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I have to write about this honestly, even though I'm sure it could upset someone. If it helps, I'm upset that I feel this way too. That still doesn't resolve the problem.

I grew up with a dog, I lived with a dog and a fiance in my 20s, and he got to live to 15 (he was a large breed shepherd mix). My husband was a cat person, but I just love dogs so much that we got a beagle. The beginning was, of course, hellish, but he learnt a lot and he's generally fairly well-behaved (if he gets tons of exercise). He's also adorable.

The problem is that a lot of what I loved in dogs is missing. Unconditional love? It's not here. Honestly, I'm not sure that there is any love (from the doggie). The bond? I think that anyone in the world can have the same bond with him as me if they throw him his toys to fetch and give him food (we left him recently with a friend who has a dog for two days, he didn't even notice when we left). He never wants to cuddle, unless he's exhausted and he just doesn't have the energy to get up and leave. When I try to pet him, he literally puts a paw on my face and pushes me away. I have videos of this and it's very cute, but I don't like the meaning behind it.

He wants me to walk him (he's actually "hunting" the whole time), to feed him (I think he'd kill me for food if he could), and then leave him alone. I understand that he's a dog, not a child. I do. I want to respect it. But at this point I'm starting to feel like I'm in an abusive relationship with a dog (I'm translating this into human terms, obviously, to try to explain how I feel). We pay for his doggie daycare so he can spend time with other dogs. We feed him. When at home and not tired, he wants me to throw his toys for him relentlessly. I'm not enjoying this when it goes on for hours, but I do it to make him happy. I managed to hurt my eye really badly a few weeks ago because I was throwing him the toy while cooking. Then when I want my 5 minutes of cuddling a day, he grunts, pushes me away and leaves.

Maybe I'm unreasonable and needy to want this from my dog. But I do. I don't want to feel like a human food dispenser, and I don't want all the love to come from me, and none from him. Isn't it what people mention when they tell you how much they love their dog? "He greets me as soon as I come home," "he loves me no matter what." Well, I have the opposite situation here. I love him, and he wants me to fulfill his needs and then just leave him alone or take him somewhere to play with other dogs.

Yesterday he spent the whole day playing, came home tired, I fed him, he lied down on the couch, I wanted to pet him, he jumped from the couch and jerked his head so hard that he managed to hit me above the eye. I cried for an hour, wondering why on earth I'm doing this. I could have had a wild animal if it was going to be like this - anything really - but then at least I'd know what I'm in for. I've always talked about the amazing bond between humans and dogs, and now I feel like it's all laughably wrong, at least in this case. Is the reason partially that he's a hound? Does anyone else have this issue? How do I make this work without being miserable? (The dog is perfectly happy. It's me who's miserable.) Thanks.
 

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For the most part, dogs were not designed to be objects of our affection, they were designed to do a job and you have a Beagle which is most definitely a working breed. It sounds to me like you are being way too needy, just let him be who he is. Don't take it personally, he wants his space and respect that. Frankly, I would ignore him when you are at home and do your thing and let him do his, I would also advise against spends hours throwing him a ball to fetch inside, live that for outside.

One of my favorite quotes:

“When a dog is just around us, without feeling the need to react in any way, that’s what magnetic attunement feels like. When we talk to the dog, we destroy it.”
—Kevin Behan
 

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I'd also use his food drive and do some training with him. Make it trick training so you never need to wean off the food rewards if you like. Beagles are seriously intelligent dogs when it comes to food, might as well get some giggles from it.

Incorporate obedience in with the toy games, might as well do some obedience work along with wearing out your throwing arm.

My dogs snuggle plenty but I ask them to come up, I don't pull them to me. Even so Ginger is all about the down blankie rather than my lap.

If you are up to sports you might look into nosework. There was a Basset in my class and it was wonderful getting to see him using that marvelous nose. It's great to be able to work with your dog's talents like that.
 

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Thank you, Kathyy.

He is very intelligent and knows plenty of tricks. He even rolls over for a treat:) I wish I could get him to come and snuggle. If I'm holding treats to try to teach him to be close and snuggle a bit, he's just too excited about the treats that he can smell, and he starts jumping on my pregnant belly, so that doesn't work.

Mirzam
I knew that someone would tell me that I'm needy and that I should leave the dog alone. Well, here is my answer. I'm a human, sure, but I consider humans a kind of an animal - we are mammals after all. And most mammals like bonding. Taking good care of a demanding creature and expecting 5 min a day of something that I want to do (which isn't something horribly unpleasant, I just want to pet him a bit) is being "needy"? Really?

Every relationship I had in my life was in some ways two-directional, be it with cats, parents, husband, friends, or dogs, and it's hard for me to adjust to something that is completely unidirectional. You ended with a nice quote (and I'm certainly not trying to have verbal conversations with my dog), but in your signature you have another, which says that a dog is the "ultimate empath" and "a feeling." Obviously, something in that quote resonated with you and reminded you of your relationship with dogs. It would have done the same for me with my previous dogs as well. Is it then truly so hard for you to understand that someone would be saddened by a complete lack of bond with their dog?
 

