By - just-a-looking
Have had my guy for 3 years now. He’s not affectionate. Not extreme, will want to be pet on his terms, may lay next to me. But besides that, he wants his space too. Won’t cuddle at all, in fact if you touch him while he sleeps he freaks out and moves away quickly (not aggressive at all)
That being said, it’s him. I know he is happy, I know he likes me, and more importantly he trusts me. That’s all I need.
My girl is 11 and has been this exact same way her entire life.
Ours does that too
My girl Annie, who we lost earlier this year, would whine whenever we'd pet her. For the longest time I would avoid touching her because it seemed like it was stressing her out. I still don't know for sure if she was just trying to talk to us or if she was truly in distress just from receiving affection. We adopted her at 18 months and she had a lot of fear in her. I'm fairly certain she was abused before she was abandoned.
Did you install a program called cat.exe?
Same, same, same!! Girl, 10! When she needs me - she comes ;)
My guy is 6 and it comes in waves. Some days he's cuddly, some days he spends most his time outside. Sometimes he sleeps on my bed and gives me zero space, other times he's down stairs on the opposite side of the house sleeping on a pillow by the door.
Our Boy is 8, exactly this way. Not a cuddly Boy
I had a female (working line import,) who you describe exactly. She Would get up and move away and sit further away if we came to snuggle her.
She liked little bits of affection but we think that her true love was to work and be outside.
Her personality was 'hard' , so she never, not once wined, she seldom showed pain, or any emotion.
I would wake up in the morning and she'd already be staring at me in the face, ready to go.
We called her the terminator, or robot cuz she just wasn't affectionate, and very intense in work.
Sounds like my girl. I can't say ball, or any words associated with agility without getting her immediate and unrelenting attention until the apparent promise has been satiated.
Got a 1-1.5 yr gsd to play with her and he's an absolute love bug. He wants so desperately to play with her but she wants so desperately to do agility and chase the ball. I thought they could be friends but instead they just tag team on pestering me to get their way... And today they just proved to me they are proficient in opening the gate on the side of the house.. 🤷
Haha this is the opposite of my girl. She alllways whines. Happy, sad, excited, in a car, turning the car, whatver. She's always talking.
My girl wants nothing to do with being pet or cuddled. She will move away if you try to love her. Occasionally she enjoys some good scratches but it’s only when she wants it.
Otherwise if you pet her she gets up and gets a toy. If you got energy for love you got energy for play. Play is just her love language. Took me about 2 years to finally get used to it lol.
Haha my girl is the same. Doesn’t care at all for cuddles or hugs but will sit close to me, and makes sure to show me that she loves me and trusts me the most when other family members are around or friends by making sounds only when I approach her
My girl is exactly the same as this. Approaching 1YR
She likes scratches (ears, cheeks) but doesn’t seem to enjoy pets.
If she even notices you looking at a ball she will bring it over and get all hyper again.
She also tends to pass out around 9pm and that’s when I can get in some cuddles :)
Stolen night time snugs with your pup are the best! 🥰 Lol
Play (and training) being a GSDs love language is the best answer IMO.
My boy is the same. But loves to play ball. Wants love on his terms. He is protective of us and his “sisters” who are mutts.
If he wants cuddle, he does. If he doesn’t, he moves.
His “happy times” are mainly playing ball and walks.
I had a girl exactly the same. The only time she wanted a snuggle was after an exhausting workout. Play was her love language. It is totally natural in this breed to get a pup that is aloof. Figure out her favorite things and do that. She will find ways to thank you.
My GSD is the same way. Love = play.
If she gets jealous that my husband gives me attention instead of her, she would go get a tennis ball lol like “I want love too, here’s how you can give me some love” lol
Dogs are like people, we all have different personalities
I second this..
My kitty isn't affectionate and will flick his tail if I pet him to let me know that he's getting irritated. He's always been this way, even as a kitten. He'll come to me when he's ready, but he mostly lays down close to me but not touching me. Any time I used to pet him and gently stroke his fur he would move away. :( Eventually I decided that he needs to live his life as he is. He loves play time though! Any time I grab his toys he immediately goes into r/attackeyes mode :)
Pets and people both have different love languages. For some it's touch, for others it's gifts, food, or playtime!
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\#1: [Probably the best demonstration of attack eyes!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kgRFHaNo-Y&feature=share) | [58 comments](https://np.reddit.com/r/attackeyes/comments/bnqxf7/probably_the_best_demonstration_of_attack_eyes/)
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When did you adopt her? Sometimes it takes time and some sheppies just aren't that affectionate. Don't push, let her come to you. Let her "hang out" in the same room as you but give her space. AND Give her lots of positive reinforcement. For example, call her to you and give her a treat and let her walk away. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. After a month or so, call her to you and gently scratch her head then give her a treat. Repeat. Repeat.
It also helps if you have a designated spot for her in each room that you like to be in. Have a bed for her in each area (but don't force her to lay there.) Just make it available. When she sits or lays on it, tell her "good girl." But don't approach her on it. Just let it be her safe spot.
I've had several rescues that were not affectionate right away. Trust is not instant, it takes time and effort to build.
Very good advice.
Pay attention to your dog's cues. Don't force affection on them. Bond with them in other ways (play, training, long walks, etc).
We’ll give this a shot. Thank you so much
What they said. I've had three and two of them are as you describe. The affectionate one was a rescue who was broken as can be and REALLY loved people more than the breed shows usually. Don't take it personal. There's some aloofness that will soften with you given time and trust.
Mine was 7 years old when we adopted her, took nearly a year for her to be affectionate with us. They are very loyal dogs and it took time for her to switch her loyalty to us and not the ones who abandoned her. How long have you had her
You are welcome!
It sounds like you've got yourself an iguana
This is such a good point. We got our pup at 9 months old, about last April. I feel like in the last 6 months he’s gone from occasionally asked for strokes to a lot more! She will grow. Or it might just be her personally! Think about how different every human is
This is great advice!
I've had two that weren't big on cuddling. One would tolerate it and the other, she just gets up and walks off. But I never doubted they loved me. They were always excited when I came home. And followed me everywhere. So, yes it can be a breed thing.
