cocker spaniel cuddle time
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Do Cocker Spaniels Like To Cuddle? 15 Dog Parents Share

Cockers look like stuffed animals, so people often ask if Cocker Spaniels like to cuddle. Above all, he must be free and merry is part of the Cocker’s breed standard, so of course, people want to snuggle up with them. Cockers are affectionate dogs who love spending time with their people and tend to be velcro dogs who won’t want to leave your side.

So do Cocker Spaniels like to cuddle? Yes, sometimes and depending on the Cocker in general. Not every dog likes to cuddle, and not every Cocker wants to be snuggled tight as if they are a stuffed animal. They look precious and oh-so-huggable, so we asked 15 Cocker parents to weigh in as to whether their Cocker likes to cuddle or not. As a dog mom to both a female and a male Cocker Spaniel, my answer might surprise you.

Sometimes Cockers want to get so close to their human, it seems as though they are trying to become a layer of your skin. Some Cockers are content to cuddle with anyone from the vet tech to the neighbor next door and even the mailman! Other Cocker Spaniels aren’t fond of being snuggled close. They may want to be in the same room with you or even share the same couch or chair, but they may not enjoy feeling overly nuzzled. Read on for some tips on cuddling a Cocker and what to do if your Cocker Spaniel just isn’t into nuzzling up close.

cocker spaniel likes to cuddle his mom
Dexter loves to snuggle and cuddle with me.

Do Cocker Spaniels Like To Cuddle?

Many Cockers enjoy get up close and personal on their human’s lap, chest, head, face (it’s true), or right by their side. Some people love the idea of cozying up on the couch at night, watching television, and having a Cocker Spaniel cuddled up with them. Some Cockers can’t get enough of their human’s touch while others are simply just not into it.

As a general rule, many Cocker Spaniels like to cuddle but there are always exceptions. It also depends on what you define as “cuddle.” I’ve seen a funny meme floating around that says “I tell my dog I love him as he tries to free himself from my tight clutch.” While that causes a chuckle, some dogs don’t like feeling out of control or held so close that they may growl or snap back to show the person how they feel.

There are two types of Cocker Spaniels: the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. While there are slight differences in their size and features, when we discuss Cocker Spaniels in this piece, we are referring to both American and English Cockers and if they like to cuddle.

Cocker Spaniels have a long, luxurious coat that simply begs to be touched. Coupled with their long, fluffy, pendulous ears, it’s incredibly hard to keep one’s hands to one’s self when in the presence of a Cocker Spaniel, especially one in full coat. Let’s talk about that adorable muzzle of the Cocker. They look like walking teddy bears for fuzz sake, making them enticing to pet, snuggle, and cuddle with.

If a Cocker Spaniel doesn’t belong to you and you happen to see one out in public, always ask first if the dog is okay with being touched or petted. We live in different times, and not every dog wants a stranger’s hands on them. Also, if you attend a benched dog show like the Westminster Kennel Club Show and there are Cocker Spaniels lined up, always ask before laying your hands on them. Groomers and handlers take enormous amounts of time into getting the perfect look with every hair in place.

Wondering if a Cocker Spaniel is right for you? < ==== Click to read my article on the topic.

Cocker Spaniel Parents Bark Back About Cuddling A Cocker

My first Cocker Spaniel was a puppy mill rescue dog named Brandy Noel. She was clingy, loving, adorable, and looked like Lady from Lady and the Tramp. Little kids would often come up to her and yell, “Lady!” She was always friendly around people, but she did not like strangers trying to cuddle or smother her. I would let people know this in advance or Brandy’s guttural warning “grrr” could be heard. She would never bite or snap, but she would let people know not to invade her space by cuddling her.

Me with our belated Cocker Spaniel, Brandy Noel.

Whenever my wife and I would try to get Brandy to snuggle close to us, she would allow it for a few seconds and then do that “let me down now” writhing movement dogs do to get free from their owner’s loving clutch. She did want to be near us, would sleep in the same bed, and would follow us from room to room. She did not want to be cuddled and snuggled tight. So we respected that and advise all dog owners to do the same. Give your Cocker Spaniel space and be clear with kids about do’s and don’ts around dogs.

