
Dogs are naturally affectionate creatures. They show their love for others by cuddling, licking, and leaning against them. However, dogs may become overly affectionate in certain situations. Signs that your dog is being overly affectionate could include jumping into your lap more frequently or constantly following you around.
Why is my dog so cuddly at night?
Dogs may be more cuddly at night because they know they are not going to receive attention from you while you are sleeping. Dogs may also be more cuddly at night because you are gone during the day.
Dogs want to spend time with you so they pack all of their cuddles into the short time they have with you.
Why is my dog so affectionate in the morning?
Most dogs become aware of the schedule within their household. A dog knows when its owner leaves for work and when they come home. A dog may also know and be ready for things that take place regularly, even if it does not happen every day.
Some dogs can even understand the difference between the days of the week. For instance, if you have a dogwalker that visits twice per week, your dog may be ready to go on those days even before the dog walker arrives.
Since many dogs have demonstrated an uncanny ability to “tell time,” they may know exactly which days and at what times their owners leave for work. Your dog may be extra affectionate at certain times because it knows and anticipates when you will be leaving.
That extra affection could be an indication that your dog misses you while you are gone.
What are the overly affectionate dog breeds?
Several dog breeds may be considered overly affectionate and dog owners should be aware of that when choosing the right dog for their household. Those breeds include Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, Pomeranians, Malteses, Bichon Frise, Pit Bulls, English Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, Dachsunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas, Pugs, Collies, Labradoodles, and Great Danes.
However, there are always exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, a dog that normally comes from a cuddly breed may not be cuddly. As a result, the cuddly dog you were expecting may not want to cuddle with you. Cuddliness sometimes depends on each dog’s temperament.
Are dogs more cuddly when sick?
When dogs do not feel well, they may turn to their owner for comfort and behave more cuddly. If a dog owner feels that their dog’s cuddling behavior has changed, that owner should look at other symptoms that may provide clues about why their dog is more cuddly.
If there are no other symptoms associated with your dog’s increased cuddling, there may be nothing to worry about. However, if you are unsure about your dog’s change in behavior, it is always best to contact your vet and schedule an appointment.
Can dogs become more affectionate under normal circumstances?
Dogs can become more affectionate over time under normal circumstances. You may see your dog’s behavior change and see your dog demonstrate its affection more as your dog becomes comfortable with you. As your dog grows to trust you, it will want to be more and more affectionate.
Over time, a dog and its owner develop a routine that contains a mutual understanding and mutual respect. As that develops, your dog may gradually increase how much affection it shows to you. As the love between you and your pet increases, so does affection.
Dog owners also reinforce the affection that dogs show. If your dog is being sweet and affectionate to you, you may be encouraged to give the dog more attention, scratches, or even treats. As a result, dogs learn that they can get more of what they want by being more affectionate.
Why is my older dog becoming more affectionate?
As dogs age, they start to slow down. They may not be as active as they once were. They may not feel as well as they once did. For these reasons, aging dogs may seek out comfort from their owners as a way to feel better.
However, dog owners need to pay attention to their aging dogs’ health. If your dog is being extra affectionate and has additional concerning symptoms such as lethargy or vomiting, it may be time to call a veterinarian and have your dog checked out.
Why does my dog always want to cuddle?
For many dogs, the purpose of cuddling is to give and receive affection. If it is cold outside, it’s possible that the cuddling is for warmth, but if not, then cuddling is all about showing affection to their owners.
Dogs bond with their owners by cuddling with them.
The bond between a dog and its owner is strengthened through the physical contact and closeness that cuddling brings. With that bond, the dog and its owner also learn to trust each other.
Cuddling has also been shown to relieve stress. Humans that are upset may find that their dog wants to cuddle with them. Dogs can recognize some human emotions and helpfully respond to those emotions.
Cuddling with your dog may result in the release of the “love hormone” called oxytocin, which makes you feel better.
This cuddling can also help relieve your dog’s stress. When a dog is feeling stressed or anxious, cuddling could provide reassurance to help the dog feel calmer. The oxytocin levels in dogs increase just as they do in humans when dog-human cuddling occurs.
Why is my dog not leaving my side all of a sudden?
Several reasons exist for why your dog will suddenly not leave your side. First, dogs that encounter a stranger, either at home or outside, may stick close to their human.
The reason for this reaction could be an instinctual response to not only protect their owner but also to provide a united front to a stranger the dog sees as a threat.
A second explanation for why your dog is not leaving your side is because your dog may be feeling scared or anxious. If a thunderstorm is approaching and your dog is afraid of storms, it may sense those storms before you are even aware.
A third reason why your dog won’t leave your side is that it hears fireworks in the area or other loud noises that are scaring it. Dogs that have a phobia of loud noises are particularly susceptible to this and may stick close to you for comfort.
A fourth reason could be that your dog knows that you are going to be leaving the house, so your dog stays close to you. It is possible that, in a dog’s mind, it thinks that if it is right next to you, you might not leave it behind.