That’s just her personality most likely. My shepherd isn’t cuddly at all either. Besides being pet, she likes to lay by herself and if I try to lay next to her and cuddle her she’ll move away; I often joke to my wife that our Shepherd wouldn’t notice if we died and she got a new family. My wife’s shepherd she had as a kid was cuddly from the day they got her as a puppy. Like people, dogs have all kinds of different personalities and likes and dislikes. I have a little 15 lb shih tzu/Maltese mix that will cuddle with me for 24 hours a day if I wanted so it evens out lol. She still loves you even if she isn’t super affectionate
How long have you had her? My first gsd was affection from day one. My other one wasnt affection till about 6 months in. He still only cuddles on his terms but loves pets/head scratches/butt rubs.
We adopted ours a year ago when he was 3 or so. It has taken about a year for him to really let you cuddle and him to relax while he is being petted. This is our first so not sure the temperament of the breed enough to give much more advice than to keep trying.
Ours was the same way. She was adopted at 2.5 years old. It took her about 3 days to warm up to us enough to not be skittish, about 3 weeks to settle into a routine and 3 months to start being comfortable. She didn’t wag her tail for the first time until about 6 months, and she didn’t cuddle or like pets until well over a year. It’s been almost 3 years and she now likes to climb onto our laps and be held like a baby lol.
This helps. Thank you
I have two shepherd bitches, one is six and one is nearly two. The younger ones a working line import, and is very much like you describe here. My older dog is from show lines and shes total sweetheart who loves nothing more than a cuddle and a head scratch.
All depends on the dog. As long as their having their needs met what you get is what you get unfortunately. Shepherds are know for their aloofness, especially European working lines.
It's super hard when they're not as affectionate as you're expecting. My parent's GSD is a love bug and 80lb lapdog and my pup is just not. I had to really see the ways he *was* showing me affection even though they weren't as obvious as others. It's also still REALLY HARD not to pet his lil belly when he lies down next to me, but he'll get annoyed and walk off.
He is getting a little better (or I'm just accepting it a bit more), like he'll lean hard on me and will push himself towards me so I can loop my arms around him and give him a hug. It mostly makes up for the times he'll straight up leave if I slightly disturb him or move his head away when I try to pet him T\_T
My boy took over a year to become affectionate. Sometimes I wish he’d back off just a little.
Dogs are like people. They are all different.
It’s just not her way to show affection (yet). My girl was like that when she was young. She was ok for a head or butt scratch but it was on her terms and cuddles were out of the question. We respected that and over time as she became less zoomie (maybe 2 years old) she snuggled us on the couch more often. She’s almost nine now and happily snoring with her head in my lap as I type this. Now, we cannot possibly pet and scratch her enough. Once she falls asleep, though, she’s very annoyed if you keep petting her. They all have their own personality. I’ve read that most dogs do not innately like being cuddled but, will tolerate it because they want to be around you, and over time they come to associate it with affection. 🙃
This gives us hope! Thank you. Also melted our hearts to know yours is hanging in your lap 🤗
We got our rescue at 6mo and it has taken her 2 years to really start showing affection, and even then it’s in small doses and on her terms. She will still move if I go sit next to her, but she has finally started sitting next to me on her own terms and for brief periods of time. Has taken a while to get to that point.
Overall, I think my girl just shows her love differently. She likes to play fetch outside with me so I just treat that as our snuggling lol hang in there, as long as you are loving her I promise she will love you back.
mine isn’t that affectionate either. he does like to be pet, doesn’t like hugs and he isn’t a cuddler either :/ and he’s 8 years old. they’re all different though so who knows!
I think it's a shepherd thing. The ones I've known have been similar. Hell, it's my last name (may or may not be spelled different) and I'm the same way lol.
I'm sure she does like and love you, she just has a different language to show affection than we expect from dogs. If she's anything like me, let her come to you and give treats when she does. Make sure you verbalize that she's a good girl but don't crowd her.
My first GSD was never a cuddler - not much for affection. He was a play - if you can love me you play with me.
One thing I noticed - if I was sick or if I was crying he would be affectionate. Come over and lick me and stay by me. Otherwise he had his Spot on the couch and heaven help you if you took it.
Even guests - if the couch wasn’t full - he would just come up and stare at them until they moved.
I loved that guy - he was a rescue (at 3.5 yrs old) and showed love by playing and protecting me. Loved me until he passed at 13. Our female now we got as a puppy and she’s a love sponge - I call her velcro. I swapped from one extreme to the other, and I kind of miss my detached doggy. The velcro is intense. Lol
You _can_ solve this.
Start doing **_consent testing_**. Get her consent before you pet her. Right now now are being like the overbearing older relative who yells "Come here and give your Aunty Welma a big kiss!" I bet you didn't like it very much when Aunty Welma came to visit.
You consent test by petting her for a second or two, then you stop and wait for a signal that she wants you to continue. (A nudge, a glance, a lean etc). If you don't get any "please continue"-signals from her, _stop_. Walk away.
If she comes over to you, do the same thing. Pet for a few seconds, then stop and put your hand away. Maybe she just wants to hang out without getting roped into a touchfest. Isn't that nice too?
Giving her a sense of control over when the petting stops will make her a _lot_ more interested in receiving affection. You will notice her come up to you more often, and start asking for pets more.
Just to be clear, I am not a sentimental dog owner. I do things with my dog every day that I simply expect him to tolerate. But introducing consent testing into my way of showing affection was huge for our relationship.
We’ve had her about 6 months now. She can be cuddly in the morning but other than that it’s tough to get love out of her. Do we just need to accept it?
That’s mine. After a bit of morning cuddles I only exist to throw the ball.
I’m wondering if there are any other ways you can feel close to her? Or, if over time as she bonds with you more, she’ll tolerate being pet more? Perhaps working on your bond with her would help or at least make you feel closer to her? Though, if she doesn’t like physical affection that doesn’t mean at all that she doesn’t like you. Totally in agreement with the comments saying that some dogs like physical affection more than others.
They do this. We have 2 and I grew up with labs. But ONCE in awhile they do something weird like lay on the back of the couch with their paws on my head and smell my face for 10 minutes. It makes it so much more special when they do cuddle because they’re not cuddly.