I asked 15 Cocker Spaniel moms and dads if their Cocker Spaniel likes to cuddle, and this is what they said (along with some incredibly precious photos:)

“Fred was a huge cuddle bug,” Los Angeles Cocker mom Jenine Yee says. “He always had to be touching me. Even when he was in full-on snoring mode, he would scooch closer if I moved away.”

do cocker spaniels like to cuddle

Sadie, however, does not like to cuddle, according to her mom, Nicole Cabler. Sadies must have her favorite blanket, and it doesn’t matter which one. So some Cocker Spaniels cuddle, but perhaps not with their human.

cocker spaniel sleeping

Keeping it all in the family, Michigan dog mom Dana Green has three cuddly dogs: Two Cockers named Sammy and Jackson, and a Rat Terrier dog named Reagan. They all love to cuddle with her husband.

2 dogs cuddling with owner

Colleen O’Fallon is the founder of Sweet Paws Bakery in Florida, and in her down time she loves to be with her husband and Cockers, who are major snugglers. She says Abby and Parker cuddle up with her all the time.

two cocker spaniels cuddling

“Punchy loves to cuddle, but also lets you know when he wants some alone time,” according to Brittany Pittman Howard of North Carolina. “He especially loves to take naps with his dad, after working hard in the garden.”

cocker spaniel snuggling with his dad

Dexter is my 12-years-young Cocker Spaniel and he is a cuddlebug of the highest order. He loves to curl up in bed next to us, sometimes sleeps with his chin on our heads, and will often throw his body across our legs on the couch.

why do i fear my dog dying

When it comes to Cocker puppies, two Canadian dog moms have something to say about the snuggle factor. Sherri Telenko has a “Sprocker” (part Cocker) named Victoria who recently snuggled with a shop owner as Sherri browsed around. Kelly Ladouceur says Baby Zoe is a mega cuddler.

cocker spaniel puppy cuddling
cocker spaniel wants to cuddle

Marie Waltz piles her Cocker Spaniels with her into a hammock and they can’t get close enough to her. Harper, Piper, Skylar hang out in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with their mom.

do cockers like cuddling

Rebecca Smith Tolbert can’t seem to find any space on the couch, but that’s totally okay with the Colorado dog mama. Eliot and Jack find their own spots on and around her for maximum comfort.

do cockers like to snuggle

Booker loves to cuddle, but it seems like he also loves to watch over his mama, Wisconsin resident, Kelly Greb, too. It is said a picture says a thousand words, so we’ll just leave this cuddlefest here.

cocker spaniel cuddles with mom

Naomi Lukaszewski is one of my personal dog mama heroes. She and her husband have fostered close to 120 Cocker Spaniels. Opie, the dog she owns, like to snuggle and cuddle extra close to her, especially if California couple has a new foster dog in the house. Finders keepers, right Opie?

cocker cuddling up with mom

With a name like Baby Cakes, there’s got to be some snuggling involved, right? Sue Havens gets lots of cuddles with her Cocker from Greenville, South Carolina.

do cocker spaniels like to cuddle

Baxter loves to cuddle and stare at his mom, Jessica Guthrie from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

cocker spaniel cuddles with his mom

Bella Rue can’t get close enough to her California mom, Janet Berru.

cocker spaniel asks to cuddle

How Can I Make My Cocker Spaniel Cuddle With Me?

Not all dogs like to cuddle, so don’t force the issue. Most Cocker Spaniels will come to you if they feel like cuddling or snuggling.

If you’ve rescued a Cocker Spaniel or are fostering one, they may not want to be cuddled or snuggled. If they are fearful of certain touches or movements perhaps from being abused or living a life as a stray, then cuddling can be detrimental to their progress.

Famed dog trainer Laurie C. Williams, the founder of Pup N’ Iron Canine Enrichment Center, says some dogs view hugging as a form of restraint and restraint can “cause a dog to become defensive and push it into flight or fight mode.”

