Do Australian Shepherds Like to Cuddle (Solved!)

Australian Shepherd is known for being one of the most well-loved dog breeds out there.

Whether it is helping you out at home, listening to your commands, or simply being obedient during training sessions, they are always the first to give you the daily dose of love and affection to make your day.

However, do Australian Shepherds like to cuddle?

Here’s a complete guide to help you answer all of your swarming questions in mind and create a stronger bond with your little fur buds.

So, sit back and get ready to get showered by your Aussie’s affection!


Are Australian Shepherds Affectionate?

Australian Shepherd by Ted Van Pelt (CC BY 2.0)

By nature, Australian Shepherds are people’s pleasures, making them one of the most affectionate dogs you can have as pets.

They love people but bear in mind they only show these sensitive sides to the people they care about the most.

So expect them to stay slightly off in front of strangers.

In fact, studies show that having a loving dog like an Australian Shepherd can be a great way to make your family healthier and lower stress levels in both adults and kids.

And the best part, you will also get to enjoy how these Aussies can help you relax using their thick and soft furs to help you forget all the worries in your mind.

That said, unlike humans, dogs, in general, have a very different way of showing this love for their owners.

Here’s how you can see that:

How do Australian Shepherds Show Affection?

Australian Shepherds, when they start to trust someone, they give them their best.

Surprisingly, although they are very affectionate, they rarely act vulnerable in front of their owners.

Therefore, they have a unique way of expressing their love and affection towards the people they genuinely love.

Bring on the Toys

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Aussies are playful and always on the run to do some physical activity. However, they don’t just like to do things with everyone.

Therefore, if you see them bringing toys over to you, this can be a significant sign of affection.

Considering their picky nature, you should try to play with them every time they bring up the toys.

It is essential to retain trust.

Belly Rubs

Dogs are quite sensitive about their bellies. There is something that makes them uncomfortable to show their bellies to the people around them.

If your dog rolls over or sleeps on its back, this can mean they have tremendous trust in you.

These high intelligence breeds can always sense emotion and whether you love them in the same way.

Thus, it’s never a bad idea to return the favor and show how much you appreciate their openness.

This will only help to make your bond stronger with time.

Physical Affection

As a general rule of thumb, every dog who’s affectionate towards its owner is going to wag his tail.

But when it comes to Australian Shepherds, they also have many other ways to show their love and trust to the owners.

This can include licking your face once you wake up in the morning, making eye contact, leaning against you, or perhaps keeping their paws on you.

As they are stubborn, it can sometimes be hard to make them do something.

When they truly love you, you won’t have to keep up with their stubborn nature, and everything will go smoothly between you two.

If you have a big family, chances are, they may not be this open to everyone in the house.

So if they do it to you, know you’re very special to them.

Do Australian Shepherds Like to Cuddle?

As Aussies are one of the most affectionate dog breeds, you can say they love to cuddle as well.

They love to be around their owners and enjoy personal attention in everything they do.

You can also expect the unexpected and prepare yourself for those cute random hugs to fill your days with happiness.

They are prone to be clingy, and if you are not around them can give them separation anxiety.

Therefore, you will also see them occasionally worrying about you. But that was it for selective people.

How much they like to cuddle in general will depend on their upbringing and how much time they spent socializing with others.

They indeed love being around humans more than other dogs.

However, the stubborn nature and difficulty opening up can make it slightly difficult for them to cuddle with anyone.

Unless you have given proper training, you are also likely to see them distancing away or even barking at strangers to indicate their lack of interest and annoyance.

But when it comes to you, these loyal breeds love acting like a friend, following you crave quality time together, and find ways of remaining close to you.

In fact, there are times when they are more affectionate and cuddly than normal. These situations are:

When It’s Cold

If it’s cold outside, they will cuddle you to get the ever needed warmth and sleep in peace.

When They Are Scared

If they frequently cuddle with you, this could mean they are simply uncomfortable or nervous.

This especially happens after a long day with strangers when they are tired and intimidated by all the people.

To Relieve Stress

During times of stress, cuddling can surely alleviate signs of anxiety and release a happy chemical called Oxytocin, not just to make your dog happy but you too.

To Express Their Affection

Just like humans, you can expect them to show sudden bursts of affection by placing their head on your leg or keeping their paw on you.

When to Back Off

It is good to have your fur buddy this affectionate; but it is also important to give them their space to grow around others and socialize with the rest of the family and friends.

This will help them be less clingy when you are busy and make them more comfortable.