My Samoyed was like this as a puppy. We found when he was really sleepy we could pet him and sweet talk him and he was tolerant of that. He would wake me up at 4:30am. He would cuddle with me then. As he grew, he began coming to us for pets when he was sleepy and wanted to go to bed. He is 3yo now and we call him the cat because all affection is on his terms but he is very affectionate when he desides its time
It’s not lack of affection. She’s a guard/herding dog by instinct and many of them don’t like close contact that they don’t initiate.
Ours was like that. She was also very reactive to people, bicycles, kids, etc. we sent her to a 4 week Bootcamp for training to we could walk her on leash and not have her terrify people. When she came back not only did she have more confidence and was not reactionary to those things anymore but she also started to show tons of affection. It’s been two months since the training and the affection continues to grow and she now feels like a real family pet at the house and not just a dog that’s on guard 24/7.
I don't suppose this camp was located in the greater Pittsburgh area? My GSD could use something just like this. She barks whenever she goes in the back yard, in the front yard, when someone comes to the house, etc. She's 100% a guard dog.
Unfortunately no. But I bet if you look around you could find one similar in your area. I can tell you it was life changing for us, and for our dog.
That's quite a large dog for being 9 months old. Wow.
Dogs are kinda like people, everyone has different levels of what they’re comfortable with. I don’t really like being cuddled or touched for long periods of time (mostly due to me being neurodivergent) and my pup is the same way- try and cuddle up to her and she’ll tolerate it for about 30 seconds, huff then go settle somewhere else. We find a certain balance in physical touch: sitting on my bed with just our legs intertwined, her putting her head in my lap (but not actually wanting to be touched by me), coming up to me and leaning her whole weight on me and showing me where she wants to be scratched. None of what she likes could really be described as “cuddling” but she has ways of letting me know that she loves me.
It can be frustrating and even make you feel unloved when your pup doesn’t want to nuggle, but know that a gsds main priority is loyalty and protecting you- in my humble opinion, the highest expression of love. One thing my dog loves is sitting in my lap while I’m sitting criss cross on the floor, with her back to my chest. It allows her to monitor the room AND get physical touch, while also being in control of when she can get up. We’ve sat like that until my legs go numb lol. Find a position or scenario where your pup knows she can get up and quit the interaction at any time she wants- it may take some time but letting her come to you will make her a lot more prone to being close. Best of luck :)
Edit: my apologies that this is lengthy but I had the same concerns with my GSD and I know how it feels
My girl will accept it now, even enjoy it sometimes. She’ll give smiles and licks and boop me with her nose and roll over- but it’s always on her time- not always. She’ll get up and walk away too if she’s just not feeling it. My advice is that it could get better over time as you bond more, but don’t force her to bond, let her choose her affections. and in time she might come around. My GSD showed NO affection at all until she was a year or a little over and it was like night and day- she came around. But at first I definitely had the same concerns I asked my mom, my boyfriend, trainers, etc “why doesn’t my dog even like me??” Haha. If I had any advice to put into action, I would say do more of what your sweet dog loves the most. Really get engaged with her with exercise both mental and physical, do new fun things with her, be stern but fun and don’t force the affection and eventually it could help. Be the person she looks to for both fun and direction/discipline and she’ll respect you instead of looking at you like the person trying to “smother her space” as she might see it
GSDs are known to be aloof. If you want to cuddle your dog, perhaps this isn't the breed for you. WOOF!
Goldens are super duper cuddly
This is simply not true. EVERY dog is different but German shepherds are far from aloof in general. If anything the AKC says they're very very high on the "affectionate with family" scale.
Sorry to hear she isn't more affectionate. It seems like her personality is more cat like than dog. This is no offense to cats - I have one myself. He never comes looking for affection from me but will hang out in the same room as me.
My GSD (RIP) picked me as his person the first weekend we brought him home. I couldn't even lift him off my lap while he was sleeping because he had to be constantly touching me. He never grew out of it. I had to sneakily kiss my other dogs like a ninja because if I did any baby talk to them he was not having it. Never got aggressive but a funny hey, hey what's going on over here??!
Our first GSD was like that and he was also protective of us, did not like men other than family. We took that as it was his personality.
Our current GSD is just the opposite, super friendly, and a cuddler.
Does she come to you?
Some dogs need more personal space than others. But sometimes you can build the bond you are missing.
This comes from experience fostering, if you are concerned talk to your vet about possible pain and a behaviourist if there is any signs of fear or aggression.
First, when she seeks you out there is much less pressure on her, especially if she is uncertain so I always start with calling her less and letting them have space.
What I would do is lie on a futon (a couch will work if they see it as shareable furniture) and put on a show so I am not paying attention to the dog. Note, NOTHING with loud alarming sounds, beeps to cover curse words, or something that gets your adrenaline going. Then snack on some doggy shareable treats. (Cheese, carrots, that sort of thing) and when they came close greet (don't call) greet them by name and offer a treat no more than halfway to her. If she doesn't take it after a few seconds put it down and ignore her.
The message is 'I am relaxed, and you are very welcome to join me *if you wish*.'
If she does join you let her determine how close. It might be the other end of the couch. But if she is touching you then you lay a hand on her and just gentle rubs. Touch is connection building but it is also a sign of trust.
And this might seem weird, but respect her alarm barks. If she starts barking at something and looks at you, go see then reassure her. This tells her you to accept her as part of your family because you are being her backup. If it is nothing, respond calmly and coax her to come away.
Then when it is not cuddling time, try to analyze your own behaviour and see if there is anything you can do to make you seem more reliable to her. So could she be confused by hot and cold behaviour because you are working from home and her presence is not always welcome. Make her a retreat space, crates are great. (NEVER use the crate as punishment)
Could it be your household is chaotic and noisy? If so put that crate in a quiet room and as a family make a pact that you will try to tone it down inside or near her.
Could it be she is wary because she used to be called for punishment? It might mean for now when you call her she is vocally rewarded rather than petted for a while and possible training treats. It keeps her more focused on your words and your hands stays where she can see them and now they only mean good things.
And this might seem weird but respect her alarm barks. If she starts barking at something and looks at you, go see then reassure her. This tells her you accept her as part of your family because you are being her back up. If it is nothing, respond calmly and coax her to come away.
