You Need A Snugglehound (New Breed Category #3)

The wonderful Laura Temple Carroll once found herself with a litter of coonhound puppies to place (because she is the kind of awesome person who finds homes for strays all the time), but kept ending up with bad applicants who wanted to use them for hunting dogs. I had been down this road before, so I suggested that she change her Craigslist posting to include the word “snugglehound.” As we had hoped, a far better caliber of adopter presented itself immediately.

It’s not really rocket science to figure out why this is. People who want dogs for hunting don’t want a dog that prefers to nap on a sofa while their human watches television. But there are a LOT of people who want a snugglehound, it seems.

So what exactly is a snugglehound? Well, the title of “snugglehound” is bestowed on dogs whose ability to cuddle, snuggle and affectionately nap on or adjacent to his human(s) is exceptional. Any breed can be a snugglehound, although hound dogs often set the standard in this area because they have the seeming ability to become boneless when sleeping, giving the human being snuggled (sometimes known as the snugglee) the impression of being next to a warm chenille blanket.

How, might you ask, can an entire breed category be defined by a fondness for one particular behavior? It’s because this is their chief motivation for living. They have many joys in life, but it’s clear that they are happiest curled up next to a human. Some of them will even race upstairs immediately after dinner to camp out on the human’s bed until it’s snuggling time.

A picture of a yellow lab dog leaning against a white box and being pet by a man wearing jeans.
This is a classic example of a snugglehound taking advantage of a convenient human. (Photo source:

Snugglehounds can be any breed, any size, and any energy level. Their temperaments span the range from needy to placid. As long as they live to cuddle up next to a human (or another dog if no human is available), they fall into that category.

Snugglehounds are surprisingly stealthy. Sometimes humans can be sitting at their desk only to notice that there is a dog leaning against them in such a way that they have uninterrupted access from foot to hip. If a snugglehound is allowed to sleep in bed, a human need merely move slightly to find that their dog has suddenly come in contact with even more of their body.

A picture of a reddish-brown hound dog sleeping on a bed with two pillows.
This dog is CLEARLY a snugglehound despite the absence of snugglees. (Source: MarkingOurTerritory)

In order to become a certified snugglehound, a dog should show some or all of these traits:

  • The ability to do a lean-in drape where the dog is able to arrange his or her body so that there is absolutely no space between it and an extended expanse of a human’s body.
  • An expression of blissful abandon while sleeping (many snugglehounds will blissfully snore).
  • A pronounced love of soft things and warm places (many a snugglehound will run outside in the morning to go potty, then race back in to snuggle in its bed; still others will need to be dragged out since they would prefer to remain in a warm bed).
  • Advanced snugglehounds will snuggle visitors to the home, including petsitters, extended family members and near-perfect strangers.
  • Advanced snugglehounds have also mastered “self-snuggling sleep” which means that they will curl up into tiny balls while napping. Some dogs will do a perfect oval with their legs tucked in, while others, such as the dog pictured below at right, will leave their legs out, in a position that resembles a high-diver in mid-dive tuck. Both self-snuggles are equally acceptable.

Snugglehounds have passionate followings, and it’s not surprising. If you haven’t had a snugglehound in your life, consider that to be an item for your bucket list.

A picture of a woman sleeping on her side and a brown and white hound dog snuggled on top of her.
If you had a snugglehound, you’d be home right now. (Source: LondonBeep)

By Moretta

Moretta will take that applause. Her Twitter is

17 replies on “You Need A Snugglehound (New Breed Category #3)”

Ugh, I wrote a comment but it vanished. Shame internets!
I’ve got a pair of snuggle hounds. The boy, tan and white, on the left, is less snuggly than he used to be, he seceded that to his baby sister. Now he’s a UGH YOU MOVED A TOE I’M LEAVING snuggler. He does take care of me when I’m sick, but only when I’m really sick, a cold doesn’t cut it. When I had pneumonia, he wouldn’t leave my side. He used to sleep on the bed until I got him a really fab dog bed. He is very much a pillows and blankets and bed kind of dog, I frequently find he has gotten back into my bed after I get out. He prefers to be wrapped in a blanket all winter, thank you very much.

Baby girl, the brindle, is a cuddle beast. Her life priorities include 1-playing (with me) 2- cuddling (with me) 3-food (which I give her). She’s just a little focused on me. If I’m at my desk, she’s at my feet. If I’m in the kitchen, she’s next to me. On the couch, she’s in my lap or next to me. On the bed, she’s attached to my leg or draped across my body. She sleeps under the covers (so she can be closer), usually back to back but likes to fall asleep with her head on my chest or on the pillow next to me with my arms wrapped around her. She will sit next to me and leaaaaaaaan in until she happens to be in my lap. Or she will sit next to me and lean back until I’m cradling her in my lap like a giant baby. Lots of cuddles for my baby. My mom calls her my shadow. Her sleeping under the covers wasn’t my idea, she would just put her head down and snowplow the covers to the foot of the bed, so I just started lifting them up for her and she settles right in. I’ve gotten used to having giant puppy feet in my back all night. It seems weird if she isn’t there. I had no idea I needed a Jasmine in my life until I got one, and now I don’t know how I did anything without her. I say that she’d live in my pocket if she could.

“She will sit next to me and leaaaaaaaan in until she happens to be in my lap. Or she will sit next to me and lean back until I’m cradling her in my lap like a giant baby.”

We call this “the flop” in our house. We announce it like we’re watching a game of Texas Hold ‘Em. “Aaaaand….The Flop!” Usually the flop comes with an expectation of belly and/or chin rubs.

My boy-o’s are most definitely snugglehounds. Awesome when you’re cold or you want snuggles. Pain in the neck when you need to get stuff done or would like to be able to feel your toes. They are also masters of the offended huff when I dare to move my leg. They give me the “look”, jump off the couch, stalk over to their bed, and glare at me.

They could also have picked it up from the cat. They both used to sleep on top of the back cushions of the couch-they got that from the cat. Our younger one “purrs” when he’s getting his ears rubbed. That might have come from the cat. They could definitely have gotten the “What is WRONG with you?!?” look from the cat.

I might have a part snugglehound. As soon as dinner is over, she is on the couch between us, using my legs as a bolster and Grant’s legs as a pillow. If you try to move her, she rolls over and becomes boneless. If you jostle her, you get a “look”. The only time you’re not being snuggled is when she’s found a secret cache of pillows/blankets/used towels to nest in.

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