I’ll frequently lie down for a quick nap on the floor, on the back deck, or even on the grass in the backyard, especially if there’s a bit of sunny warmth to enjoy. Inevitably, one of my two seventy-five pound Golden Retrievers lays down with me, wiggling and squirming and pressing until they are as close to me as they can get. For me, as for any real “dog person”, it’s a nice experience. Many others report having experienced the closeness of having their dog lie right against them, or perhaps even on top of them, and many report that their dog leans against them frequently.
Why do dogs lie so close to you? What drives them to want to be so close? All these I-want-to-be-close type behaviours can be explained by considering the real nature of our domesticated dogs, and the fact that all canines are pack animals.
Understanding the Canine Pack Instincts
Next time you have the opportunity, watch a litter of newly born puppies. You’ll notice that when they aren’t nursing or crawling around, they will likely be sleeping in a “dog pile” with their littermates. Right from birth, dogs have the instinct to seek and feel comfort and security by being close to their packmates.
The world can be a frightening, unpredictable place, and being part of a pack makes it all a lot easier.
When your dog cuddles up with you, they are acknowledging that you are a member of its pack. It’s a sign of affection, closeness, and connection, and your ‘furkid’ is saying that it feels safe to be with you. It’s a continuation of the bonding process that began when you and your dog first met each other. Your dog is reassured by your presence and it needs constant confirmation that you are there for him. To provide this reassurance and confirmation, allow your dog to remain close beside you for at least a few minutes, as pushing them away could cause your dog to wonder about your role in its life, especially if it happens repeatedly. Being close to you makes them happy, makes them feel safe, and gives them comfort. Never lose sight of the fact that to your dog, you’re not a human, but rather an odd, two legged member of his pack!
Are Certain Dog Breeds More Affectionate?
While on the subject of canine affection, we were wondering whether there is any evidence that certain dog breeds show more affection to their humans than others. A search of the internet yielded numerous lists, with titles such as “Top 10 Affectionate Dog Breeds”, “The 15 Most Affectionate Breeds”, and even “The 25 Dog Breeds Known to Be Affectionate”. This is no means scientific, but we had a bit of fun reviewing about ten such lists, and came up with the “Top Six”. Here they are, and let the arguments begin:
- Golden Retriever
- English Bulldog
- Labrador Retriever
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Bichon Frise
If you have one of these super affectionate doggies in your family, feel free to stroll by and we’d be happy to volunteer some doggy hugs!
Here are the directions to our store.
Happy Dog Cuddles!!