Do German Shepherds Like to Cuddle? A Surprising Revalation

If you’re a German Shepherd owner, you may wonder if your dog likes to cuddle.

In this article, we’ll explore the cuddling behavior of German Shepherds, reasons why they might want to cuddle, and how to encourage bonding with your furry friend.

Do German Shepherds Like to Cuddle?

German Shepherds, like any other dog breed, have their own individual preferences and personalities, so not all German Shepherds may like to cuddle. However, many German Shepherds do enjoy physical affection and cuddling with their owners.

A dog’s cuddling behavior can be influenced by factors such as their age, temperament, and past experiences, so it’s not always predictable.

How Do German Shepherds Cuddle?

If your German Shepherd enjoys cuddling, you may notice that they have certain preferred positions or behaviors. Here are some common ways that German Shepherds like to cuddle:

Lap Cuddling

Some German Shepherds enjoy sitting in their owner’s lap and snuggling. They may lean their head against their owner’s chest or shoulder, or curl up in a ball on their lap.

Side-by-Side Cuddling

German Shepherds may also enjoy lying next to their owners and leaning against them, with their body pressed against their owner’s leg or side.

Head-on-Lap Cuddling

In this position, a German Shepherd will lay their head on their owner’s lap and stretch out their body on the couch or floor. This position allows for maximum snuggles and pets.

Full-Body Cuddling

Some German Shepherds may enjoy lying on their back with their paws in the air, inviting their owner to rub their belly. Others may snuggle up against their owner and wrap their paws around them.


Reasons Why German Shepherds Like to Cuddle

German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. Cuddling can be a way for German Shepherds to show their love and strengthen their bond with their humans. Here are some reasons why German Shepherds like to cuddle:

They Miss You

If you’ve been away from home for a while, your German Shepherd may cuddle with you to show that they missed you. Cuddling can provide a sense of comfort and reassurance for your dog.


German Shepherds are intelligent and active dogs, so if they are not getting enough stimulation or exercise, they may become bored. Cuddling can provide a calming and comforting activity for them to do with their owner.

They Sense Your Love

German Shepherds are sensitive to their owner’s emotions and body language. Cuddling can be a way for them to feel your love and affection towards them.


Just like humans, dogs can experience stress and anxiety. Cuddling can be a way for your German Shepherd to calm down and feel more relaxed.

They Don’t Feel Well

If your German Shepherd is feeling unwell or is recovering from an injury, they may seek comfort in cuddling with their owner.

To Generate Body Heat

German Shepherds have a thick coat of fur, but they can still get cold. Cuddling can be a way for them to generate body heat and stay warm.

They’ Are Bonding With You

Cuddling can be a way for German Shepherds to strengthen their bond with their owner. It provides them with a sense of security and comfort.

They Are Displaying Subordination

In a pack hierarchy, dogs show subordination to their pack leader by offering affection and seeking physical contact. Cuddling can be a way for your German Shepherd to show that they recognize you as their leader.

They Feel Safe With You

Cuddling can provide a sense of security and safety for your German Shepherd. Being close to their owner can help them feel protected and secure.

They Like Your Smell

Dogs have a strong sense of smell, and they may enjoy cuddling with their owner to smell their scent and feel close to them.

Separation Anxiety

Some German Shepherds may experience separation anxiety when their owner leaves them alone. Cuddling can be a way for them to feel more secure and calm down.

Cuddling Releases Hormones

Cuddling can release hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins, which can help both you and your German Shepherd feel more relaxed and happy.

They May Be in Heat

Female German Shepherds may seek more physical contact with their owner when they are in heat. This can include more cuddling than usual.

Related Post: Why Is My German Shepherd So Small?

How Can I Encourage My German Shepherd to Cuddle?

Do German Shepherds like to cuddle

Encouraging your German Shepherd to cuddle can help strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. Here are some tips to encourage cuddling:

Provide Positive Reinforcement

When your German Shepherd cuddles with you, offer praise and treats to encourage the behavior. Positive reinforcement can help your dog associate cuddling with positive experiences.

Make Cuddling a Routine

Establishing a routine for cuddling can help your German Shepherd anticipate and look forward to cuddling time. Set aside specific times each day for cuddling, such as before bedtime or after a walk.

Make it Comfortable

Make sure that the area where you and your German Shepherd will cuddle is comfortable and relaxing. This can include a soft blanket or pillow, a cozy spot on the couch, or a warm bed.

Follow Your Dog’s Lead

Pay attention to your German Shepherd’s body language and cues to determine when they are open to cuddling. Some dogs may prefer certain positions or types of physical contact, so follow their lead.

Be Patient

Not all dogs are natural cuddlers, so it may take some time for your German Shepherd to feel comfortable cuddling with you. Be patient and don’t force the behavior, as this can create a negative association with cuddling.

When Not to Cuddle a German Shepherd

While cuddling can be a wonderful way to bond with your German Shepherd, there are some situations when it may not be appropriate. Here are some instances when you should avoid cuddling your German Shepherd:

During Meal Times

Avoid cuddling your German Shepherd while they are eating, as this can lead to food aggression or resource guarding.

When They Are Agitated or Stressed

If your German Shepherd is feeling agitated or stressed, cuddling may not be the best approach. Instead, provide a calm and quiet space for them to relax.

When They Are Sleeping

While it may be tempting to cuddle with your sleeping German Shepherd, it’s important to let them rest. Interrupting their sleep can lead to grumpiness or irritability.

When They Are Showing Signs of Illness

If your German Shepherd is showing signs of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea, it’s best to avoid cuddling them until they are feeling better. This can help prevent the spread of illness.

When You Are Angry or Upset

Dogs are sensitive to their owner’s emotions, so if you are angry or upset, cuddling may not be the best approach. Instead, take a break and allow yourself to calm down before cuddling with your German Shepherd.

When You Are Training Them

During training sessions, it’s important to maintain a consistent and focused environment. Cuddling can be a distraction and interfere with the training process.

How Long Does it Take to Bond with a German Shepherd?

Bonding with a German Shepherd can take time and patience, as every dog is unique and may have their own personality and temperament. Here are some factors that can affect how long it takes to bond with a German Shepherd:


Puppies may bond more quickly with their owners, as they are still developing their social skills and forming attachments. Adult dogs may take longer to bond, particularly if they have had previous owners or experienced trauma.

Past Experiences

If your German Shepherd has had negative experiences with humans in the past, they may be hesitant to bond with you. It’s important to be patient and provide a positive and nurturing environment to help them feel safe and secure.


Consistency is key when it comes to bonding with a German Shepherd. Regular exercise, training, and affection can help establish a routine and build trust between you and your dog.


Every dog has their own personality and temperament, which can affect how quickly they bond with their owner. Some German Shepherds may be more outgoing and social, while others may be more reserved or independent.


Training can be a great way to bond with your German Shepherd, as it provides a structured and positive environment for learning and communication. Training can also help establish a clear hierarchy and build trust between you and your dog.


Cuddling can be a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your German Shepherd, but it’s important to be aware of when it’s appropriate and when it’s not.

Observing your dog’s behavior and body language can help you identify the appropriate times for cuddling and when it’s best to avoid it.

Providing a positive and nurturing environment, being patient, and establishing a routine can all help encourage your German Shepherd to cuddle and bond with you.

Remember that every dog is unique and may have their own personality and needs, so it may take time and patience to establish a strong bond.

Be Sure to Check Out: German Shepherd Stacking

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