Touch is a basic way pet parents and dogs connect. However, some dogs don't enjoy petting, preferring to skip physical contact.
Reasons for a dog's aversion to cuddling can include previous abuse, pain, wrong petting technique, or simply their inherent nature.
Dogs show their dislike for petting in ways like walking away, ducking their head, or displaying subtle "calming signals".
With a gentle approach and patience, non-cuddly dogs can learn to appreciate touch. The key is to let your dog be in control.
Watch your dog's body language for clues about their comfort with physical contact. Let them guide the intensity and duration of touch.
A "pet test" can help gauge a dog's feelings about physical contact. Give a few gentle rubs, then stop and observe their reaction.
Even if your dog doesn't enjoy cuddling, there are many other ways they show their love. Understanding and respecting their space is key.