Do Poodles Like To Be Hugged?

Humans are incredibly social creatures that often show affection through physical contact, like hugs. When you have a Poodle, it’s natural to want to hug it to show your affection for your loyal companion.

What happens if your Poodle doesn’t want to be hugged and cuddled? Let’s explore how to determine if your Poodle wants to be hugged and how you can help your furry friend enjoy being hugged. Do Poodles like to be hugged?

do poodles like to be hugged

Why Doesn’t My Poodle Want To Be Hugged?

Poodles are widely considered to be an affectionate breed. While this is true, animal behavior experts have determined that most dogs, regardless of breed, do not enjoy being hugged.

A 2016 study conducted by Dr. Stanley Coren studied photographs of dogs being hugged and found that in 204 of the 250 pictures studied the dog was showing signs of stress caused by the hug.

Hugging your Poodle sends mixed messages. Dogs don’t show each other affection by hugging. When you hug your Poodle, it feels as though you are trapping it. A Poodle held in a hug is unable to move away from something that may stress or scare it.

Hugging your Poodle can translate as an act of aggression toward your furry friend. The direct eye contact, staring, and the proximity of your face to your Poodle during a hug can be misinterpreted as aggressive behavior and lead to an increased stress level.

It’s important to note that some dogs may enjoy being hugged, some may be indifferent and accept it, and others may be uncomfortable.

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How To Help Your Poodle Enjoy Hugs

Some Poodles may grow to enjoy hugs and cuddles from their human companions. Several steps can be taken to increase the odds of your Poodle enjoying hugs.

a happy poodle being cuddled

Start Young

Familiarizing your Poodle with hugs and other types of close physical contact can help it build a positive association with hugs. Younger dogs are generally considered more adaptable, so familiarizing your Poodle with hugs and cuddles as a puppy can help it learn to enjoy them.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is an excellent tool to help your Poodle become more comfortable with hugs. When your Poodle calmly allows you to hug or cuddle it, utilizing positive reinforcement can help build a positive reaction to being hugged.

Use positive reinforcement to reward your Poodle for allowing you to hug it:

  • Offer a treat.
  • Play tug, fetch, or similar activities your Poodle enjoys.
  • Offer verbal praise.

Making it a positive experience every time your Poodle allows you to hug it will go a long way towards helping your Poodle enjoy hugs.

a woman hugging a poodle

Watch for Signs of Stress

Watching your Poodle for signs of stress, and backing away when you notice them can help prevent your Poodle from associating hugs with stress and uneasiness. There are several common indicators of stress that you should watch for when hugging your Poodle:

  • Growling
  • Whining
  • Widened eyes with whites showing
  • Tucked ears
  • Lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Leaning and looking away to avoid eye contact

If you notice your Poodle showing signs of stress while being hugged, release it from the hug and allow it to show affection on its terms.

It’s important to remember that you can’t force your Poodle to enjoy hugs. Use other ways to show your affection to your hug-averse Poodle.

Do Toy Poodles Enjoy Hugs?

Toy Poodles are lap dogs and are often considered the most affectionate variety of Poodles. However, there is no guarantee that your Toy Poodle will enjoy being hugged.

Your Toy Poodle’s breeder may be able to provide a temperament history that can give you insight into how likely it is to enjoy hugs. Using positive reinforcement while your Toy Poodle is young can help it become accustomed to hugs and cuddles.

an affectionate poodle and owner outdoors

Do Miniature Poodles Enjoy Hugs?

Miniature Poodles may enjoy being hugged, as it depends on your dog. You can improve the odds of your Miniature Poodle enjoying hugs by asking for a temperament history from your breeder and using positive reinforcement from a young age to help it grow accustomed to hugs.

Do Standard Poodles Enjoy Hugs?

Standard Poodles may or may not enjoy hugs, as it depends on their temperament and preferences. Standard Poodles are affectionate dogs.

You can increase the chances of cuddly behavior and the acceptance of hugs by ensuring that hugging is a voluntary and stress-free activity for your Standard Poodle every time.

What To Do if Your Poodle Doesn’t Enjoy Hugs

If your Poodle is stressed out or uncomfortable with hugs, there are still ways to show your Poodle you care.

Physical Affection

If you’re looking to provide your hug-averse Poodle with physical affection, you have several options. Offer belly rubs, back scratches, or gentle pats to show your Poodle you care without hugging it.

Alternatively, sit down on the couch or a chair and allow your Poodle to love up on you on its terms.


Activities that you can do with your Poodle to show you care for it without hugging it include playing tug, fetch, or any game your Poodle enjoys. Go for a walk, explore a new area, or use puzzle toys to provide mental stimulation for your hug-averse Poodle.

Let Your Poodle Come to You

If your Poodle hates hugs, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t enjoy being close to you on its terms. Allow your Poodle to come to you when it feels physically affectionate. If your Poodle doesn’t enjoy hugs, it may enjoy sitting in your lap or beside you on a couch or chair.

A hug-averse Poodle could also prefer leaning against your legs or sitting near your feet.


So, do Poodles like to be hugged? Poodles can show their affection for their humans in a variety of ways. If your Poodle enjoys hugs, hug away! If your Poodle doesn’t enjoy hugs, it doesn’t mean that you can’t show your affection for your furry friend in ways that your Poodle enjoys.

Belly rubs, games of fetch, and simply sitting near each other on the couch are all ways to show your Poodle that you care about and respect it.

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