Touch is one of the most fundamental ways pet owners and their dogs can connect. Petting our dogs is a wonderful experience, which they also enjoy. When we stop to pet our dogs, they usually give us a paw swat or say “More please!”
It might be surprising to learn that certain dogs do not enjoy being petted. These dogs are not fond of physical touch, whether it is a gentle stroke or deep tissue massage.
It can be difficult to live with a dog that is not in your presence. We all want our pets to know how much we care for them. When our dogs sit on the opposite side of the sofa, we often wonder “Does he love me?” or “Does he know that I love him?”
Rest assured that your dog’s behavior is not abnormal. She’s a dog who has different ways to show that she loves her owner. The good news is, with a few simple lifestyle changes your dog can learn to love pats and cuddles. She may even start asking for them.
What causes a no-cuddle dog?
There are many reasons a dog may not enjoy cuddling. These include:
Prior abuse The unfortunate truth is that a dog who does not like to be cuddled could have received mistreatment in the past. Due to old training methods, dogs that were spanked and physically punished or treated roughly could end up fearing what humans are capable.
Injuries: Undiagnosed injuries or pain in dogs can make them wary. Petting can exacerbate pain in older dogs with joint problems, athletes with strains and sprains or puppies who are going through growth spurts. Your veterinarian can determine whether your dog has pain.
The wrong technique or part of the body. Occasionally petting aversion can be caused by operator error. Small dogs may not like rough pats on their ears and heads, while larger breeds might dislike fluttery rubbings. Some dogs do not like having their backs scratched, but they are fine when the shoulders get massaged.
This is how was born. It may be hard to imagine that dogs dislike being petted for the simple reason that they don’t like it. Much like some people don’t want hugs, there are dogs that don’t appreciate up-close-and-personal touching.
The signs that dogs don’t like to be petted
Dogs who are not fond of cuddling can express their disapproval in a number of ways. They may walk away from a person when they reach for them, or duck their heads as though about to be swatted. The dislike often manifests itself in subtle, quick, and easy-to-overlook behaviors, such as a series called “calming signs” which are fast, but also subdued.
If you see your dog leaning back and licking its lips as you pet it, she may not be enjoying the experience. You may also notice that she avoids looking at you, or takes a few extra steps to prevent you from touching her as intensely.
Many people dislike slobbery kisses and will stop petting a dog if they see it licking them.
Is it possible for your dog to become a cuddly dog?
If you are patient and gentle, even non-cuddly canines can be taught to enjoy touch. They may learn to like it. To help your dog who is not fond of touch, you must give him control. These are some steps that you can follow.
You should always follow your dog’s signals for physical contact
Instead of assuming that your dog enjoys what you are doing, you should watch for her body language to determine whether you are on the right path.
Reduce all physical contact, except for the necessary behavior, such as putting on a leash. This step may be difficult, as it means that your dog will know you are listening to her.
If your dog is still not requesting physical contact, watch to see whether she brushes up against your body or places her head under your hand. Continue to refrain from casually petting your dog. Instead, use other methods to communicate with them, such as verbal praise or play.
Take a pet test and pay attention to your dog’s reaction
After a week of not petting your dog, you can do a test to see how he feels about it. Try giving your dog some gentle rubs for three seconds on the chest and shoulders. Then stop to watch their reaction.
She may move closer, or even lean against you. When your dog feels hands-off she will not ask for any more. She may even stand still when you stop or move away.
The key to success in the initial session is to keep it short. If your dog accepts the touch, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she is ready to receive a full-body massaging.
Continue to give your dog short pats, but always pay attention to what she’s telling you as you connect with her. Keep giving your dog short pats and pay attention to her reactions.
The type and duration of your pet’s petting can also affect her satisfaction.
Respecting your dog’s need for space
Even the most affectionate of dogs may not like to be constantly touched. Stressful events, such as a visit to the veterinarian, may make any dogs less likely to like to be touched.
When pet parents take the time and effort to listen carefully to their dogs, they will be able tell when petting is being appreciated or when it is making their best furry friend feel uncomfortable.
Even with remedial dog training, it’s possible that your pup will not appreciate cuddling. This does not mean your dog is less affectionate or has a problem.
One of the most effective ways to advocate for your dog is by understanding and respecting his likes and dislikes. You can find a thousand other ways to tell that your dog is in love with you. For example, the happy tail-wag she does when you arrive home or how her eyes are always on you. Your dog is showing you affection but in a unique way.