Then when it is not cuddling time try to analyze your own behaviour and see if there is anything you can do to make you seem more reliable to her. So could she be confused by hot and cold behaviour because you are working from home and her presence is not always welcome. Make her a retreat space, crates are great. (NEVER use the crate as punishment)
Shepherds are just like that. Happier at your feet than in your arms. I still squish the shit out of my girl and she tolerates it but she likes her space. I know that I personally prefer a more independent dog to a chronically clingy one if I had to choose between either extreme. Trust is the thing for shepherds, not cuddles.
My first dog I got as a kid was like this. Still was an elite, HOF level dog when it was all said and done. When I was in my late teens/early 20s I would come home after a night of drinking and lay down next to her and always wake up alone 😂.
When she got older we moved houses and my brother and I would hang out in the basement to avoid my stepdad. Her hips got bad as GS dogs tend to, and she had a hard time getting around. We tried to keep her off of the steps bc she had such a hard time getting up and down them. Lo and behold though, she would always come down to us in the basement, not to cuddle w us but just to be in our company. We would try and intercept her at the top, 1/4 way down and carry her if we caught her in time.
Point is, just bc they don’t cuddle etc doesn’t mean they aren’t happy. It also may take a little longer / later in their life until you realize it/see it yourself. This dog had her issues when younger as all dogs do I would think, but when she got older in that next house, she really was an angel. Loved helping her out when and where we could, in hindsight, probably bc that independence was finally gone and we could be there for her more than she allowed when she was younger. RIP Nikki.
I think you gotta study the temperament of the parents if you want a pup with specific temperament
My 2.5 yo girl was Velcro dog, never barks unless at a mall cop or someone knocking on the door unexpectedly
Whines constantly for what she wants
Basically an adorable alive fleece blanket
I've had my girl for about 9 months now and I've come to accept she doesn't really like cuddles or being hugged. She moans and groans if I do that, but she loves just being in my general vicinity. She'll choose to be near my feet rather than be in another room by herself. Every dog I've had has had different t levels of affection and different ways of showing it too.
Mine is now 7 years old and she doesn’t like to be hugged or pet on my terms and if I lay next to her she leaves but that’s just how she is at first I was worried. If I’m out of town she lays and sits everywhere I normally do (I check the cameras) it’s her way of missing me cause when I’m back she’s a bit more affectionate and then goes back to herself with being distant haha.
Teach her to “cradle”. Sit on the floor legs open, and force her to lay down between your legs with her head on one of your legs or held in your hands. She can’t be allowed to leave until she has gone several seconds with zero struggle or noise. Be sure she has become visibly relaxed (Duke let out the funniest *siiiigh*). When ready, use the command “release” and let her go (but don’t force her if she wishes to stay). She will HATE the first few times, but you have to be strong! I thought the police or humane society would come after me for puppy abuse by the way Duke yowled, the first time! But they are smart and quickly learn that “cradle” is a safe place to be completely relaxed, protected, receiving attention, and loved. I can’t thank our trainer enough for teaching us how. It is a great time to bond with her. She may never enjoy the types of affection you wish she would today, but through bonding you’ll both learn how to show each other affection.
Typical GSD behaviour.
My advice is try a male. My female was like that. She likes to know you’re alright but would prefer to know that from a safe touch-free distance.
Your best bet is pick a male from a litter and pick the pup that wants your attention. When I picked my female, I picked her because she ruthlessly dominated her siblings. That character remained the same throughout her entire life.
Our 3 yo male loves to cuddle and lay his face near yours. Paws you to keep petting like a golden retriever.
Mine was like this at that age! He definitely is more cuddly now and I have no question he likes us.
Maybe get a jolly ball? Does she like to play?
My GSD is similar. Affection is at her discretion
My male took a few years to be very loving the way he is now, my female is my shadow, very affectionate and loving since she was a puppy,
First girl was cool with pets, but would let you know cuddling more than 5 - 10 seconds was out of the question. Had her since 12 weeks - 13yrs and only when she got older and more tired did she not mind cuddles.
Have had my current girl since 8 weeks (now 1.5yrs), and she wasn't cuddly much at all either. Over time she's become more Velcro like and loves to sprawl next or across me with lots of pets. Far more comfortable with affection than my first girl.
Still pretty aloof at times and especially with others.
Like others said, it's a breed thing to a certain point too. It might change in time; there are some good tips here as well.
My girl has been like that all of her 12 years...but she will surprise you with occasional kisses and stuff...we love her regardless..and we know she loves us because she doesn't try and rip our legs off when we walk in the house (she has become a bit aggressive in her senior years).
Ours was like that, but it was because he was very toy motivated
My rescued boy is 6, he doesn't kiss or wags his tail a lot for me. Actually he wags his tail more when he is exited digging dirt. I have cats too, sometimes I feel my cats are way more affectionate than my dog, lol.
Maybe she needs a dog friend
GSD’s are…different. We’re a “lab” family, and we’re used to the over the top affection that labs give…so it was an adjustment for us to let our GSD be her own self instead of trying to mold her into something contrary to her nature. She was a rescue from a crack house, starved and abused, and a parvovirus survivor…had a very tough start…and had a few issues. She’s only now opening herself up to us - especially my wife. It took years. It was worth it.
It has to be on her terms . My 8 year old GSD was just like this .But if one of us is sick she is right next to us ,if not on top . If she is friendly with another dog who is cuddly have play dates where you cuddle and give that dog affection with her right there . As she has aged she seems to be more affectionate but once again she decides who and when . 9 Mos. Is still a baby
I have 2. One is extremely affectionate and wants attention all the time. The other one just wants to be left alone and fed. Dogs are like people, they all have different personalities.
Some dogs just want their space. And some dogs express their love differently.
My boy hated cuddling. He'd put up with it for a few minutes, then wiggle free. He likes to be close but on his own terms. I spent a month away from him and when I returned, he was totally down with cuddling. At first he preferred sleeping on the floor but now he'll jump in the bed when it's time for sleep.
Find out what makes her happy. She'll warm up eventually, and it just might be that she shows affection differently.
Dogs, really do not like hugs. While some dogs, especially those trained as therapy dogs, can tolerate it, in general, dogs do not enjoy this interaction. ... Some absolutely adore cuddles, but most dogs prefer a belly rub or a back scratch to a squeeze
Lots of patience and lots of touching..make her confident in her place and home..she’ll initiate the cuddles
You might smell bad to her. Don't wear any perfume or cologne. Try going unscented everything.
