If your dog has ever at some point insisted on being held like a baby, you probably might have wondered why and if this is problematic behavior.
Luckily for you, in this article, you’ll get all the answers you need.
Dogs tend to be Very affectionate towards people that they love and feel safe around.
And asides from face licking, there are some other ways for them to show affection towards you their owners.
This can be through cuddles or being in your arms e.g being cradled like a baby.
This isn’t cause for alarm as there are reasons why this happens.
5 Reasons Your Dog Likes Being Held Like A Baby
Scientists have hypothesized that dogs bond with their humans in a similar way a human baby will bond to its parents.
Ideally, this should be a good enough reason (and a very cute one at that) for why your dog loves being held like a baby.
But there are still more possible reasons behind it.
Here are some other reasons your dog likes being held like a baby:
1. Looking For Attention
Like human children, dogs can be extremely dramatic when they’re feeling neglected or aren’t getting enough love from their humans.
When this happens, they might decide to pick the silliest way to get your attention.
And what better way to get your human’s full attention than being held like a baby.
So if you notice your dog demanding to be held like a baby after a long period of being ignored, then they’re probably starved for attention.
2. Your Dog Might Have Separation Anxiety
Some dogs just can’t get over the fact that their humans need to leave the house for work or to run errands.
This causes them to get disgruntled as soon as they notice you walking out the door.
This behavior can have something to do with a past abusive household or it could be because they’re fairly young and aren’t used to being alone.
That’s why they become very clingy as soon as you either walk in through the door or you’re about to leave.
A good way to know if your dog has separation anxiety is that you’ll notice them start to pave about or cry when they notice you leaving.
3. They Are Being Affectionate
Different dogs show love and affection in many different ways.
Some will jump on you or bark in excitement whenever they notice you walk into the room, others prefer a more cuddly way.
Your dog might want to show you just how much they love you by wanting you to hold them like a baby.
They can even proceed to nuzzle at you while they do it or lick your face.
This is all a way for them to be affectionate towards you.
4. They Might Be Scared
Your dog no matter how brave can get scared too.
When this happens, they tend to reach out to the person they trust the most for safety.
And it’s only natural for your dog to want the safety and familiarity you have to offer by insisting on being held like a baby.
5. Seeking Protection
Similar to being scared, your dog might want to seek out safety and protection in moments that might be unsettling to them.
You might notice them trying to crawl up your lap during certain situations.
This can happen during a storm or a parade involving fireworks.
They are trying to shield themselves away from the dangers outside.
Is It OK To Encourage This Behavior?
Ordinarily, this is really cute behavior and it honestly isn’t hurting anyone.
So that means it’s harmless right?
Well not quite, there are a few things that you should consider before you can rule in favor of encouraging the behavior.
Events that happened before
We’ve already established that your dog might want to be held like a baby when they’re scared or require protection.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s heartwarming that your dog will trust you so much.
However, it will help if you consider training it out of this behavior so it won’t be so dependent on you for comfort when he gets scared.
Also, limit your dog’s exposure to things that might frighten him.
Is this a recent development?
Some dogs pick up peculiar habits as the day goes by.
It’s important to try to observe your dog and find out where it got this behavior from.
Sometimes it can be because it decided it’s a rewarding experience (i.e. reward being your attention) other times it might be because it’s anxious or scared.
Neither one of these reasons is particularly healthy and you should aim to encourage your dog to be more independent.
Your dog’s reaction to being put down
Oftentimes, not an option people consider but try to observe how your dog reacts to you putting it down or getting up to run an errand.
Do they throw a fit? Do they become even more clingy? Etc.
As long as you don’t hurt them or drop them on the floor roughly, there’s nothing wrong with holding your dog like a baby.
And like we’ve already established, your dog will find comfort in being held this way.
However, it’s important to observe your dog and find out their reasons for wanting to be held like a baby.
If its reasons can become an inconvenience to both of you over time, it might be beneficial that you train them out of this behavior.
But make sure you do it at a steady pace.