Do English Bulldogs Like Cuddling?

One of the things we love about dogs so much is that, when we need a good hug, a friendly face or someone to listen intently to our troubles, our canine companions do all of those things and more.

English bulldogs are snuggle monsters and love to cuddle. They are incredibly loving and affectionate, and are not afraid to show that affection. One way they do that is by resting their heads on you, or even curling up and sleeping on you whenever they get the chance.

A favorite benefit for most English bulldog owners is that their bullie buddy loves to cuddle, whether on the sofa, in a lounge chair, on the bed or, frankly, wherever you offer up your lap. It’s a wonderful feeling, no doubt, but why do they do it, and is cuddling a good habit or something that you should mostly avoid?

In this article, Do English Bulldogs Like Cuddling, we’ll look a little more closely at this cuddling conundrum, why most English bulldogs love it and the positives and negatives it presents. When you’re done reading, you’ll have a lot more knowledge about cuddling with your canine than you ever thought possible. Enjoy!

Why Do English Bulldogs Like to Cuddle?

If you’ve never been the proud parent of an English bulldog, then you’ve never experienced the profound amount of affection that they will lavish on you daily. One of the more devoted breeds of dogs, the average English bulldog is gentle and loving and, as they get older, even more so. As a doting doggie, you can expect your bulldog to not only want to cuddle but to insist that you cuddle.

But why do they want to cuddle so much? It’s easier to understand if you think of them more like a human child than a dog, and more specifically like a toddler of about 2 to 4 years old. Toddlers are ‘clingy’, to say the least, and stick to their momma’s side like glue most of the time. They seek constant attention and love, enjoy hugs and kisses and like to be the center of their mom and dad’s world. Plus, they love to cuddle. Like, seriously love to cuddle, at anytime and anywhere that mom and dad (or anyone else they trust) will give them the cuddling they desire.

An English bulldog fits that same description to a ‘T’. They seek attention and praise, pretty much non-stop. They also stick close their human mom and dad, usually most of the day if they can. Also, one of their great joys is when they get the full attention of anyone in the family. For those reasons, and more, cuddling is one of their favorite activities. Frankly, English bulldogs aren’t the most energetic of dogs either, due to their brachycephalic nature, and most would rather cuddle than, say, chase after the ball you’ve just thrown.

In short, English bulldogs love to cuddle because they are loving, caring and compassionate beasts who show and share their emotion and demand a lot of attention. If you’re contemplating adopting an English bullie and you’re not a big fan of cuddling, hugging and clingy-ness, you might want to consider another breed. If you do adopt an English bullie, however, you can expect to be loved-on for life by these adoring creatures.

Why Do Dogs Like to Cuddle and Be “Lap Dogs”?

Dean Koontz, the famous American author, once said that “Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation, and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” Anyone who has ever experienced the love and affection only a canine companion can bring knows exactly what Mr. Koontz is talking about.

We love dogs because we love to love on our dogs and, not surprisingly, they love to love us right back. To that end, cuddling and being ‘lap dogs’ is one of the activities that humans and dogs both enjoy profusely and something that brings profound joy and contentment for both species.

Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for decades and have found some interesting facts. For one, while most dogs like to be verbally praised, they love being touched much more. It seems that, just as humans need to be touched in order to be physically and mentally well, dogs need it just as much.

Cuddling, scientists have discovered, also releases a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brains of practically all vertebrates, especially mammals, sending signals to both the human and canine, that are pleasurable, comforting and peaceful. That’s likely the reason that oxytocin was given the nickname ‘the love hormone’ by researchers, and it’s also why oxytocin is one of the most important hormones involved in the phenomena of ‘social bonding’.

Maybe more interesting is the fact that dogs learned to love cuddling and being affectionate because they realized, a few thousand years ago, that it benefitted them. Intelligent and intuitive, it didn’t take canines long to learn that, if they gave love and affection to humans, they got love back, along with food, shelter, protection (and the warm coziness of an indoor fire). Cuddling and being lapdogs is simply an offshoot of this behavior, as well as their companionship and loyalty.

