Does Shih Tzu Like To Cuddle? (Temperament, Breed Info)

Shih Tzus hold very high status in the celebrity class of dogs. Most celebrities own this dog, and that is because it is part of their destiny.

The Shih Tzu was bred from royalty in China, which is why they are loved so much. So, does Shih Tzu like to cuddle its owner?

Yes, the Shih Tzu is affectionate, cuddly, and great at providing companionship and loyalty. The Shih Tzu is an amiable and very adaptive dog, not forgetting its gorgeous looks. It costs on average of $1,200 – $3,000 to buy a Shih Tzu puppy.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Shih Tzu and whether they like to cuddle.

Why is Shih Tzu Famous?

Below are a few reasons why the Shih Tzu breed of dogs is prevalent.

Provide companionship 

Shih Tzu is a professional champion lap dog and snuggler. They will stay very close to you and even follow you around from one room to another. When they have a chance, they will curl up next to you on the couch.


They always want the best position on your arm or your lap. It is tough to say no to them because of how cute they look and how fluffy they feel.


All Shih Tzu is not the same as they all have different features and cannot be generalized. Some of them even don’t like being cuddled 

How to Know If Your Shih Tzu Like Cuddling

With most Shih Tzu dogs, cuddling is not a problem at all.  It is something that most of them love, unlike some other breeds of dogs. For this specific reason, you will recognize if they love being cuddled and where they want to be cuddled. Below are signs that will show you if your Shih Tzu loved being cuddled.

Pets you back

If your Shih Tzu loves being cuddled, then they will willingly cuddle back. It will do that by putting its paw on your arm or leg. If your dog does this, it means affectionate, trusting, and very close to you. Therefore, your Shih Tzu loves cuddling, and you can pet it anytime. 

Licking you and wagging its tail

When a dog licks you or wags its tail, then it is a sign of joy. It means your dog is happy and loves being cuddled. Your Shih Tzu is always pleased if it wags its tail after seeing you and then start licking you. That is a big sign that your Shih Tzu likes cuddling 

Relaxes near you

Group of People Sitting on White Mat on Grass Field

If your dog relaxes near you and even falls asleep on your side or at your lap, then it loves cuddles. Shih Tzu is a breed of dogs that needs trust for them to trust you fully.  If your dog can sleep beside you, it is a sign that it is happy, and you can pet it after sleeping.

Reasons why your Shih Tzus don’t like to cuddle

Most people think that all Shih Tzus love to cuddle, but that is not the truth. Some of them don’t like cuddling at all, and below are some of the reasons why:

It is not their way of showing affection

If you keenly observe dogs, they don’t show each other affection by cuddling. Humans only use cuddling, and we kind of force it on our pets. Some Shih Tzus accept cuddling and give in more quickly, but some don’t. Some do it for just a few seconds, and some don’t entirely.

Dogs have their ways of showing you affection, and they include leaning against you, long sighs when they lay down, licking you, and always jumping when you are around. Therefore, if yours does not like to cuddle, then don’t take it personally.

Past abuse

If your Shih Tzu is a rescue dog, then there is a very high chance that their former owners abused them. That being said, they may hate cuddling forever, and that is not your fault or theirs. 

Being treated poorly makes them afraid of people even if you are treating them well. It’s not only abused that can make Shih Tzu hate cuddling but also inadequate training. 

Petting in the wrong place

If you pet your Shih Tzu every time it is near you, it may be expected, but not to all of the Shih Tzu. There is a very high chance that you are petting them in the wrong place. It is like being too rough, mainly because Shih Tzu is too small, making them not enjoy cuddling. 

If you think your pet does not like cuddling because of that, then you should back off a bit. You can also try different areas to figure out which part it likes to be touched. 

Most Shih Tzu hate hugging

A recent study showed many dogs, including Shih Tzus, don’t like to be hugged. Most of them feel claustrophobic when they are hugged because they feel trapped. Feeling trapped makes them feel stressed and anxious, and that may be the reason they hate cuddling. 

According to a study done, more than 82% of dogs feel stressed and anxious when hugged. Dogs are mainly designed for running, and when it comes to any stress, they respond by running away and not using their teeth. 

To know if your dog likes being hugged, you should pay more attention to how it responds to hugging. If it does not like hugging, then you should figure out another way to do it. 


If in any instance, you Shih Tzu enjoyed cuddling before and now it does not, then there is a very high chance that it is in pain. They may have an injury that you don’t know about or maybe a health issue. 

If it is an old dog, it may have arthritis or maybe joint problems. When you pet him, they could be feeling pain, which is why they are trying to avoid it. 

A growth spurt can also cause pain and that can also make them hate petting. If it used to like petting and now it does not, you should make an appointment with your vet.


 Sometimes your Shih Tzu doesn’t like cuddling because it is their personality. Just like people Shih Tzus also have their preferences, some don’t like being touched. 

White Little Dog Sleeping

Your dog may not want you all over them because they prefer their space. If your dog enjoys their independence, it may not like physical contact at all. 

How do you get your Shih Tzu to be cuddlier?

If you own a Shih Tzu and you are worried that it is cuddlier, then there are some things that you can do to make it cuddlier.

Giving them a bribe

Your dog may love you very much, but if there is something they love more, it is food. You can start giving it a bribe when it is next to you or on your lap. 

If you keep on doing this, they will eventually associate cuddles with treats. That way, they may end up cuddling all day, and that will be worth it to you.

Sleep with them

Through research, there is evidence that when you sleep with your dog in the same bed, it will cuddle more during the day. 

Sleeping near them will make them used to you, and they will start enjoying being around you during the day.

Cuddle them from a young age

If you start showing your Shih Tzu affection from a young age, they will be cuddlier. You can do things like talking to them, brushing their hair, and even petting them. That will make them feel wonderful about being near you, and they will want to be near you forever.


Most Shih Tzu love to cuddle their owners, but some of them don’t like it at all. Many things may cause your Shih Tzu not to love cuddling. 

Knowing why they don’t love cuddling is the first step to change that. 

If they are in pain, you should immediately take them to a vet to look at them. If they were abused in the past, you have to be patient with them.