The Proper Way to Cuddle a Dog – Part 1

Okay, I’m funnin’ ya.  The proper way to cuddle a dog is any way where both you and the pooch are comfortable.  However, you might want to take note of a few things.

Small Dogs

With smaller dogs like shih tzus, make sure their back is supported.  Tilly Tot doesn’t mind being held like a baby in your arms, but she’s cautious.  It’s obvious that she has had some bad experiences and is only willing to be held that way for so long. Then be prepared for a pint-sized battle as she struggles to get out.  One reason for this caution is that, like babies, these small dogs need to have their neck and back supported, especially as they get older.

Ling Ling and Tilly snuggling with Daddy.  Note where LL has placed her little butt.  Photo credit: Sandra Bell Kirchman

Ling Ling and Tilly snuggling with Daddy. Note where LL has placed her little butt. Photo credit: Sandra Bell Kirchman


If you have a shih tzu in your family, you have probably already found that your wee doggie loves cuddling and will take every opportunity to lie in your lap or snuggle up to you in bed.  There are different ways to snuggle though.

Oreo likes to pin me in on one side.  If Ling Ling decides to pin me in on the other side, I’m pretty much a shih tzu sandwich.  And don’t kid yourself…small dogs can weigh an easy 600 plus lbs. when they have you cornered like that.  Not so easy to get up.  I have trained our guys that when I say, “Move, move, move!” they had better move.  When they comply, I always tell them good girl or good boy, as the case may be.

For the most part, though, Oreo prefers to lie at the foot of the bed in such a way that he can keep an eye on the hall.  I am a night owl and Ernest is an early bird, so basically Oreo likes to monitor Daddy’s sleep whilst keeping tabs on me.  True to my Goddess of Food title, I might be going near some snacks or something.

From the Bottom…of Her Heart

Ling Ling has decided that the cuddliest part of her is her bony little bottom (see picture above).  She is the leanest of the three dogs; although she is well fleshed she is not fat at all, and the bones on her south end actually jab you.  For some reason, she has also decided that my bottom is the snuggliest part of me.  There, she may be right, if that isn’t TMI.  So I have the delight, every night, of having a bony bottom shoved right against my well-padded one.

It hasn’t really been that painful, but recently I have been having back trouble.  Now I know the meaning of back pain when, with unerring aim, she projects her behind right into the space between my ailing fifth and sixth vertebrae.  Fortunately, it doesn’t take her long to get comfortable, and I can stop groaning as she settles her eggs.

If Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?

Ling Ling has an odd preference for sleeping positions.  Her favoured spot, until it gets too hot, is in Daddy’s armpit.  Some nights you couldn’t pay me to sleep there.  However, Ling Ling has decided it is the most heavenly eau de daddy she has ever smelled and settles in as comfortably as a baby joey in her kangaroo mommy’s pouch.  The funny thing is that Tilly likes this way of sleeping as well.  Maybe it’s a girl dog thing.

How do your pets sleep at night…with you on the bed?
Elsewhere?  Any particular positions that they prefer?
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  (Next week watch for “The Proper Way to Cuddle a Dog – Part 2”)

 Text and photos (except where otherwise indicated)
are copyright © 2013 by Sandra Bell Kirchman.
All rights reserved. (Volume 14-4.3, April 19, 2014)


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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: The Proper Way to Cuddle a Dog – Part 2 | Puppy Dog Tales

Oreo, Tilly & Ling Ling will wag their tails if you reply :)

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