One thing to keep in mind about cuddling with you canine is this; in hotter weather, they may not like it as much. The average dog clocks in with a temperature between 101- and 102-degrees Fahrenheit, a few degrees higher than us humans, and so in hot weather they might not be as willing to bring it in close because they’re already too hot to begin with.

Is Cuddling with Bulldogs Healthy Psychologically for the Dog?

Yes, very much so. As we’ve discussed, dogs are highly social animals and have been made even more social over the millennia due to the intervention of humans. Wild dogs (where they still roam) are social animals and crave attention and affection nearly as much as humans. We’ve bred dogs to be less wild and so the affectionate side has been enhanced significantly.

Conversely, like a human child, a dog that’s ignored and doesn’t get the love and attention it needs could become quite psychologically damaged, so make sure to give your dog as much attention as they need and crave. Believe us, they will give that love and attention back to you in spades.

Why Do Some Bulldogs, and Some Dogs in General, Not Like to Cuddle?

This is an excellent question and one that has its roots in the individuality of dogs as well as the differences in dog breeds. Like humans, every dog is different (even though some breeds may look amazingly similar) as far as their personalities are concerned. Some dogs will like to cuddle a lot more than others, and some may not want to cuddle at all and try to move away if you come in close for one. It simply depends on the dog.

Then there’s the breed and genetics of the dog which, in some cases, will determine if cuddling and closeness are needed and desired or, well, the opposite of those things. Working dogs like the Alaskan Malamute aren’t big on cuddling but are certainly friendly and loving dogs. Chow Chows, on the other hand, aren’t big on cuddling at all, and neither are Bloodhounds and Salukis. Surprisingly, American Pit Bull Terriers love to cuddle (in most cases) and so do Greyhounds and Great Danes!

Whether or not a dog will enjoy cuddling depends on a few factors, including.

  • Their breed
  • Their genetics
  • The way they were raised (their environment)
  • Their specific personality

Keep in mind that, while the average English bulldog will usually love cuddling more than life itself, some might not want to cuddle as often and others not at all. It really depends on the dog.

How To Train Your Bulldog to Cuddle?

Training a bulldog, or any dog for that matter, to cuddle starts when they are puppies. You need to get them used to cuddling and being close so that they know it’s OK and that it brings good feelings and a sense of comfort. Here are a few ways to do that.

  • Feed them by hand rather than letting them eat out of a bowl
  • Roll them on their side and rub their belly in small, gentle circles. Let them know it’s ok with soft, gentle words
  • Gently hug them for only a second or two, but do this often and for a longer time each time as they get used to it
  • Place them on your lap but don’t let them play. Instead, pet them and tell them ‘relax’

What Are the Dog Breeds Which are Most Cuddly?

There are quite a few breeds that really love cuddling and thank goodness because we humans love it too! They include, in no particular order.

  • English Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • American Bulldog
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Newfoundland
  • Great Danes
  • Collie
  • Maltese
  • Poodle
  • Newfoundland

What Are the Dog Breeds Which are Least Cuddly?

Some dogs just don’t get down for the cuddling, including.

  • Chow Chow
  • Bloodhound
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Afghan Hound
  • Saluki
  • Shar Pei
  • Basenji

Are there Products that can Help Your Dog to Feel Cuddled When You aren’t Around?

There are indeed! If you’re out a lot but want to give your dog something to cuddle with here are a few suggestions.

  • Furhaven Cuddle Bed
  • Luxury Cozy Cave
  • SPOT Sleep Zone Cuddle Cave
  • Cozy Cuddler
  • SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy


Your English bulldog, and many other dog breeds, love to cuddle and, in fact, need to cuddle in order to feel loved, wanted and appreciated. (Sounds pretty human, doesn’t it?) Your job as their owner (and, really, it’s more a pleasure than a job) is to make sure they get the affection and cuddles they need to feel safe, content and happy.


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