Do German Shepherds Like to Cuddle?

Do German Shepherds Like to Cuddle

German Shepherd is a beautiful dog breed with endless qualities humans absolutely love. From their royal looks to affectionate behavior and yet strong attitude, everything makes them one of the popular dog breeds.

However, several to-be pet parents recently came up with a query asking, “Do German Shepherds Like to Cuddle?” German Shepherds are massive masculine dogs who, at first glimpse, do not visualize cuddly.

While most of them enjoy getting attention, love, and cuddling from their humans, some may actually hate such gestures. The preference depends and shifts from dog to dog and also what kind of life they have or had earlier.

For example, dogs who come out of a negative environment where their owners neglect or torture them may fear human touch, including cuddles. Though at the same time, some Shepherds love Cuddling and showing affection towards humans.

In this article, we discuss whether German Shepherd dogs like to cuddle. What are some of the reasons why your GSD may or may not like cuddling? How do you get them to cuddle?

Article Published on 25th November 2021 » Updated on 13th January 2022

aditi chef editorWritten By Sergey Uhanov Certified Veterinarian.
Sergey Uhanov is a certified veterinarian for dogs over 10 years, breeding 3 dogs. He loves dogs and has his own pet clinic in Israel. He likes to help other people with their dogs by sharing his experience and knowledge.

Do German Shepherd like to be held?

German Shepherds are massive dogs holding who is a task in itself. Because of their size, they are not necessarily in the practice of moving around in their human arm.

With effect, there would be barely any German Shepherd dog who would like to be held. However, there could be instances where it becomes necessary for the dog owners to hold their Shepherds.

Maybe after a tiring walk, or while taking them safely away from a pack of dogs, or at times for making them climb the car. Or, during puppyhood, your German Shepherd dog may come in your hold, even enjoying it for a while.

Though after a time being, once their body is partially grown, they might not enjoy being held for the most.

Why does German Shepherd like to Cuddle?

As said earlier as well, there may be a German Shepherd who is extremely fond of cuddles. And for instance, maybe you own one of them. And hence he may end up cuddling with you every single day and absolutely love it.

While a dog cuddling is foremost a form of showing affection, it at times can also preach about different reasons.

6 reasons why your German Shepherds like to Cuddle

  • Because they simply love you

German Shepherd is not a cuddly breed, but they may indulge in the practice to show their love.

However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog will give you a big hug.

Maybe they will keep their head on your lap, or simply their paws on your hand. All they want to do is keep a loving touch with you.

  • Because they are brought up this way

Pet parents to German Shepherds who cuddle their dogs from puppyhood end up getting a cuddly giant canine.

Because you have treated them this way for years, they love spending time Cuddling and showering you with love.

  • Because they want warmth

German Shepherds, despite having a thick double-layered coat, can still feel cold. So, it is no surprise that after coming home after spending some time on a cold winter day, all they want is to cuddle with you.

  • Because they feel safe and home

Dogs can feel scared, vulnerable, or insecure at times. Thus, if they curl up to you just for getting close and cuddly, maybe they are looking for some peace.

Take it similarly to how a child comes running back to his mother for a hug after a long day at school.

  • Because they want to seek or provide protection

German Shepherds, if they feel unsafe, may look for proximity with their owners.

They may sit close to you, cuddle with you, or just want to have your touch along simply because it gives them a surety of being safe.

Or, for the matter of the fact that German Shepherds are breaded as guard dogs, their first instinct is to protect their humans.

Thus, they may use Cuddling as a way of staying close to you or making you safe from some potential threat.

  • Because they are happy and they just want to

Not everything which exists has a reason around. Dogs cuddling with their owner is normally a part of their daily schedule. You came out home from a long day, they are happy you gave them a treat, or they are happy for their new ball.

There just could be endless reasons that your dog is happy with your certain gestures and want to snuggle in you.

Why is my German Shepherd not Cuddly?

As we said above, German Shepherd, by their breed nature, are not cuddly. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of them who absolutely hate cuddles, and maybe you own one of them.

Or maybe they loved it a while back and have recently developed a distance from physical affection by humans. Wonder why?

Top 7 reasons why your German Shepherd avoid getting into Cuddles

  • Because it is warm or they are hot

While German Shepherds are inclined to cuddle more in winter, they may absolutely hate doing the same during summers. There is nothing grant behind that, but they are simply feeling warm. And over that, when you take them close, their body heats up more.

If that happens with you and your dog, stop cuddling. Instead, feed them some water or let them cool down under a fan or in an air-conditioned room.

Increasing body heat is not good for dogs, and it might sometimes result in heat strokes.

  • Because they fear something

Chances are your German Shepherd was fond of Cuddling, but suddenly he is avoiding the gesture.

Or maybe all of a sudden, they ‘Turned On’ on someone in the family. Chances are, They have likely developed fear from you or that particular human. They are scared of someone around, maybe another dog or human.

Someone has mistreated them while cuddling. They have negative cuddling memories from their previous owners.

  • Because they are in pain, injured, or ill.

If that happens, you now need to develop trust with your dog. This may go for a long process. German Shepherds who suddenly stopped cuddling maybe be in pain or some kind of discomfort.

They do want you to stay beside them; however, even your mere touch on their body is aggregating the pain. Or maybe they are having some digestive discomfort, and they want to lie down instead of getting into cuddles.

If that happens, try finding out the reason and then provide them with the required medical attention.

  • Because of their age

German Shepherd or all other dogs in their old age prefer less interaction. They want your love, however, in minimal touchy form. Also, because their body goes through several changes with age, dogs are less likely to stick around with humans or other dogs for an extended period.

If it is so, let your dog live in its comfort shell.

  • Because they want to brush their energy

Your dog is not sitting and cuddling with you because he wants to go out. Maybe it’s been a long time they had a play session, and they are getting restless.

Hence, take them out, have some walk and ball game together, and it will surely help.

  • Because of their Individual character

German Shepherds are independent dogs who like having their own space. They may be they are fond of you but not particularly love to get into physical forms of showing love.

Also, since this is their nature, they were born with, leave them alone. You cannot make a voiceless being forcefully behave a certain way, even if it is about love.

  • Because you are not their favorite human

You have a German Shepherd dog at home who may cuddle with your brother but not you. Wondering why? Because your brother is their favorite human and you are not. You may have done everything to get their attention, but they simply walked away, ignoring you.

Brace yourself. For someone who doesn’t love us, we should let them go and live their life. Or maybe bring home a cuddly dog breed.

How does Cuddling help a dog?

If your dog does not hate it, you should often shower them with cuddles. Most pet parents who have had dogs for a long time will agree that cuddles work magic for things that were unresolvable the other ways.

Hugging, petting, and cuddling your canine buddy have actual benefits. Have a look:

  • Cuddling helps build your relationship with the dog strong. Researches show that it increases levels of oxytocin in the blood, which are responsible for building healthy emotional relationships.
  • Cuddling your dog can beat away depression for both participants. In addition, several studies have proven that Cuddling can cure clinical sadness.
  • Cuddling can reduce anxiety. Dogs who are afraid or anxious about certain things will feel at home in your embrace. If you are their trusted human, shower them with love.

Wrapping Up…

For most of them, ‘German Shepherds love cuddling.’ Maybe because they physically and emotionally need it, maybe because they are habitual, or maybe due to their individual character.

However, if your Shepherd is not into Cuddling, you must not force them to. Either try to find out if there’s any traumatic reason behind it or simply leave them on their own.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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