My 3 year old girl is like this at times. My 2 year old boy is a snuggle bug though.... cries if you aren't touching him haha
Some dogs are just not affectionate, it's like how some people really don't like showing affection. My male gsd is exactly like that and the way he shows affection is by laying down nearby a person. He doesn't snuggle, asks for pets, and he prefers relaxing in another room from where everybody is at. He shows love in his own way and I've learned to appreciate that.
Very true. Ours were farm dogs but early did they lick us or play with us. More interesting in keeping their domain safe of vermin
Mine is the same way she’s 2, I got her when she was 8 weeks old and she’s never been very affectionate towards me. She gets excited when I get home, and I know she loves me but she is not a snuggle butt. I wish she was.
A lot of people mentioned positive reinforcement, to add a bit... when I first got my pup I fed her from hand and used meals to train
Can also use this as an excuse to introduce touch (gently; think of someone handling you while eating) and get more attention on you.
My girl was a butthead for like a year. She gradually became more affectionate and now (at 5 and a half) will come over and put her head on your lap for attention 🥰
We had 2 of them for ~15 years and a friend had 23, so I haven't seen a lot of German Shepherds being considered the most affectionate of dogs. The most protective? Definitely. They'll love you enough to let you manhandle them a little, and sometimes over time they'll let you pet them for extended periods, but I think it'll help if you just let her come to you, and show your affection through other means - playing outdoors, those mental-stimulation food games, and/or maintaining a pretty disciplined schedule.
Fingers crossed your hugs grow on her though! I'm sure she absolutely adores you; they just have different ways of showing it.
Is she recently adopted? I’d get a quick check with the vet to make sure she’s doing well. My golden retriever was like this for a bit when he had stomach issues.
I have one very similar to that. He only wants attention when he feels like it. His brother is a giant love bug and wants all the attention. I just let him do his thing. He loves me and my brother (owners) he just shows his love different.
It could be sending you a message. Shepherds are smart, they will cope an attitude over certain things. Do you take her outside to play many times a day for at least a good 15 minutes of running? Everyday.. they really need this. If they aren't getting enough of it they can become a bit closed off. Ours is hilarious if one of us goes on vacation, she won't talk to us for a day or two when we return... this is the dog communicating it doesn't like it when we leave :) They are smart and can and do show revenge lol the first time we had to vacation she didn't sleep in the same room for 2 days then came back after throwing her tantrum over the vacation to sleeping in our bed as usual.
My wife and I bought a king bed and I built a platform frame just so my boy can sleep on the bed with us. Wants nothing to do with it and sleeps on the floor across the room every night.
Literally his entire existence is like this lmao.
GSD’s are not big cuddlers (I think it makes them feel very constrained) but my pup has gotten more used to it since I force her to love me! She’s an independent girl and loves me from a close distance. They’ll keep their eye on you (the most loyal dogs!) but are not the clingy type.
My pit is like that. She's affectionate when she chooses, but still rarely, usually if I'm late on feeding time. I get all excited she finally wants love then realize she's just hungry. If you manage to get her to sleep in the bed with you, if you touch her *at all* she will get up and go to her bed.
Mine is more play driven than cuddly. affection means play for her. It's just the way she is.
My guy loved a good butt scratch and had a special grunt to tell me to do it, but he wasn’t a cuddler at all. But he loved us all so much, if he brought you a tennis ball then that meant he loved you🎾He was so intelligent and goofy and vocal ❤️
She loves you too. She’s just probably not a hugger. Our eldest (8) was NOT a hugger. Wife and I used to compete for high scores (we’d get a 4 second hug in, max). He’s changed though, and now is kinda clingy. Our youngest (1) is super affectionate at times, but only when she feels like it. Each has a completely different personality, and that changes in life just like humans do (kids to teenagers for example). Give her time, and space (some get anxiety from hugs).
My female GSD trusts me and loves me I am certain, but no cuddling, at least not for more than a few minutes. I have to lay in front of her so she can see me. My conclusion: GSD’s are innate guard dogs and cuddling is restraining to them. My girl is always on watch. Continue to work with your GSD on training which they love and continue to build the bond between you. You have a gorgeous dog and they are super intelligent.
my dog was the same way at that age. she will come around. she’s probably confused about her place in the pack and is also too hyper for her own good. Ensuring she gets enough exercise and mental stimulation is key. Also not letting her on couches or beds will help reinforce her role in the pack, at least initially. Then she will learn when she is up on the couch or bed it’s for cuddles and loving. my girl started cuddling with me just recently, a little before turning 2 years old. Definitely keep loving on her though! She will turn into a big ball of love soon enough, but it’s on her time!
Be affectionate to other dogs in her presence. If she's impressionable she will learn that pets are valuable.
Have you tried sitting down on the floor next to her? My dog really likes it and becomes more affectionate when I actually get down to her level.
You need to find what they like
My Sadie doesn't want to lay down or snuggle with me ..
However she LOVE getting her chest rubbed .. but her favorite is under the jaw scritches.
Whenever she gets those, she goes all smiles.
I think you just need to find what he likes.
My king Charles spaniel is the exact same way
Not all dogs like to be hugged and cuddled. Thats the risk of dealing with alive animals - they do have a will.
I have a husky and I feel they are similar to GSD in that they like their space and independence. Of course that doesn't stop us from trying to sneak a cuddle in but I wouldn't worry about it too much.
My friend’s GSD was like this, hated being picked up, cuddles, the works, and in general acted like an annoyed teenager her entire life lmao. She would occasionally come to you on her terms and often very early in the morning. I was camping in a caravan with her once and was woken up by something on my legs...turned out she was trying to slowly pull herself up onto my bed and over me. I didn’t react until she got to my side, slowly lifted my arm and she snuggled up under there. I felt so privileged! We both dozed off listening to the rain and it felt so special...then after I guess an hour or so she woke properly, jumped up whining as if to say “what have I done?!” and dove off the bed 😂
I have a mut who has husky, Alaskan malamute, gsd and a few other things, not really too relevant to the story, but he is rarely affectionate, when he sees us sometimes he gets so excited he pees, in the mornings when trying to wake up he will crawl on top of us and give kisses, but he does NOT cuddle. He hates most affection If I say, lay my head on him or hug him, he starts singing the song of his people, ( the husky part in him is quite apparent ) and will sometimes just stand up and walk away from me, sometimes he will accept rubs but he has to be in the mood.
