Do German Shepherds Like To Cuddle? (And Why They Don’t)

Do german shepherds like to cuddle? If you’re wondering whether your german shepherd is doing to please you, or because they actually like the affection, then keep reading to find out!

Do German Shepherds Like To Cuddle?

In general, german shepherds like to cuddle, however, it always depends on the individual. Some dogs like lots of affection and to spend time with you. Other dogs perhaps, enjoy spending more time on their own and only come to you every so often.

Both are fine and don’t inherently show there’s anything wrong with your dog. Some just have more independent personalities while others are more owner and family-oriented.

Why Do German Shepherds Like To Cuddle?

There are lots of different reasons your german shepherd may end up cuddling you! But the real bottom line to takeaway is that your german shepherd cuddles with you because they love you!

Here are all the reasons your german shepherd may end up cuddling you.

They Cuddle You For Warmth

No matter how big a dog is, at some point they’re probably going to feel cold. Even with their thick double coat, if they’re sick, they’ve been outside, or a number of other reasons, at some point they’ll feel cold.

So it’s no surprise they’ll try and get warmer by cuddling up to you. If you don’t believe your german shepherd can’t get cold, then think again!

One of my dogs constantly lays directly in front of our fire to warm up. The only problem is they don’t move from it. Now it’s gotten to the point that we can’t let her sleep near it because she just becomes too hot!

A great part of a dog’s domestication included cuddling with humans to keep warm, so it’s no wonder this behavior continues to live on.

(Want to know more about german shepherds and whether they get cold?)

They Love The Affection

While all dogs show affection in different ways, a lot like to show affection by cuddling up to you. This doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be clambering all over you, it could just be resting their head on your leg, or lying with their back up against you.

This sort of cuddling comes from the way dogs have been domesticated and the bond we now have with them. After all, anyone with a dog knows they truly are man’s best friends.

In fact, some research has even shown that the bond, affection and socialization dogs need can’t be found in other common pets!

So make sure you cuddle your german shepherd when you can to increase the bond you both have!

(Find out about other common signs of affection from your german shepherd.)

It’s A Stress Reliever

Another reason your german shepherd wants to cuddle with you is that it helps to relieve stress. Not just in them, but you as well!

(It’s important to note, as well as cuddling, german shepherds get stress relief when you talk to them, and if you know them well with prolonged eye contact as well.)

Studies even found that when humans cuddle, talk to and hold eye contact with their dogs, the amount of oxytocin in each of them rises dramatically. This is proof that cuddling is beneficial to your german shepherd! And one of the reasons they may seek you out! (According to Science Mag.)

So where did this come from? It’s believed that the dogs that bonded with humans were the dogs that got looked after. Over time, they’d breed and breed, making the ingrained instinct to bond with humans become even stronger!

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It Helps Them To Feel Safe When They’re Sleeping

One of the most vulnerable times for any wild animal is when they’re sleeping. And although your german shepherd isn’t wild anymore, they still feel it.

So they may snuggle up to you when they sleep because it makes them feel safer. After all, dogs are pack animals and there’s safety in number. When your german shepherd is pushing their back up against you, or sleeping on you, there’s an extra set of eyes and extra protection!

But this doesn’t just happen when they’re sleeping. Whenever your german shepherd feels like they’re not as safe, they may try to cuddle up with you to increase the protection you both have.

They Want To Protect You

On the flip side, some german shepherds may be cuddling because they feel like they can protect you. This is especially true with german shepherds.

The females are more likely to become protective over their family and snuggle up to make sure they remain safe. Males on the other hand often become protective over one person and will just snuggle with one person.

While this is great, it’s important they don’t become too protective otherwise jealousy can occur.

Why Do Some German Shepherds Cuddle More Than Others?

Just because lots of german shepherds cuddle, doesn’t mean they’re all going to. In fact, while some german shepherds like to cuddle, some may never do it. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it mainly depends on your pup’s personality and how they’ve been bred.

But if your german shepherd isn’t cuddling you, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. For example, some other common signs of affection your german shepherd might show are following you around, holding eye contact with you, and trying to get your attention.

(Find out more ways your german shepherd shows affection.)

When german shepherds don’t cuddle with you normally, just pay attention to when they do. This can often be a sign that they are distressed. Like if fireworks or other loud noises are going off around them.

Why Do Some German Shepherds Not Like To Cuddle?

So what if you have a german shepherd and they don’t like being cuddled? Or perhaps sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t!

Here are some of the reasons your german shepherd doesn’t like to be cuddled (although the possibilities why can be endless).

Because You’re Cuddling Them Wrong

This is some heartbreaking news. Most dogs don’t like to cuddle the way we like to cuddle. In fact, they probably only put up with it because they love you so much.

Dogs like to cuddle by pressing up against you but still having lots of space for themselves. Whereas we like to cuddle by wrapping our arms around them and giving them a big hug.

The latter is the kind of cuddling most dogs hate. So if you’re doing this, you should stop and see if they start cuddling you of their own accord.

They’re Too Hot

You may notice your german shepherd doesn’t cuddle as much in the summer but loves cuddling in the winter. This could be because cuddling makes them too hot.

Obviously the big coat they have on all the time is going to keep them warmer, and they also find it harder to regulate their body temperature as well.

So if they’re not cuddling you, then it could be the heat.

(Have you ever wondered whether german shepherds can swim?)

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They’re In Pain

If your German shepherd normally cuddles you but suddenly stops, then it could be because they’re in pain.

As hard as they try, dogs still have trouble communicating with us. When they’re ill or in pain, then they’re more likely to want to stay by themselves. If you cuddle them or prod them in a certain area and they wince, then they may be in pain.

When this is the case you should take them to the vets as soon as possible.

It’s Just Their Personality

Lastly, and most commonly, your german shepherd may not want to cuddle because of their personality. If this is the case, make sure you’re not forcing them to do it, as they’re really not going to enjoy it.

Interested In Training Your German Shepherd The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)


Now you know some german shepherds like to cuddle and some don’t! Both behaviors are perfectly fine.

As well as that, here are some other points you should remember from this article.

  • German shepherds often cuddle for warmth, for the affection, because it’s a stress reliever, to feel safe, and to protect you.
  • Just because a german shepherd doesn’t like to cuddle with you, doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Each dog is different, and you’ll need to learn their own personal signs of affection towards you.
  • Some german shepherds may not like to cuddle if they’re too hot, they’re in pain or if it’s just their personality. They may also not like the way you’re cuddling them. Remember bear hugs are a big no!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise have a great day!


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