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Maybe this makes you feel better :) - My dog, Zoey, does not like human affection at all. She will accept a few pets but that is it. She does not like to sit near us, lay down near us or anything that may have us pet her. She is my dog by all the information that I have received from the rest of the family ... she doesn't acknowledge anyone coming in the door but me. If I try to pet her when she does lay next to me she will get up and move. We have our time in the morning after my shower where she will roll over for a belly rub before we go downstairs but that is it. She very infrequently will accept petting but not that often. Both of my sons are disappointed in that she doesn't play or do anything "like all other dogs do".

It's her personality, apparently it is a lot of dogs personalities ... she is not like our other dog at all. We love her and we live with her quirks!
 

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Is it then truly so hard for you to understand that someone would be saddened by a complete lack of bond with their dog?
You can be saddened by it, but the reality is is that you either have to accept it or find another course of action (rehome the dog or get a 2nd dog preferably an adult that you will be able to see if it's affectionate before you get it so it can fill your need for an affectionate dog)
 

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Mirzam
I knew that someone would tell me that I'm needy and that I should leave the dog alone. Well, here is my answer. I'm a human, sure, but I consider humans a kind of an animal - we are mammals after all. And most mammals like bonding. Taking good care of a demanding creature and expecting 5 min a day of something that I want to do (which isn't something horribly unpleasant, I just want to pet him a bit) is being "needy"? Really?

Every relationship I had in my life was in some ways two-directional, be it with cats, parents, husband, friends, or dogs, and it's hard for me to adjust to something that is completely unidirectional. You ended with a nice quote (and I'm certainly not trying to have verbal conversations with my dog), but in your signature you have another, which says that a dog is the "ultimate empath" and "a feeling." Obviously, something in that quote resonated with you and reminded you of your relationship with dogs. It would have done the same for me with my previous dogs as well. Is it then truly so hard for you to understand that someone would be saddened by a complete lack of bond with their dog?
I accept my dog for what he is and do not make demands on his behavior towards me. I think you are demanding your dog be something which his is not, even if it seems you are asking little back in return for all you do for him. Isn't the most loving, compassionate thing to love and accept him as he is and do what you do for him without expecting compensation by way of affection from him? You are also projecting human thoughts onto an animal that does not think or operate that way. Dogs are team players and bond through being part of a team, so let him be on your team in whatever position he is comfortable with. There are many ways you can increase your dog's attraction to you, work on that through his drive to connect and you might see "improvement" in his behavior towards you.

I think you should take this opportunity to examine all your relationships, as something is clearly being reflected back to you from your dog, as dogs are indeed nature's ultimate empaths. Let his behavior bring your thoughts to the surface so that you can study these thoughts in terms of what you feel. Ask yourself what you like and don't like about your dog, find the same context in your life and perhaps where you are holding back?
 

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Unfortunately, while you can be sad that your relationship with this dog isn't what you had hoped it would be, you are not really going to be able to change *who* the dog naturally is or his personality. Might you be able to get him to simply *tolerate* some snuggling time? Maybe - but is that really what you want to do? And you don't mention how long you've had him, or how old he is. If he's still young, there's a chance he'll slow down a bit as he ages & become more of the cuddler you would like him to be - but there's certainly no guarantee. As the human in this relationship, it is up to YOU to make allowances for the dog he is & to come to terms with it. He didn't ask to become your pet - that was your choice.

On a side note, you mention a 'pregnant belly'. I'm actually thinking that a non-velcro dog might just come in very handy once that baby is born & you have to deal with a newborn on your lap & in your arms constantly. A more clingy dog can have some issues with the 'lap displacement' that occurs in such a situation. You're not likely to have that problem. You might want to think about appreciating his more independent nature, rather than trying to fight it.
 

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How long ago did you get him? It took at least a year before we felt like our older dog was really bonded to us at all, other than as givers-of-food.

Second everything everyone else has said here. Some dogs are naturally not very cuddly. Just like among humans, there are different kinds of bonds between dogs and humans and to me it sounds like you have the wrong kind of dog for the kind of bond that you expected to have, and really your options are to: 1) adjust your expectations 2) rehome the beagle with a home where his personality will mesh better and try again with a dog known for being cuddly (either an adult or a breed known for it); or 3) get a second dog that will fill your "need" for a cuddly dog.

Yesterday he spent the whole day playing, came home tired, I fed him, he lied down on the couch, I wanted to pet him, he jumped from the couch and jerked his head so hard that he managed to hit me above the eye.
Also, the part in bold sounds a lot like he is very sensitive to being touched. There could be a variety of reasons for that, from a medical issue to a history of abuse or punishment (which doesn't necessarily have to have been hitting - it could be a simple as having been restrained to take a bath or at the vet's, etc.).
 

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I'm not a person who likes to be touched. I tolerate hugs from some of my friends and family but they know I'm not going to be a hugger or cuddler, they know it has nothing to do with them, and they're ok with it. Your dog not wanting this type of affection from you has nothing to do with your relationship, it's just how your dog is.

As for one of your dogs hitting you in the face with their head, that could be a reaction from abuse or it could be that dogs don't realize that our faces are softer than theirs. Both of my dogs have bashed me in the face several times, either as part of play or just on accident.
 

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Some breeds are not cuddlers by nature, most of the Beagles I've known where not really cuddle dogs.
I'd say in the future look more at the breed your getting, for now the advise above is pretty sound.
 
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