Is your dog glued to your face as soon as you wake up?
After you open your eyes, your dog starts licking you like there’s no tomorrow.
And while you like affection, it can sometimes get over the top.
It makes you wonder why your dog does this in the morning.
Is it because they missed you during the night?
Or, are they afraid you’re gonna leave them alone for the day?
Keep reading to discover:
- If being affectionate is related to age.
- Top 10 reasons why your dog acts this way.
- Whether energy has something to do with it.
- And much much more…
Why is my dog so affectionate in the morning?
Your dog is affectionate in the morning because it’s their way of greeting you. Other reasons are having too much energy, feeling loved and secure, missing you, liking your scent. Or they’re excited to eat, aging, you rewarded them for being affectionate in the morning, or they like to feel warm.
Top 10 reasons why your dog is so affectionate (and cuddly) in the morning
#1: It’s their way of greeting
This might be what your pooch wants to say when they see you get up in the morning. (If you and your dog sleep in the same room.)
They may also lick your face or lovingly crawl to bed to get their initial dose of petting.
Or they may also say, “Welcome back!” As they stretch their arms upward as if they’re wanting to hug you. If you left them out to sleep.
Our dogs are always happy to see us. No matter how long or short the time interval is when they last saw you. It seems like a celebration every time you are reunited.
Of course, their reaction will be totally different if they see someone that they don’t like in the morning. All the more negative reactions will be shown if it were a stranger.
If they don’t have a good connection with a human, they become scared or anxious.
The bottom line is, dogs greet humans that they know well. Or those with whom they have an emotional bond. Your dog’s way of greeting varies with their personality.
Here are more ways dogs greet their human companions:
- Wagging tail.
- Bringing their toys.
- Whining or barking.
- Jumping with excitement.
- Running and initiating play.
- Falling down on the floor with excitement.
- Calmly approaching then gently rubbing against your legs.
Note: Though jumping is a typical greeting among dogs, some owners discourage this behavior as it may harm or scare the visitors.
#2: Too much energy
“Hey, Mom & Dad, how do you like my energy today?”
A good night’s relaxation is all your dog needs to regain their strength. They are like their human companions in a lot of ways!
Yet, our fur babies usually sleep a little more compared to us.
Studies show that, on average, dogs need 10 hours of sleep a day and their sleeping pattern varies with age, breed, and size.
For example, pups sleep more for an average of 20 hours a day as their cute bodies develop.
While awake, they usually burn a lot of calories in playing, running, and other physical exercises.
Like puppies, aging dogs also engage in longer sleep. Fully grown, larger breeds at least six years old can sleep 18 hours a day. Don’t you just love being a dog?
Going back to the excessive energy of your pooch…
After your cuddle time, they might even have zoomies. These are also called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs) or sudden energy explosions by our pooches.
They normally display such bursting energy first thing in the morning or at night, before bedtime.
But zoomies aren’t always triggered by happiness or excitement. Some dogs get triggered when they’re anxious like after bath time or when they’re scared such as after visiting a vet.
Some dog breeds have extra energy because of the tasks they used to do like hunting.
Over time, when working dogs became household pets, their high-energy traits as working breeds were kept.
Most energetic dog breeds
|Herding breeds||Instinctively look for people or animals to herd||Australian shepherds, collies, sheepdogs, and heelers|
|Sporting dogs||Smart and alert; bred to retrieve birds that people used to instruct||Spaniels, pointers, retrievers, and setters|
|Sighthounds||Also called “gazehounds”, are high-speed, short-distance runners that hunt and chase their prey||Greyhounds, wolfhounds, whippets|
How can you tell if they’re just happy or going overboard with their energy?
Here are the signs that your pooch is overly energetic:
- Spinning in circles.
- Mouthing and nipping.
- Calm for a moment then suddenly changes behavior (zoomies).
#3: Feeling loved and secure
Does your dog like to kiss and do they become overly affectionate?
Dogs are very expressive. They will look at you any time of day with those loving eyes. They also enjoy cuddling as their way to display love and security.
Below are more indications that your pooch feels loved and safe:
- Staring at you.
- Leaning on you.
- Licking your face.
- Following you around.
- Sharing toys with you.
- Bringing you broken toys.
- Rubbing their face on you.
- Rubbing their nose on you.
- Wanting to sleep near you.
- Watching you when you’re sick.
“Just like me, they long to be close to you…” This is what your dog is imagining while they follow and lean on you wherever you go.
Some animal behaviorists believe that dogs lean on us to be close to us. Apart from the attention you give them, they crave physical contact with their fur parents.
#4: Your dog missed you
“I’ve been waiting for you from dusk ‘til dawn, Mom! Why didn’t you let me in your room?”
Have you heard that dogs can experience separation anxiety, a.k.a sepanx?
Sepanx happens when dogs become overly attached to their fur parents and they become stressed or anxious when left alone.
Your pooch can have this. Especially if you’ve been very close and affectionate with them.
They hate the feeling of being separated from you. So even if they know you are inside the house, they’re still anxious.
Since your dog is dependent on you, they always want to be by your side.
You might be thinking, “What if my dog is just being clingy?”
Here’s how to tell the difference.
Though both behaviors show their deep affection for humans by wanting to always be next to them; a dog who is clingy doesn’t panic once you leave.
They are also known as “Velcro dogs” since they follow their owners everywhere.
While a dog that has sepanx, he panics when his fur parent leaves.
Older dogs often display clinginess when they suffer from loss of eyesight, hearing, or memory.
But, separation anxiety is not always expressed through affection.
Signs of separation anxiety among dogs
- Excessive barking and howling.