My GSD on the other hand, she is very affectionate. She sleeps with us in the bed every night and has to be near us at all times, loves snuggles and is very loving.
Some dogs just aren’t very affectionate, doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you guys! Does she wag her tail when she sees you for the first time each day? Does she play with you? Is cuddling and affection the only thing she doesn’t do? Or will she not interact with you guys at all. ?
My guy was like this for a long time. At 5 he’s finally getting into it
Little Bear took some time to get affectionate and even now (19 months) he's a bit distant. He does like to sit with me and lay next to me but is not overly cuddly. I have a lab/hound mix that is the exact opposite. If he doesn't get enough affection he will most definitely force it out of you. If he could hold us at gunpoint in exchange for cuddles, he definitely would.
Just give her some time and continue to build a good, trusting relationship. After a year of training, treats, and walks my boy finally got a little warmer toward us and I hope the same thing for you.
Our female German Shepherd did the same exact things.
It took her 5 years before I could pet her without her wanting to get up and walk away.
The picture on the couch says it all.
She loves you but wants her space.
I think your dog will come around too at her own pace.
Affection might still happen, Or it might not. It might take some time to see it. She likes you and she probably shows it just by being your protector and just being there. There use to be a dog like this in my house, she wasn't mine but she didn't like to be touched but every night she would sleep in the hallway where she was in equal distance from all the bedrooms. She showed her love in subtle ways until she and I formed a bond.
When my stepson and his wife lived with us they had a German Shepherd. While SS was at work his wife would stay in her room all day so I would have to take care of their dog. We bonded so much. I was the one who fed her, pet her and threw the ball over and over for her outside.
The dog wasn't a cuddler at all. She never cuddled with my SS or his wife so they barely tried to pet her. Eventually the dog started to sleep in my bed and eventually she started cuddling with me. I felt like the chosen one because she wouldn't cuddle with anyone else. I was cuddling with her on my couch and my SDIL saw and got so offended. She told me to my face that the dog was her dog and she didn't want me to feed her or do anything for her anymore. From that point on she kept the dog in her room with her all day and if I even tried to feed the dog I would get yelled at. On Facebook memories I see pictures that I posted of the dog and in three comments was SDIL saying that the dog was HER dog, not mine. She would comment that on every picture. She had ownership of the dog but she put no time into her. Just kept her away from me behind a closed door all day long.
They moved out and took the dog with them and they keep going back and forth on whether or not to re-home her. She never received any training and she's bit a few other dogs and she attacked the dog I have now so I can't take her. It makes me sad that I lost such a great bond and her owners just lock her in a kennel for most of the day even though SDIL is home all day every day.
We used to have to force our female to love us. I would hold her and not let go. Over time, now I can’t get her to leave me alone whenever I’m sitting on the couch or trying to sleep in our bed. Be careful what you wish for!
My one dog is a worker , also doesn’t like being cuddled unless it’s late at night and she is tired. I spend time with her then and it’s actually made her slightly more affectionate when it’s not nighttime
I don't think it means she doesn't like you. Some dogs just don't enjoy being touched but I'm sure she loves you in her own way :)
My last male was very much like this. All affection was on his terms. Maybe once a week he would want pets. Even rarer but mindblowing when it did happen was a quick tail wag or trying to lick your face. It was still obvious he loved us by being fiercely loyal and I no doubt know he'd take a bullet for us.
My gsd was like that. Only time I really got to hold her was her euthanasia, when she climbed onto my lap. Bittersweet, maybe, but I know she really loved me, too. She showed it in other ways , like a drive by licking, laying down on my feet when I got up too often, or just moving around on her bed to make eye contact then go back to her naps. Not every loyal dog is outwardly affectionate, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happy with you. Some dogs just like their bubble.
I have two. An 8 and a 4 year old. Both males. My older has been the most cuddly dog I have ever seen and always has to be touching you, whether you're holding his paw, he's sitting or laying on you, or has his head cradled in your lap or arms.
My younger one? We'll he'll come over for pets now and again or to give me some kisses, but he does not cuddle. If he is laying down and I ever sit next to him, let alone hold him, he gets up immediately. But he is always near me.
TLDR: each pup is a unique individual, just like us hoomans. Some may love cuddles and others may just love your presence without the physical touch
Mine was the same. She’s about to turn 5. Used to be that you couldn’t touch her at night or she’d crack it and move off. 0 cuddles just wanted to play. She has steadily become more affectionate to the point where she must now be touching you at night when your asleep or she’ll whinge.
Yours may or may not change. Either way enjoy it. There’s pros and cons to both.
I am probably wrong but it think a lot of GSDs are like this. Ours loves scritches and belly rubs but if try to snuggle him he will try to bite my face and ears. Not really bite bite but just playing with his mouth if that makes sense.
Shepherds are weird like this. They want to be loved, but on their terms. Every once in a while you get one that is overly affectionate (I’ve found it to mostly be rescues). My girl Harper can’t stand not being in your lap, pets, everything, but a ton of shepherds don’t want anything to do with that. They love you and they know you love them but they aren’t always physical with their showing of it
Yes Had a couple GSDs and thats how they are. Mine were from Parents that were guard dogs and just thought it was inbred into them
mine was like that before her first heat, now i can't get her off of me long enough to pee
I have had 12 Shepherds in my life, Some are affectionate, some aloof, and some somewhere in between. I wouldn't let it get to you.
My GSD does not like being cuddled or pet either. He groans if you try to lay with him or cuddle him until you leave. If you don’t, he will get up himself and make a noise that lets you know he’s annoyed. Still loves me and is super excited every time I come home. He just likes his space which tbh so do I. Maybe he gets it from me. I also think that because my dog got so much attention / loving on as a puppy that he doesn’t care for it. You always want what you can’t have.
My 2 r the exact opposite one (because I was sad) just came into my room and decided I needed cuddles (I did) and it made my sadness go away
I have a working line guy who’s 1.5 years old and pretty serious guy. He’s all about play. Frisbee’s, balls, flirt stick. It’s how he is. I felt he wasn’t affectionate in the beginning but I’ve come to understand him. He doesn’t love us touching his body but learned that he loved his chest scratched very much. Trainer told us it’s the one place they can’t get to easily. And he’s grown to love soft nails rubbing his head while falling asleep. You’ll find hers if you’re patient. But try giving her praise and chest rubs when she does good in training and such. See how it goes.
