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Do Australian Shepherds Like to Cuddle? Breed Facts & FAQ

Misty Layne Profile Picture

By Misty Layne

Man Carrying a Australian Shepherd Dog Beside a Woman

If you’ve just adopted or are thinking about adopting an Australian Shepherd, then you probably know a bit about the dog, such as how this breed is a strong working pup with excellent herding instincts. What you might not know is whether the Australian Shepherd is affectionate or likes to cuddle. After all, all dogs are great, but sometimes you just want a super cuddly, furry friend to watch Netflix with (and some breeds just aren’t that affectionate).

Good news! The Australian Shepherd certainly can be affectionate and enjoy cuddling. That’s surprising to some, considering the breed’s reputation for herding and guarding and its high-energy nature. But it’s true. However, it might take your pet a little time to become cuddly with you.

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The Temperament of the Australian Shepherd

Besides being high-energy and work-oriented, the Australian Shepherd is known for being intelligent, loyal, and affectionate with its people. The breed does tend to be wary of strangers, though they are generally friendly with all. But this does mean it could take a bit of time for a new pup to warm up to you and the family.

Because of their active natures and drive, it’s best to keep this breed engaged by giving them jobs around the home or with plenty of playtime and walks. The Australian Shepherd will love accompanying you on runs and hikes and will enjoy puzzle toys while at home. Just be sure to keep them busy, or you’ll have a bored puppy on your hands!

So, how does that general friendliness and playful nature with the family translate into cuddles?

Mother and daughter relaxing with australian shepherd
Image Credit: Altrendo Images, Shutterstock

Australian Shepherds & Cuddling

Your Australian Shepherd will be willing to cuddle with you for several reasons. It may want to huddle with you to keep warm on a cold day, snuggle up to show affection, or take a nap after a bout of play. Your pup might also want a cuddle if it’s feeling anxious or stressed.

Studies have shown that dog and human interactions produce the same sort of happiness and bonding feedback loop that human mothers get with their babies. Being affectionate and cuddly with you may also help your pup feel safer in a situation where it’s nervous. Finally, your Australian Shepherd may curl up with you if it’s feeling protective of you.

As you can see, Australian Shepherds can be quite cuddly indeed! However, there are also reasons your pet may not be cuddly that often (or in general). One reason is your dog’s age—puppies are less likely to want to lounge around with you as they will be more high-energy and active. As your dog ages, though, and becomes calmer, it should be more willing to cuddle.

But dogs are also individuals, and it may turn out that your pup is just particularly reserved and not fond of cuddliness. Other reasons your pet may decide it’s not in the mood for a snuggle include feeling ill and not wanting to be touched, being cuddled in a way it dislikes, or feeling too hot to cuddle.

Finally, your dog’s background might have your pet unwilling to cuddle. If your dog comes from a breeder, this is less likely to be the case, but if you adopt your pup from a shelter or elsewhere, you won’t have a good idea of its background. Not all animals at shelters have been neglected or abused by their former owners, but unfortunately, some have. If your pet is one of them, it may not feel safe being affectionate and cuddly.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, Australian Shepherds are friendly and affectionate, especially with their families. Due to their tendency to be wary of strangers, though, it might take your new pet some time to warm up to you enough to be willing to cuddle. But this breed certainly will cuddle for many reasons. However, there are also several reasons your pup could end up not being a big cuddler. It just depends on your pet’s personality and background (and how good you are at cuddling).

But if you’re considering adopting an Australian Shepherd, you certainly don’t have to be concerned about this breed not being affectionate!

Featured Image Credit: Cottonbro, Pexels

Misty Layne Profile Picture

Authored by

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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