- Excessive drooling, panting, salivating.
- Chewing things, digging holes, and scratching doors.
- Urinating or pooping inside the house – though common, is frustrating for pet owners. Since we’ve been taught to clean up after our mess.
- But don’t get the wrong idea that your dog is rebelling since you’re gone. Maybe they just couldn’t hold it any longer.
- Destruction – is a typical behavior of dogs with separation anxiety. Often, you can find the damage near the entry or exit doors when your pooch is left inside the house.
- Note: Sometimes, when placed in cages or crates, your pets are at risk of hurting themselves in an attempt to break out.
- Aggression – is the most harmful sign of separation anxiety. Direct aggression happens when your dog is aggressive towards other people or animals. Indirect aggression becomes dangerous when you get between your dogs that are both aggressive.
Check out also: Why is my dog suddenly being destructive?
#5: They like your morning scent
“You smell abssolutelyyy amazingggg, Mom/Dad!”
For us, humans, we rely heavily on our sense of sight. But when it comes to dogs, their noses are their primary source of information. That’s how canines check their surroundings.
Fun fact: Did you know that dogs have more than 100 million sensory receptor sites in their noses while we only have 6 million?
Also, a part of their brain responsible for processing odor recognition (olfactory receptors) is 30x larger than ours?
This is why your dog’s sense of smell is between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than yours!
Research also reveals that these bigger receptors support them to locate a certain odor even if there are other competing odors.
This is the reason why they have been reliable partners in the military, law enforcement, and search and rescue operations.
#6: Excited to eat
Do you think only us humans have a body clock?
Guess again! Forming a habit with our furry friends is pretty easy. As it takes only 30 days for them to learn a new trick or way to do things.
While we’re often told that for humans, it just takes at least 21 days to form a habit. Later, it was found that it’s not sustainable that way since the new habit is dropped after two weeks.
Thus, the safe way to habit formation among humans is by practicing it for 9.5 weeks.
Now back to your dog’s habit…
Perhaps they are already used to their feeding time. (Or they can’t just wait for you to feed them soon!) This is why they are affectionate and so excited to see you.
So if you have formed a habit with your pooch, stick to the schedule you set. Or else they might turn on their “bark alarm”.
#7: They’re naturally affectionate
Dogs have that natural ability to make us feel better when we go through challenging times.
So don’t be surprised if they are affectionate in the morning since it’s just built in their system.
Their unwavering affection is so evident that studies back up the idea that your pooch has an immense therapeutic value to mental health.
Dogs play a major role in social recognition or forming a social connection.
In this case, a bond between a fur parent and a pooch. Don’t you find it amazing how our pooches can fulfill this role?
You might want to watch this adorable Golden Retriever whose name is Loubie as proof.
Here are the 15 most affectionate dog breeds: (Check if your pooch is listed here)
- Shih Tzus.
- Great Danes.
- Bichon Frises.
- Pitbull Terriers.
- Brussels Griffons.
- Golden Retrievers.
- Labrador Retrievers.
- Old English Sheepdogs.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
#8: They’re aging
As dogs grow older, their bond and connection with you tend to grow as well.
This increase in affection among aging dogs is also due to their reliance during sickness. Also, senior dogs may not have the capability for long plays but they are always open to long cuddles!
#9: You must’ve been affectionate in the morning too!
Your dog must’ve remembered the affection and cuddles they received from you yesterday. Naturally, they wanted to feel that affection again. (Oooppsss… I hope you didn’t forget that.)
Oh, how they love that extra attention we give them!
Rewards like these – including treats and more play, highly encourage your dogs to repeat showing their affection each morning.
#10: Longing for warmth
Some dogs feel cold most especially during winter. So when they crawl into your bed, just let them go for it.
BONUS: 3 ways to respond to your dog’s affection in the morning
#1: Ensure a comfortable environment for your pooch
Create a comfortable environment for them before you go.
If the reason why your dog is getting extra affectionate is due to separation anxiety. Make sure that they are placed in an area that is not too hot or not too cold.
Leave the toys to keep them busy while you’re gone. And don’t forget to feed them before you go. Also, ensure that water is always accessible to them.
Choose an area in the house or in your yard where they can freely urinate and poop. Train them to only do “their thing” here.
#2: Feed them sooner
If you think your dog is being affectionate because they want to eat and it’s not yet their feeding time, try to give them something they can nibble on. (They must be hungry!)
Also, always provide them with water to avoid dehydration.
#3: Avoid encouraging
If you’re not yet ready for morning licks from your pooch, avoid rewarding or giving them extra affection as well as a means to stop them.
If they are calmer and behave, that’s the time you can reward them.
BONUS: 7 ways to show affection to your dog
#1: Prepare for cuddle time
A five-minute cuddle time with your dog will both give you that extra boost for the day. And if they extend it a bit more, just go with it! They will love it!
#2: Let them play with their toys
If you’re heading out, make them more comfortable by leaving their toys and letting them play.
#3: Allow them to spend time with you
Whether you’re writing a report or planting in your garden, allow them to spend time with you.
#4: Pet them
A belly rub or a massage behind their ears are still the best spots in petting them. If your dog has quite thick fur, try brushing them.
#5: Exercise with your pooch
Nothing beats a daily walk or playing fetch in the park. Oh, how they love physical stimulation!
#6: Recognize their good behavior
When they are calm and behave, praise them by recognizing them.
Sometimes, you may be like your parents who only notice the bad side like if they’re barking loudly or destroying things around.
But when they’re behaving, there’s no reaction. So reward them with praise if they are good.
#7: Engage them in mental stimulation
As much as physical exercise, they too, need mental training to develop their smartness!