Whether you’re on the market for a Poodle or you’ve just brought your new pooch home, there’s always an adjustment period for the dog and owner. So, it might get you wondering—should you start right off by cuddling with your Poodle?
Almost all Poodles enjoy cuddling, so it’s safe to assume your pup wants to do this bonding activity with you. That said, there are some reasons why your Poodle might be cuddle adverse.
I’ll help you understand why Poodles like to cuddle and when they may prefer to be left alone.
Why Poodles Like to Cuddle?
Several reasons exist why Poodles love a good cuddle session. And if you have any doubts, I’ll share some science to back them up. Let’s take a look at the reasons below.
1. It’s a Way to Bond With You
Poodles are family-oriented dogs who are fiercely loyal to their owners. As such, they seek opportunities to bond with their family members. And what better way to bond than by being directly in the arms of their owner?
According to researchers, dog and human bonding are crucial for the dog’s (and human’s) wellbeing. They found that owners who went out of their way to socialize with their dog in positive ways formed a deep connection with their pet, proved by hormonal changes in both the human and dog.
In fact, Poodles like to cuddle and bond with their owners so much that it can work against them (and your home), as Poodles have a predisposition for getting separation anxiety.
The bond between dogs and humans has thousands of years of history. Between this and modern-day breeding to cause certain breeds of dogs, like Poodles, to love cuddles, it’s genetic wiring for most Poodles to want to curl up in their owners’ laps.
2. They Want a Dose of Oxytocin
Oxytocin is a hormone that’s primary purpose is to create a bond between a mother and baby after childbirth. However, humans and Poodles alike can get a boost of oxytocin—also known as the “love” or “cuddle” hormone—by spending time together.
In fact, according to a Japanese study, dogs who spend time gazing in each other’s eyes had a 130% increase in oxytocin levels in their urine. But it doesn’t stop there—their human owners had a whopping 300% increase in oxytocin.
Needless to say, Poodles need to be close to their owners to get the oxytocin benefit of looking into their eyes. And what better way to do so than to be cuddled up in their owners’ arms while making eye contact?
You already know how good you feel when a dog cuddles with you. So, now you know that your Poodle feels similar when you’re rocking them in your lap.
3. They’re Cold
If you own both a Toy and Standard Poodle, you might expect your tiny Toy Poodle to cuddle up with you on a cold winter day. But instead, your massive Standard Poodle might try to squeeze itself in your lap.
Traditionally, scientists believed that the smaller a dog is, the faster they get cold. The reasoning is that small dogs, like Toy Poodles, have a larger surface area to volume ratio. So, they lose heat quicker.
Nevertheless, one study overthrew this idea—it showed that since small dogs have a higher metabolic rate, they may stay warmer than large dogs.
The bottom line? Whether you’re outdoors or inside, if you feel chilly, your Poodle might also be feeling cold. Therefore, regardless of their size, they might snuggle up to cuddle with you to snag some body heat.
4. It’s a Way to Protect You (or Them)
Poodles love their family members, so they’re most content when all people they love are within their eyesight. That way, it feeds into their herd mentality wiring, as dogs are pack animals from their wolf descendants.
Therefore, what you might see as your Poodle being loving when they cuddle up with you might be your Poodle’s way to protect you from danger.
Should this be the case, you might notice your Poodle cuddling with you more than usual when a new dog or person is present.
In contrast, your Poodle might cuddle with you not because they want to protect you as a part of their herd, but because they want you to protect them.
A thunderstorm is a great example of a situation in which your Poodle might cuddle up to you, hoping you can stop the sky’s performance.
In fact, people invented coats for the thunder to help comfort dogs in times of distress since these tightly fitting jackets make a dog feel like they’re in an embrace.
Reasons Your Poodle Doesn’t Want to Cuddle
If your Poodle doesn’t like to cuddle, you might feel like you did something wrong. After all, Poodles are known for being affectionate, people-loving animals.
I’m here to assure you that you’re likely not the reason your Poodle doesn’t want to cuddle, provided you haven’t abused or neglected them.
Instead, common reasons why Poodles don’t want to cuddle include:
- Pain from an injury or health issue
- A past of abuse
- They may not have inherited the cuddle gene
Of course, it’s also possible that there’s something you’re innocently doing wrong. That’s particularly the case with Toy Poodles; given their small size, what’s normal petting and cuddling for a Miniature or Standard Poodle can feel too rough to a Toy Poodle.
When your Poodle doesn’t want to cuddle, you should respect them; forcing your Poodle to cuddle can cause them distress and make them distrust you.
If your Poodle used to like to cuddle but now avoids it or yelps when you try to cuddle with them, take them to the vet—there’s likely a painful underlying health issue. On the other hand, if you adopted your Poodle, you might want to work with a canine therapist, as they may have a history of abuse.
Are You Ready to Get Your Cuddle On?
Under most circumstances, you can expect your Poodle to love cuddling with you. In fact, if they’re used to your cuddles, and you have to stop to do chores around the house, they might even nudge you asking for more cuddle time.
If you have a Poodle that doesn’t like to cuddle, it’s not necessarily a reason for concern. Instead, it might be because they have a history of abuse or simply don’t like to cuddle—no two Poodles are the same, after all.
However, a Poodle that doesn’t like to cuddle can also signify that they’re in pain. So, consider taking your previously cuddle-loving Poodle to the vet if they stop wanting to partake in cuddle sessions.