15 reasons why your dog suddenly wants to cuddle with you
There may be many reasons why your dog suddenly wants to cuddle with you. Understanding what these reasons might be could help you to better care for your dog. It is especially important to understand if a health problem could suddenly cause more cuddling.
Check out this list of reasons for sudden extra cuddles to see if they apply to you and your dog. This list is not complete, but it is a good place to start if you are trying to better understand your pet.
- The dog may be in heat. If your dog is in heat, she may be uncomfortable and want some extra cuddles.
- You may be pregnant. Dogs can sense when humans are pregnant and might be extra cuddly as a result.
- You have been away from home a lot and your dog misses you. Your dog may seek out extra cuddles for reassurance that you still love it.
- You are getting ready to leave for work. If a dog knows your schedule and knows you are leaving, it may seek out extra cuddles that will help it know you still love it.
- Some dogs know that a suitcase coming out of a closet and being packed means that their human may be gone for a while. Dogs may want extra snuggles for reassurance or even as a way to convince their humans to take them along.
- Dogs that are afraid of storms may seek out extra cuddles for reassurance. Humans usually don’t realize a storm is coming before a dog.
- If a large household upheaval is occurring, i.e., you are moving or remodeling your home, dogs may seek out more cuddles for reassurance.
- When strangers are in the home, whether they are guests or workers, dogs may want more cuddles to help them feel better.
- If your dog is feeling cold, it may want extra cuddles to help it warm up.
- When your dog is feeling sick, it may suddenly want more snuggles. Pay attention and look for any other symptoms that you can share with your vet.
- As a dog ages, it may want to cuddle more, especially if the dog is not as mobile as it once was.
- When a dog does something wrong such as making a mess in the trash can or eating the pizza on the counter, that dog may seek out more cuddles. It doesn’t matter if their owner has not yet discovered it, the dog may want extra cuddles.
- If you have yelled at your dog because it did something wrong, such as shredding the couch cushions or peeing on the floor, it may want reassurances that it’s still loved and seek out extra cuddles.
- Sometimes, dogs can sense when a person is sick. Dogs that have that ability may become very cuddly as a way to try to communicate what they are sensing.
- Sometimes, dogs may just be bored and looking for something to do. When a dog is feeling bored and chooses to interact with their human, they may cuddle more to encourage that interaction.
What is a velcro dog?
A velcro dog wants to be at your side at all times. This type of dog may become anxious when you leave and may suffer terrible separation anxiety when left alone. Dogs are not born to be “velcro.” Their owners train them that way, both intentionally and unintentionally.
What else happened when your dog first started being overly affectionate?
It is important to recognize all of the behaviors and actions of both the dog and the dog’s owner to understand why a dog is overly affectionate.
Owners that give rewards and encouragement in the form of treats, scratches, etc., may be unconsciously training their dog to stay close to receive those good things. Ignoring your dog when they are farther away and rewarding them when they are next to you, helps to reinforce overly affectionate behaviors.
11 things to do about my overly affectionate dog
If you are a dog owner that wants to help your overly affectionate dog, several things can be done. However, it is important to remember that some dog breeds have a tendency to be clingy and may resist changing that part of their behavior.
- Purposely refrain from encouraging affection by not giving treats or pets when the dog is being overly affectionate.
- Take the dog on a long run or play hard to tire it out. A tired dog is less likely to follow you around.
- Take the dog to the vet for a checkup. The dog’s behavior could be the result of an undiagnosed illness.
- Keep your dog from becoming bored by providing items that encourage independent play.
- Make a safe space containing blankets and toys where your dog can go to relax separately and train it to use that space. This space is important if your dog is overly affectionate because of a fear of loud noises or thunderstorms.
- Take your dog to a dog park or on a dog play date and encourage interactions with new dogs and owners.
- Desensitize your dog from your routine. If you follow the same routine before leaving the house, go through that same routine without leaving the house so that the dog doesn’t always associate that routine with leaving.
- Do not allow your overly affectionate dog to sleep in your bed.
- If anxiety is the root cause of your dog’s strong affections, reduce its stress in the household or talk to a vet about prescribing anti-anxiety medications.
- If your dog’s routine has changed and that caused your dog to become overly affectionate, consider returning to your dog’s previous routine.
- Above all, be patient with your dog. It probably took a while to get to this point in their overly affectionate behavior and it can take a lot of retraining to stop it.
- Levitin H, Hague DW, Ballantyne KC, Selmic LE. Behavioral Changes in Dogs With Idiopathic Epilepsy Compared to Other Medical Populations. Front Vet Sci. 2019;6:396. Published 2019 Nov 8. doi:10.3389/fvets.2019.00396
- Jones GMC, Volk HA, Packer RMA. Research priorities for idiopathic epilepsy in dogs: Viewpoints of owners, general practice veterinarians, and neurology specialists. J Vet Intern Med. 2021;35(3):1466-1479. doi:10.1111/jvim.16144