Goldendoodles are one of the most affectionate and friendly breeds of dogs, which is why they make such great pets and such fantastic cuddle buddies.
So do Goldendoodles like to cuddle? Yes! (most of the time)
There are a lot of things you can learn about your Goldendoodle’s cuddling habits to make them a happier, healthier dog—and to make your life better, too!
Today, we’ll talk about ways to encourage your dog (especially if they’re still a puppy) to cuddle more. Learn how to read their body language to tell if they enjoy cuddles and what to do if your Goldendoodle doesn’t want to cuddle. Let’s jump into it!
Training Your Goldendoodle to Cuddle
Like most other things, if you want your dog to love snuggles, the best thing to do is to train them to love that behavior from a young age.
We’ve got some ideas to help you do just that. These tips will be most effective for younger dogs and puppies, of course, but you can always try them out on older dogs as well and see how they work.
Teach them to be okay with touching.
Making sure your dog is okay with being touched is very important. This is important in many other situations beyond cuddling. A Goldendoodle that is okay with being touched is far easier to DIY groom and happier when they ever need medical attention. That’s why, if possible, you should start early and practice often. Some ways to teach your puppy to accept touches are:
- Petting them while hand-feeding them
This teaches the puppy to associate a positive experience (being fed) with a negative or neutral one (being pet), eventually leading to petting being viewed positively. Be careful with this one if your pup is showing hints of being food aggressive, though.
Any treats will do, or even individual pieces of healthy dry food kibble. The easiest high quality Goldendoodle diet is dry food.
- Only petting or handling them when they are calm
Don’t try to restrain your dog and cuddle with them when they’re running around and playing. Goldendoodles associate such restraint being held with frustration and annoyance.
It’s better to attempt pets and cuddles when they are already lying down calmly. If they start to wiggle a little when you touch them, gently hold on until they relax, and then praise them and give them a treat when they do.
- Get them used to the practice with daily training.
Try to pet or cuddle with your dog a little every day, and make sure to reward them each time. This will help them to acclimate to the feeling and even begin to like it.
- Let them on the couch!
The couch is prime real estate for snuggling, so if you don’t let them on the sofa, your dog is not likely to want to cuddle.
Remember that even though Goldendoodles are generally very friendly and receptive to affection, every dog is different. Some dogs will naturally be more inclined to cuddle than others.
Depending on your dog’s temperament, this sort of training may take a long time, or it may not be necessary at all.
Take advantage of the situation.
Dogs may be more willing to cuddle in certain situations, and you should use that to your advantage. If your dog is already sitting next to you on the couch, feel free to reach over and give them a few pets or even snuggle with them a little bit. Don’t try to push it, though.
Additionally, during colder months, many dogs will be more receptive to cuddling because it helps them stay warm. So if your dog comes up to you and seems to want to lay next to you, go ahead and get in some free snuggle time.
Finally, giving your Goldendoodle lots of exercise—of both the mental and physical variety—is not only good for their overall health and wellbeing, but it will also make them tired and more likely to cuddle. So make sure you give your pooch plenty of exercise and training every day.
How to Tell If Your Goldendoodle Likes to Cuddle
Dogs may not be able to talk, but they can still tell us a lot about their feelings. The key to understanding your dog and forming a better bond with them is to learn to read their body language.
In general, a dog will tell you how they’re feeling based on the way they move. A calm, happy dog will have a relaxed posture and will wag their tail or generally be playful.
They’ll nuzzle you or rollover, inviting and asking for attention.
If your dog displays any of these behaviors when you approach them or attempt to cuddle them, that’s a good sign that they enjoy the attention.
A dog who is uncomfortable or worried will have more of a tense posture. They’ll avoid your eyes, tuck their tail, and stand with one paw raised.
Yawning or licking their lips could also signal that the dog isn’t okay with the situation and wants to get out. These are all signs that your dog doesn’t enjoy cuddling and is merely tolerating it. (Also watch out for excessive paw licking)
This is the way many dogs will act when they’re first introduced to an unusual situation. Still, if you’re patient with them and try some of the tips we talked about in the last section, you may begin to see some of these warning signs disappearing.
The final type of canine body language to look out for is the most dangerous kind.
When your dog is very stressed and feels threatened, their body will be taut. They’ll either stare with a direct gaze and growl and show their teeth, or they will be quivering and trembling with their tail tucked, and their ears pulled back.
In both of these situations, the dog feels very unsafe and may bite if the perceived threat worsens.
This is the dog’s last resort, and it will only escalate that far if you fail to notice the many warning signs that come before. If you catch your dog doing any of those things, stop whatever it is you’re doing to make them uncomfortable. With slow, careful guidance, your dog may eventually lose that unease.
What to Do If Your Goldendoodle Doesn’t Like to Cuddle
Keep in mind that every dog is different. That means that some dogs just won’t ever enjoy cuddling, no matter how much you encourage them. If your dog is this way, don’t be concerned. It’s completely normal, and there are still plenty of other ways that you can create a lasting bond with your pet.
For example, make sure to play with your dog and train them or go on walks every day. If you notice that your Goldendoodle really loves a particular toy or treat, spoil them every once in awhile by giving it to them.
And when you’re spending time with them, make sure it’s focused time. Your dog can tell when you’re distracted, so make eye contact and really let them know your attention is on them.
Finally, stay patient. Some dogs enjoy cuddling more as they get older, so you may just have to wait a few years to get the snuggles you want.