11 Dog Breeds that DON’T Like To Cuddle (with Photos)

We all love our four-legged friends as if they are people in our families. Their undying loyalty, playfulness, and own affection earn them that honor. But like the people in our families, dogs have different love languages.

Some share our love of cuddling and are happy to sit on our laps or share the couch or bed with us after a bad day.

dog breeds that don't like to cuddle
11 Dog Breeds that Don’t Like To Cuddle (with Photos)

But several dog breeds don’t like to cuddle and have a different love language than we are used to. That shouldn’t worry you, especially if your furry friend is one of these common dog breeds.

Here are 11 dog breeds that don’t like to cuddle.

Afghan Hound

Afghan hounds have a strong prey drive like their other companions in the Hound family and other hunting dogs. That drive can get in the way of desires to cuddle, as their instincts take over when the prey gets close – even when they’re in the presence of their owners or other human friends.

So, don’t feel hurt or ignored if this breed doesn’t like to cuddle, doesn’t jump all over you when you come home, or doesn’t want to sit next to you on the couch. Their instincts translate into independence, so you can rest knowing that your Afghan Hound is perfectly content relaxing by itself.

Afghan Hound stands
Beautiful Afghan Hound standing proud.


These smooth-coat dogs are beautiful for several reasons, most famously their inability to bark. Their yodel, the sound they make, can also be adorable and even funny. This dog, however, was not bred to be particularly affectionate.

As a hunting dog breed in Central Africa, the Basenji’s instincts can make this breed aggressive around strangers.

While this has the potential to be annoying and will require you to slowly and carefully introduce your friends to your Basenji, you can take solace in this tendency from your dog. That confrontation is their love language and demonstration of their loyalty to you. So, you can enjoy your Basenji’s protection and undying devotion as a demonstration of their affection, even if they are a dog breed that doesn’t like to cuddle.

curly tailed basenji
Curly tailed Basenji


Bloodhounds are invaluable to police forces worldwide for their sense of smell and athleticism. These traits have helped them in the effort to solve numerous missing person cases and even helped a few especially protective parents through the years. But with these gifts and instincts comes yet another dog with a strong sense of independence.

They don’t expect to be cuddled and don’t like to cuddle. Bloodhounds, while loyal, will not be particularly cuddly or touchy. At most, they will demonstrate affection by laying near you or near your feet, but they will not nuzzle up to you.

Bloodhound sitting
Bloodhound can serve as a search and rescue dog!


If fluffy, luscious fur on a dog guaranteed cuddliness, then the Chow-Chow would be an overwhelmingly affectionate breed. Unfortunately, fluffiness does not guarantee cuddliness. Nor does cuteness equal an easy life with a dog. Chow-Chows tend to be notoriously stubborn.

Not only are they among the dog breeds that don’t like to cuddle, but they also are among the breeds that sometimes don’t even like company.

If you add a Chow-Chow to your family, equip yourself with training skills because this breed can be a nightmare if you’re not prepared.

a chow chow with a curly tail
A Chow Chow with a curly tail. What a beautiful dog!

American Foxhound

The name might be a giveaway that this breed doesn’t like to cuddle. Another dog bred for hunting and work, the American Foxhound, despite its relaxed demeanor, tends to “work alone.” Given their athletic nature and intelligence, these dogs will form a strong bond with you, however, if you take them out for long walks or hikes regularly.

But do not expect them to come to you constantly for pets or affection.

American Foxhound
American Foxhound stands at the park for a photo!

Irish Wolfhound

While the Irish Wolfhound, the world’s tallest dog, tends to be sweet, it is not touchy-feely. There is certainly a lot of dog to pet if you own an Irish Wolfhound but these large creatures need lots of alone time. Intelligent and active, these hounds will prefer outdoor time and some kind of labor as a demonstration of tenderness rather than cuddling.

Irish Wolfhound stands
Irish Wolfhound standing on the grass.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

This may come as a surprise hearing that a Retriever is less prone to cuddling but it’s the truth. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are the least affectionate among their ilk. Rather than being a companion or family dog, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers enjoy having a purpose, especially because their distinct purpose used to be duck-hunting.

Consequently, they can get bored quickly without a task to devote themselves to. Once they get bored, their stubborn side emerges, and they may even leave a room if too many people are trying to pet them.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever stick
Chesapeake Bay Retriever with a stick in his mouth,


The Shar-Pei, the other Chinese dog on this list, is known for distinct facial features and to almost be an “introvert.” Shar-peis are shy and tend to keep their circle of trusted humans smaller than most dogs, making them confrontational around strangers like Basenjis. As a dog bred to guard and protect, this weariness of unfamiliar people makes sense, but it also translates to Shar-Peis generally disliking cuddling and petting.

Occasionally, they will insist on being near you and touching you. But, most of the time, they see their purpose as protecting you rather than cuddling.

Shar Pei dog and cake
Shar Pei dog with a birthday cake.

Shiba Inu

The famous face of the “doge” meme, cute and genuinely gorgeous as they are, tends to be rather cold and distant. They relish time alone and tend to walk around in your general vicinity rather than near you, almost like cats. Make no mistake; even if they don’t like cuddling, this Japanese dog breed does like you as its owner.

And you’ll notice how much they love you when you walk through the door and watch the excited dance your homecoming prompts.

Shiba Inu breeder california
7 Top Rated Shiba Inu Breeder (California)

Cairn Terrier

While Hounds can be fiercely independent, Terriers have another hallmark trait: if you can’t take charge, they certainly will. Don’t let these small guys fool you. They are just as intelligent as breeds like the German Shepherd and Irish Wolfhound and have an extra scrappiness and stubbornness that comes with their size.

Cairn Terriers specifically are still an excellent choice for a family dog. As lap dogs, they can adapt to any home size. They can live comfortably in a larger apartment or a full home.

These furry little fellas can also be friendly with their owners, great with children, energetic, and entertaining. Keep in mind, though, that they are still traditionally bred as hunting dogs.

This gives them an indomitable side. That side that makes them both inattentive to strangers and makes them desire their own space rather than snuggles, hugs, or kisses.

Cairn Terrier running
Happy Cairn Terrier runs in the garden.

Scottish Terrier

Last but not least is the perpetually happy Scottish Terrier. Scottish Terriers, like Cairn Terriers, are great family dogs and have this added bonus: they’re hypoallergenic. As puppies, they will follow you, insist on constant affection from you, and seem to forget that not every minute is playtime.

But as highly intelligent dogs, they develop eerily similar to humans.

Once they start getting older, they’re insistent on independence. They will also, like Cairn Terriers, take charge if you can’t. And if handled in a way their specific breed doesn’t like, as in being touched when they don’t want to, their fight or flight instinct is known to kick in.

Consequently, it comes as no surprise that Scottish Terriers are not known as a particularly cuddly dog breed.

Black Scottish Terrier
Black Scottish Terrier sitting on the ground.

Dog Breeds That Don’t Like to Cuddle:

While there are further dog breeds that don’t like to cuddle, these 11 are the most common and the most popular. Each of them has different reasons and traits that make them less prone to cuddle. Some are bred to hunt and their instincts push them to focus elsewhere and express their loyalty and appreciation for you in other ways.

Others are simply more independent or stubborn.

Or in the case of dogs like the Shar-Pei, they are trained to protect and express their loyalty by keeping you safe. No matter what trait has made your dog less cuddly, it is nothing to worry about. It is just part of who they are and they’ll develop an even greater appreciation for you as their owner if you respect it.