They're incredibly loyal, not always affectionate. Try just sitting next to her and enjoying each other's company.
My dog is 5 years old. He hates being touched by other dogs. He’s my service dog and a swell guy. What is funny is he too may or may not sit next to me at home and moves if we smother him but when we are in public and he is working, he is super affectionate. He is happy to go all the time but his behavior is just who he is. Some people are that way too.
As she gets older she'll become a little more open to affection. But its just safe to accept that this is who she is. Its not that she doesn't love you, like you etc. Its just shes not outwardly affectionate.
My GSD adores my husband and I. I can literally just turn and start walking out of the dog park without saying a word and she will spot me mid-play and run to me from the other side of the dog park to stay by my side.
She is 15 months and doesn't like to be pet. She has to really be relaxed and in the mood for pets and even then she only likes tummy rubs and but scratches.
When she was a puppy puppy we had to pair petting with treats to train her to let us touch her without getting a handful of needle teeth and I think that is the main reason why we can get away with pets at all. I think she thinks we like to pet her so she occasionally let's us not because she likes it.
There are plenty of people that don't like to be touched or hugged, even by loved ones, so don't take it personally. Respect her boundaries and make sure you don't let strangers try to pet her either.
If you do want to train her to accept pets (which helps for vet visits and grooming) teach it like any other trick. Say can I pet you or can I touch your ____ then touch lightly. If she remains calm, mark and reward. Repeat. Start with a light touch and work up to pets and scratches. Understand though that you are training tolerance and she might nit actually enjoy being touched.
My male working import dog is very affectionate. Downright clingy. Thinks he is a lap dog. Needs his head on our chest or shoulder
my gsd foster did not like to be cuddled. we had to pick him up and lay him on top of us to get any cuddle time at all. he'd tolerate it for 2 minutes and then leave lol. and sometimes if i sat too close or pet him too much, he'd get up and move to the other side of the couch.
i dont think they're very affectionate by nature. still love em to death tho
My boy 7 years can't get enough of petting hugging... Strange to see all these folks have an issue .
Maybe, it is just like that...
A trainer helped me "build a connection" with my baby when I first got her and here are some tips.
Kennel training, your pup only comes out to potty, eat, and go on walks. When they get out of the kennel it's straight to a leash and straight outside, you say nothing other than monotone commands. Keep some water in the kennel.
Food- You only feed the dog with your hands. If they don't eat, then they get to go back into the kennel(German Shepherds are psychos and will find a food source otherwise). This builds the bond that YOU are providing food, they earn there food as well, it isn't as some as sitting down and eating. Force them to sit, stay, etc.
Good luck! The only way to break through is to find a way you and your fur missile can communicate! You'll eventually pick up on there language and know what they want. 😂
I thought my German Shepherd only just liked me, until I left her home with my husband. He said she freaked out when I left, whining and looking out the window the whole time. That's when I knew she loved me. That, and she would climb into my lap during thunderstorms.
She'd also lay in my spot on the bed. Push back the covers and lay on my pillow like a person. Somebody told me it's because my bed has the highest concentration of my scent.
How long have you had your GSD? While not all GSD’s are affectionate, they’re also very seldom aloof like this. Did you get her from a breeder? A rescue? Maybe possible previous trauma is affecting her.
German shepherds are not that cuddly dog. They are super loyal and protective but often not into cuddles.
The most affectionate that many of them will get is laying by your feet.
I literally have the same thing with my 9 month old female. My whole family gets snuggles from her whereas every time I lay down next to her and lean on her she will sit up and basically want to only play with me. My wife and kids get all the love and they didn’t even want a dog. The best I get is she will sometimes sit on my feet or lean/lay against my foot or leg. I want my snuggles!
We've rescued two Shepard's (mixed) in the last year or so. The first was a little shark and she started warming up around 6mo. At a bit over a year she is extremely affectionate, but also has a guard dog type personality. Our second is around 10mo and is a big docile furry beast (already over 100lbs probably). He was the exact same way as yours and he is starting to warm up. We are definitely his pack though: as in I'm pretty sure he thinks he's in charge.
I have had several dogs that started out this way. The answer is to train them to cuddle using rewards. You want treats? You have to snuggle first. This method works very well with both dogs and cats.
OP, have you seen a vet or a dog trainer? Some dogs just aren’t very cuddly, but some German Shepherds can have genetic disorders that can lead to pain. Everything from their diet to nerve disorders need to be checked out before your dogs symptoms get passed off as “just her personality”. I’m sorry for what you’re going through, please take her to a couple different vets for opinions and also, a good dog trainer can give you ideas on how to slowly build a closer relationship with your dog. ❤️
My GSD is 3 years old. Not affectionate AT ALL. He’s not really even a fan of petting. I do know he loves me though because he always wants to be in the same room as me.
Pet them when they’re asleep and talk softly to them and while they’re waking up keep petting them I’m trying for a week to see if anything changes. I’ve done this to a few animals
All of my GSDd have been really affectionate and I firmly believe the key is engagement training. Simply put, reward the dog for being around you and being focused on you. When the dog is near you and looks at you, make a sound (I use CHIP!) and then give your dog a treat. After a while, your dog will be in front of you and and eager to play this game. Experiment by holding the food in both hands and moving them from in front of your face to your sides. Make the sound and reward when the dog stops following the food and looks at you instead. Mix your praise and rewards with the occasional stroke and work up to a cuddle. You’ll get there!
Mine is the same! Don’t worry too much about it. He’s 6 now and has always moved away from people when being touched. It’s not so much that he doesn’t want it, he just gets “excited” and would rather try to move on than hang out. He sees being pet as the start of some new activity or something. His mind isn’t focused on the pets.
When a stranger asks to pet him in public, he just tries to find a stick or tries to move forward while doing some sniffs. He love people, and has always been kind. People always ask me if he isn’t friendly because of him not wanting pets, but that is far from the truth. He’s just a strange dog who doesn’t care much for belly rubs!