She says the majority of dog bites that occur involve children under the age of 11 and happen by a dog the child knows. Most dog bites can be prevented by employing some common sense and proactive measures including:

  • Supervising all interactions between dogs and young children
  • Not forcing a dog to cuddle or snuggle if they are not interested
  • Understanding that Cockers, and all dogs, are living beings and not toys even if they look like stuffed animals.
  • Teaching kids and adults to respect a dog’s space. Never allow hair pulling, tail yanking, allowing kids to “ride” a dog, nor dress the dog up, hitting him, spanking him, or even hugging, which the dog may threatened by.

Those probably aren’t the answers you want in terms of getting a Cocker Spaniel to cuddle, but be happy with boundaries and rules so that the dog is happy and everyone is happy.

Do Male Or Female Cocker Spaniels Like To Cuddle The Most?

This one is a bit of a mystery, as a completely informal poll of members in my Club Cocker Facebook group say their Cockers who love to cuddle are both male and female. My first Cocker Spaniel, a female did not want to be snuggled or cuddled but she did want to be touching my leg or lap.

My second Cocker Spaniel, a male, is a cuddle fiend and he loves to be right on top of and next to us. I believe it is more about the dog’s personality than the dog’s gender.

Cocker Spaniels love to be with their humans, and they miss us so much if we aren’t around that they celebrate when in our company. Whether they are males or females, much like people, some like to cuddle and some don’t.

Can I Train My Cocker Spaniel To Enjoy Cuddling?

Some Cockers can be trained to trust people, especially if they were once abused, harmed, hurt, or neglected. Ask any foster failed dog mom or dad about helping a stray Cocker or abused Cocker learn to trust again. Their stories will bring tears to the eyes.

If you are training a Cocker Spaniel for a trick dog title, then yes, you might be able to train your Cocker to “perform cuddling.” My best advice is to let your dog show you the affection he or she desires. If your Cocker Spaniel isn’t fond of cuddling, then accept her as she is. Never force a dog to perform an act, even cuddling, if that’s not something that makes her happy.

Are Cocker Spaniels A Clingy Breed?

In general, yes, Cocker Spaniels are super clingy, tend to have separation anxiety unless properly trained, and they love to be near their humans. Cockers are also a sensitive breed, so never spank or hit a Cocker or any other dog for that matter. You want the relationship with a dog to be a positive one and not one of pain or harm.

In our household, our Cocker Spaniel wants to be wherever we are. Cockers tend to cling more to the person who spends the most time with them, but that fluctuates, too. They are a loyal, inquisitive breed who are clingy and simply want to be a part of everything you are doing.

Yes, that means Cockers can get into naughty situations because they can be stealthy, like phantoms in the night, in order to get what they want. I recall sitting down to dinner to have sandwiches with my wife when we had our first Cocker Spaniel, Brandy Noel. We set the table, laid out the sandwiches, and went to the fridge to get drinks and some napkins. Upon return to the table, Brandy gutted the inside of my sandwich and spit out the lettuce and tomato on the floor. We laughed, but those are the types of smart and sneaky things a Cocker Spaniel may do.

If you like kisses and loyalty, an adorable dog with a smart personality, and keeping up with a host of brushing, grooming, and health aspects, the Cocker Spaniel could be the breed for you. In terms of being cuddly, many Cocker loves to be close to their pack while others are happy just being around you without feeling crowded or suffocated.

More Information About Cocker Spaniels

Thinking of getting a Cocker Spaniel or have one and need some questions answered. Here are a few articles we recommend reading before you leave:

Is a Cocker Spaniel the right dog for me?

Do Cocker Spaniels shed a lot?

Grooming a Cocker Spaniel at home

Do Cocker Spaniels like to cuddle


  1. I had a cocker from the age of 5 t0 17 and he was the best friend I ever had. He died just before I went to college and I was heart broken. At least he had a family with the cocker next door, even it took him several days to recover! 63 years later I still miss him.
    Dr Brian Walker

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