Do Rhodesian ridgebacks like to cuddle?

Ridgebacks can like to cuddle if they are in the right mood. They like to be with and even lean against their owners. Each ridgeback has their own personality but it is best to avoid cuddling when they are in a playful mood. They can easily swipe you with their paws and with their strength you could get hurt. Cuddle your ridgeback with care when they are relaxed and you have taught them basic obedience.

If you are looking for a cuddly dog, ridgebacks are happy to oblige. They can go from a lazy couch potato who will share a chair or bed with you to an excited playful pup.

This article will explore more about ridgebacks and cuddling including safe ways to relate to your ridgeback and times when cuddling should be avoided.

Rhodesian ridgebacks and cuddling

Check out my experience of cuddling and living for 14 years with my ridgeback

Do Rhodesian ridgebacks like to cuddle?

Each ridgeback will have their own personality, some like to relax and cuddle with their owners all day, others like to play and are more of a clown. As ridgebacks get older they will become more into relaxing and snuggling with you. If they get the chance, they will sleep in your bed next to you.

They have short coats so will search for winter warmth. They also will look for the most comfortable spot in the house, which is often right next to you.

It is important to remember that ridgebacks are large dogs and great guard dogs but can accidentally hurt someone who cuddles them if they are not prepared or are in a playful mood. You need to make sure that your ridgeback is well socialized and used to be with others before you let a stranger cuddle them.

Should you cuddle your ridgeback?

Ridgebacks will become very close and trusting of their immediate family members. They can get used to cuddles and closeness but are not always open to it.

Cuddling your ridgeback from above, over their head and body can seem like a threat if they are not prepared or an invitation to play. Young dogs will often react by going down into a play bow and launch into a sprint or bounding around to continue the game.

Take care when cuddling your ridgeback, make sure they are relaxed, have been used to your contact since they were pups and you come to them from the side. You don’t want to be in the way when they swipe their big paws.

Safe ways to cuddle your ridgeback

Check out some simple tips to cuddle and be close to your ridgeback safely.

Avoid letting small kids cuddle without supervision

It is important to always supervise young kids around ridgebacks. They are big dogs and if they are not used to young kids they can quickly become playful or could even be aggressive.

Kids should take care not to jump on ridgebacks as they could be hit by their paws. Instead, encourage them to gently pet your ridgeback on the back. Avoid coming up to them when they are eating or if they are asleep in their bed. This can startle them.

Avoid cuddling when they are in a playful mood

Ridgebacks are a playful breed and will go in and out of a playful mood throughout the day. It is best not to try to cuddle them when they are ready to play. They can jump, run and take off as you try to cuddle. Instead, wait until they have relaxed, released their energy and are ready to be with you.

This will keep you from being hurt accidentally by their playful behaviour.

Keep their toe nails cut short

Keeping your ridgeback well groomed and their nails cut short is important if you want cuddles. Long nails can be dangerous if they are to accidentally to hit you with their foot. Ridgebacks will also shed, usually twice per year in large amounts.

They tend to shed once before winter and again before summer. Loads of short, hair will come out of their coat and all over you. Brush them daily to keep your house and yourself clean when you cuddle.

Teach them basic commands

It is essential to teach your ridgeback basic commands before you plan to cuddle them. Start training them from when they are a pup to sit and lay down on command. This will help to calm them down and can snap them out of playful jumping if they get excited when you cuddle them.

Make sure they know how to listen to you so they know who is boss. They will get more comfortable with you and cuddles as they grow up.

My experience with ridgeback cuddles

I have had my ridgeback for around 14 years. He loves cuddles and has loved them even more as he got older. When he was a pup it was tricky to cuddle. He was always in a playful mood, until he crashed out and went to sleep.

As he grew up and understood the structure of our family and his place, he would accept cuddles. He preferred to be petted, belly rubs and scratches behind the ear. Cuddling can be too much for some dogs so make sure you respect their boundaries.

The benefits of touch for your ridgeback

Touch can be a great way to relate to your ridgeback. If you have a young pup you will need to teach them to accept baths, wear a collar and to listen to you. Kind touch can be a good way to get to know them, to build trust and a strong relationship.

Start with gentle scratches behind their ear, belly rubs when they are ready and a scratch on the back. An older dog will take longer to get to know you so give them time and approach touch cautiously until you build their trust.

Ways to relate to your ridgeback

Here are my favorite ways to to relate to my ridgeback through touch other than cuddles.

  1. Belly rubs
  2. Scratches behind the ears
  3. Baths and rubbing them down with a towel
  4. Brushing them
  5. Gentle patting on their chest
  6. Walks

Make sure that you take care when relating to a ridgeback you don’t know. They can take some time to get to know and trust you. Make sure their owner is their with you so they know you are safe.

Do Rhodesian ridgebacks like to cuddle? | Summary

Ridgebacks can learn to love cuddles. They want to be with their owner all the time, leaning against you and sharing a bed, chair or the space under your feet. They love to be petted and rubbed and some ridgebacks will like cuddles. Take time to understand your own ridgeback, what they like and if they are your cuddle buddy.