I've had 7 dogs in my life so far, and all of them had different levels of physical affection, from always wanting to cuddle and even sleeping under the covers pressed against your belly (Bull terriers) to mostly aloof, will accept pets but has no need for cuddles (border collie). All dogs, like all people, have their own needs and desires. Figure out what your dog really enjoys (long walks, playing with a ball, scent tracking) and engage her that way. You will create a great bond between you both that way without the need for hugs and kisses.
Okay our boy was the same way and he is now 6 - what a cuddle monster! He legit will fall asleep with his chin resting on my shoulder, he will walk through our legs for butt scratches and sit at our feet for head/snout scratches. I think he legit was too nuts to appreciate the physical affection til he got older.
cover your selfs in blankets it works with boxers so why not German shepherd s
My boy took forever to become cuddly and affectionate. I had to realize that I had to let him have fun and get worn down before he’d be interested in even being close to me. After a while of trying to be affectionate with him after he got tired he’s the biggest cuddle bug
I had a GSD\mix from 9 weeks old. She loved everything and everybody. Loved my house panther 🐈⬛
always loved people. She was a sweet girl, just not a rocket 🚀 scientist 👩🔬…
My girl didn’t care for loves until she was a little bit older, around 3 I’d say. She initiates it now when our lab/rot is getting attention or if dad’s playing with our daughter.
My male gsd is the same. He will come sit by me often. But doesn’t like a lot of pats and cuddles. Same with other dogs walks away likes his space.
My other female dogs love it. GSD’s have their own personalities.
You ever watched that cartoon from loony tunes with that girl that hugs the dogs to death? Don’t be her. Give him space. Make him comfortable around you. Do nice things with him that he actually enjoys like tug. Build engagement.
My male gsd has more drive than my female for tug. And play, wants to folllow me often. Go out on walks. Play tug…
Female - likes to lounge more and get pets.
My conclusion is that my male gsd has more “gsd” in him. They are both pure bred. But GSD’s stereotypically were never meant to be pets. They are active working dogs, that also like some RR (rest relaxation). And sometimes getting hugged to death, isn’t part of that.
Took my boy until he was around 2 to decide cuddles were good. He was kinda aloof to start with and now he will crawl in bed and put his head on my lap
Ours is the same way! But she does she her love in other ways. Our other GS on the other hand is always wanting attention lol. I believe they’re just like humans, we all have different personalities and different ways to show/receive affection. I’m sure she loves you 🥰
Your GSD sounds like my boyfriend
Our family dog (who is a lab mix and almost certainly is part shepherd) occasionally does things like that as well, and so does my 3-year-old lab. Unlike my lab though, she also tends to cover and paw at her face when I try to pat her. She is also a rescue though and I think it's an anxious submissive thing. It could also just be her trying to tell her human family members when she just wants to be left alone.
My boy is the same way. He MUST be in the same room, will lay next to us on the couch and sleeps at the foot of our bed leaning against my legs. But he does not like to be caressed or cuddled; he gets up immediately and will just lay further away.
They show you their love in quirky ways, just like humans. For my boy, it is walking between my legs then standing there for butt scratches. Also his insistence on following me EVERYWHERE is endearing so I take that as a sign of love too 💕
Totally normal. My guy is 1.5 and just warming up to cuddles.
I grew up with a girl GSD. She was never affectionate in the least. You were lucky to give her a few pets before you could hear her working up to a growl. She never bit though.
Fiercely protective of our house/property and super fucking scary. We took OK care of her but I don't know that she ever really got the workouts a dog like that needs. I didn't know that as a kid, and my parents were too busy with life. Not saying that's connected, it's a regret of mine now that I know more.
I have a female GS rescue and she’s almost the same way. She won’t do cuddles and will get up and move if I start to smother her with kisses. However she likes to stay by my side. She’ll follow me to which ever room I’m in and lay near my feet. I’ve done some research and some dogs just like to have their space. I just respect that and she’ll sometimes come up to me on her own terms for pets and belly rubs. I wouldn’t worry too much and just let them come up to you when they want affection.
My GSD is a bit over 6 months of age. He's LEARNING what affection is and that he actually likes it ( specifically belly & chest rubs ).
He wasn't abused, I've had him since he was weaned. He simply isn't a natural love-bug like most dogs. He has a great personality, he's insanely intelligent and needs a lot of my undivided attention with play and walks. He's a lot of fun and my constant companion. It isn't a big deal that he doesn't need loads of affection.
I think it's a gsd thing. Our 7mo gsd isn't very fond of pets either. We can pet her back half when she's not relaxing but she never likes us petting her head/neck/shoulders or she'll jump away from us. And she loves cuddling up on us whenever she lays down but if we dare put a hand anywhere on her body then she'll jump up and move somewhere else. She plays with us all the time though and gets super excited every time any of us come home, so it's not that she doesn't like us. She just has something against the petting. I'm guessing your dog is probably something similar. Just try to listening to what she's saying she likes/doesn't like and respect her opinions about it. She'll love you even more for it.
Our Loki (a trained protection dog from hard line of working dogs) WAS exactly the same as a puppy and started off as a very distant “couldn’t care less” dog. so it took my partner a lot of training and bonding to make him affectionate, warm and loving - this being working with Loki in harsh conditions/ training that made Loki feel safe with his handler and put all trust in him - this was a whole year of consistent training and bonding and it’s resulted in Loki being an all rounded dog that would put his life on the line to save his handler / hard protection dog who is always on guard watching out for his owners / loving gentle, loves to snuggle up and be close, follows us around the house etc.
I cried the other day and he came up to me and licked the tears away from my eyes! 😥🥰
My late lady was bullied in her family so I suspect that she forced herself to grow up and be a badass fast. She wasn't a cuddle bug, but GSDs generally don't like it. They'll tolerate it, because you're their family amd they'll let you know when your pets and huggies get too much for them.
My first GSD was a total badass! He was like the Marines and exudes power.
My current 14wk old bounces off the walls and fox dives onto her bed. She is very expressive and prey driven.
I have 3 dogs, 2 of them loves cuddles, my third is not a cuddler though. Usually if I pet her she bites me (playfully, her love language is play time) some dogs just have different love languages, just like humans and your baby just isn't a cuddler, perhaps she has a different way of expressing how she feels. I wouldn't say she doesn't like you just that she doesn't like touch probably.