Do Portuguese Water Dogs Like to Cuddle? 3 Reasons + More to Know

Photo from: mystiandusva (IG)

Known for their gentle and soul-melting looks, the Portuguese Water Dogs love to cuddle with their family. As puppies, they tend to rest on your lap often as they’re cute and easy to carry. And as they grow older, they retain this cuddly behavior, especially when they’re seeking warmth.

As dog owners, I advise you not to cuddle your dog every time, no matter how tempting it can be. Instead, let your pooch initiate the interaction, so they won’t feel like they’re being dominated and forced to cuddle. It defeats the purpose of them actually enjoying it. 

Learn more about your Portie’s behavior when it comes to bonding time through this article.

Are Portuguese Water Dogs Affectionate?

Portuguese Water Dogs are known to be one of the affectionate breeds. They crave human love and attention hence why they’re also deemed to be people-pleasers. They develop an even deeper bond with that family member who provides their meals. Or the one that spends most of their time with these dogs.

To add, upbringing is vital in molding the behavior of the Portie. You, as a dog parent, should teach them how to properly show their affectionate side. This is because your Portie may tend to be rambunctious given their puppy-like nature. 

Learn more about the breed here: Portuguese Water Dog 101: The Essential Guide

Are Portuguese Water Dogs Needy?

Given that your Portie has established a meaningful bond with you, it’s to be expected that they show neediness. That means they’ll constantly keep their family in check. Or try to rest in the same area where their owners are. 

This makes them prone to separation anxiety. When your Portie is overly attached to you, they dislike it when you’re both separated from each other. When this happens, your Portie will show certain behavioral signs, according to one study:

  • Panting a lot.
  • Overgrooming.
  • Whining too much.
  • Body shaking uncontrollably.

Tip: To treat separation anxiety, Portie owners should train and help their dogs associate their absence with positive experiences. Like giving them a treat before your departure.

3 Reasons Why Portuguese Water Dogs Like to Cuddle

It’s certainly fun to have some time with your Portie dog. After a long day at work, their cheerful greeting and the rapid tail wagging can relieve you from being stressed and tired. Once you’ve settled down and you’ve turned the TV on, your Portie will jump on the couch with you for these 3 reasons:

1. To Feel Secured

Your Portie prefers snoozing only when he feels safe and secured. And, there’s no other perfect place to do that but to be beside you or to be on your lap as you sit on the sofa. 

Trust is very important since you can’t expect your pooch to feel comfortable around someone with whom he had a bad experience. But, if you treat them well, there’s no doubt your Portie will choose you to be their pillow. 

2. For Warmth

It’s part of any dog’s instinct to huddle with their packs to maintain their body’s normal temperature. Since your Portuguese Water Dog is a descendant of the wolf, according to research, the same behavior can be witnessed despite them becoming domesticated pets.

So, when it gets chilly, your  Portie’s first thought would be to go looking for you. It’s even perfect if you have your blanket on while you chill on the couch. They’ll jump on you and doze off for a while.

3. To Show Love

There are so many ways your Portie can show their love and affection to you. Aside from the usual tail wag every time they see you or the big, soulful eyes they exhibit, cuddling is also a hint you should notice.

It’s been shown by a study that cuddling with dogs helps lower stress, anxiety, and depression. Of course, the same effect can be felt by your furry companion. Another finding says that having animal companions can increase your lifespan.

Learn more about: How Long Do Portuguese Water Dogs Live? 5 Factors That Affect His Lifespan

Why Some Portuguese Water Dogs Don’t Like to Cuddle

1. Bad Experiences

Not all Portuguese Water Dogs are okay with being cuddled. A few of them may act so independently that they won’t ever think they need it, while others simply find it unenjoyable. It can be related to their past bad experiences with cuddling.

One example is if they’ve been forced to cuddle. Remember, this can be a stubborn pooch that can think for themselves. And the last thing they like is to be obliged to cuddle with their owner. 

2. It’s Too Hot

Don’t take it personally. Your Portie loves you, no doubt. But it’s simply not the best time to cuddle if the day’s too hot and humid. Cuddles are great only when it’s chilly. 

Also, your gregarious companion doesn’t sweat out through their skin. Instead, they try to maintain their normal body temperature by panting and sweating through their paw pads. With that, they’re extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. If they don’t want to cuddle, they simply don’t want extra heat.

3. It’s Just Their Personality

Although the Portuguese Water Dog breed is described to be affectionate, it doesn’t automatically mean that all of them are cuddly. Just like humans, dogs are also different. They’re individuals with different personalities.

Some wouldn’t like being cuddled because they have so much energy and zest to go out and explore the yard. They don’t have time to slow down and relax with you.

Meanwhile, some just like the feeling of being unrestrained. They’d rather sleep in their doggy beds or anywhere in the corner but not in your lap or bed.  

4. They’re Not Used to It

Your relationship with your Portuguese Water Dog and the dynamics of it plays a big role in how your dog becomes and behaves. Raising them as a puppy and helping them get used to being cuddled will program them to think that this activity is a normal routine.

Also, they would be open to receiving affection from other humans too. They have simply realized early that it’s nice to feel the love of humans by getting wrapped up in a blanket with arms around them.

Can I Teach My Portuguese Water Dog How to Cuddle?

You can teach your Portuguese Water Dog how to cuddle. You can start by encouraging them to sit still and relax beside you. Give them treats to reinforce their good behavior. Also, make them understand that you’re a safe place to be with.

Learn how your Portie behaves, and don’t ignore their body language. If the pooch looks uncomfortable and unwilling to participate, give them some time before you continue this drill.

Do remember as well to hold back from squeezing them tightly. Getting kissed and constantly pinched on the cheeks can upset or even stress your dog out. If you continue doing these things despite your dog’s protests, you might end up getting bitten. 

Get more info here: Are Portuguese Water Dogs Easy to Train? 4 Reasons and 7 Training Tips