This can also lead them to be overprotective of your family.

To avoid this, practice when to back off their overly affectionate nature and not make the bonding annoying.

When They Are Hot Or Frustrated

Your dog doesn’t always have to initiate cuddles. You can do it too; however, make sure they are in the right mood.

Not just for dogs, but anyone can get annoyed if you cuddle them at the wrong time, especially when they are hot and their thick coat needs time to cool down.

They Are In Pain

You could trigger some of their painful areas if they have injured themselves. If this is the case, you better take them to the vet.

You Cuddle Too Tight

You could suffocate your dog by cuddling them too hard.

If not that, pulling on their thick coat or holding them tightly can make them feel smothered, which they absolutely hate.

Your Dog Isn’t One Of Those Affectionate Ones

All dogs come with their own individual personality, and if they aren’t showing enough affection, in the beginning, it’s simply because it’s not in their personality or they haven’t formed that bond with you yet.

However, this isn’t always the case. If your dog isn’t affectionate or has been acting weird.

These could be the reasons:

Health Issues

Considering how they are always so hyped up, it can be easier to find out if something is wrong when they stop being affectionate.

Although it is slightly hard to find out if Australian Shepherds like to cuddle, paying a visit to your vet can be a great idea to ensure their health is in check.

Cuddling Is Not Their Way Of Showing Love

If your little furry friend isn’t affectionate, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love you. Dogs have quite different ways of showing affection.

And cuddling may not be their route of showering you with his love.

Therefore, pay attention to other things they do that can indicate their love for you. (Spoiler alert: I’ll be talking about that in a while).

Fearful Event Or Depressed

A death of a family member, changing diet, or anything fearful can put your dog in a state of depression and make it harder to have the same lively energy and be affectionate.

In these cases, try to take them outdoors or even on a family trip to help freshen up their mind and come up with new and loving energy.

All in all, whatever the case is, as they can’t communicate with you in a way humans do, you need to pay close attention to their behavior.

Appreciate the normal one and consider any irregularities that you see to consult a vet and fix the problem immediately.

How To Tell If Your Australian Shepherd Loves You?

As mentioned earlier, Australian Shepherds have unique personalities. So there is nothing that can guarantee their affection towards you.

However, here are some of the standard ways Australian shepherds can show their love towards you.

Defend Their Family

When threatened, Australian Shepherds will do anything to defend their family, which is the biggest indicator of showing their love for you.

However, as amazing as it may sound, it can actually be quite offensive for others. He might think of a stranger as a threat and can harm them.

This is especially true if you haven’t trained him to socialize or control his destructive behavior.

But coming back to the point, a slight defensive behavior can be a healthy way to show their affection towards you and your family.

They Get Excited To Greet You

You entered your house only to see your Aussie jumping on you and licking your face?

Believe it or not, he has been waiting for you since the time you left the house!

Yes, you read the right. You will also see him being vulnerable around you, which isn’t easy for them to do.

Follow Your Orders

Sure, training is important, but at times, even after rigorous training, you will get to see your stubborn Australian Shepherd struggling to stay disciplined or control their aggressive behavior on your command.

However, if they truly want to show love to you, they are likely to listen to you and trust you to take care of things.

Noses You

If you see dogs nosing, it means they want to know where you have been and whether you are okay.

An obvious way to show affection to someone is to worry about them, and that’s exactly what they do when it comes to nosing you and finding out if you are healthy and where you have been all along.

Make Eye Contact to Resonate Trust

Let’s get a little bit of science here.

As a general rule of thumb, when dogs look in the eyes of their owners, it releases Oxytocin which can also be released while they are cuddling.

As a result, it improves your bonding with your dog and makes it more enjoyable to look them in the eye.

However, Australian Shepherds aren’t known to do this frequently, so it’s surely a sign that he loves you beyond imagination if they are doing it to you.

Licks You

Dogs usually lick when they are submissive or want to groom someone.

Whether it is waking up to them licking or entering the house with a warm hug and licks, it definitely indicates his love and respect for you.


Australian Shepherds are known to be one of the most popular dog breeds out there.

The way they show love and affection to their owners can make it a big part of the reason.

However, one thing to bear in mind is that they are also equally intelligent the more loving they are.

So if you are neglecting this affection and constantly ignoring them, don’t expect them to remain the same.

Always try your best to spend time with them and appreciate their kindness to encourage this behavior and make them feel an important part of your life.

They are truly not the ones who will give up on you, or casually cuddles and hugs are the least you could do to give something back to them.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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