Patting the Dog: Where to Pet a Dog?
When you see a dog, your first thought is to pet them. However, patting the dog involves more than running over to them and tapping them on the head. In fact, that's something you should never do when petting dog.
Though you may have assumed showing your appreciation for a dog was simple, there's probably still much you need to learn to become an expert on how do dogs like to be petted.
Now that your curiosity is surely peaked and you're ready to ask your vet's advice, here is everything you need to know about how and where to pet a dog.
Everything You Need to Know about Patting a Dog
Unlike us humans who like to greet one another with hugs, dogs aren't much on hugging. Actually, hugging a dog makes it uncomfortable and sometimes scared. Therefore, it's best to know what it takes to make a dog being pet enjoy the experience.
To begin with, always ask the owner's permission to pet a dog. In some cases, petting may not be advised, especially if the dog has a physical problem that may have it not feeling well. Also, notice the dog's body language. If they are pulling away, showing their teeth, or acting scared, you should resist the urge to pet them, since this could result in you being bitten.
While attempting to find the best place to pet a dog, try not to look them directly in the eye or crouch over them, since they may take this as a threat. Instead, give them plenty of space, let them come to you, and then speak in gentle tones as you rub their neck and chest. Since dogs always feel more comfortable when they can see exactly what you're doing, this is an excellent petting strategy.
Don't Pet the Dog
In some situations when you may be out and about shopping or walking around your neighbourhood or in a park, don't make the mistake of assuming any dog you see can be petted. For example, if a dog is undergoing obedience training or is being groomed to be a service dog, they must not be distracted by your attempts to pet them. To practice proper petting etiquette, always ask permission before you reach down to say hello to a nearby dog.
Have You Been Petting Your Dog Wrong Your Entire Life?
Hard as it may be for you to believe, it is entirely possible you may have spent your entire life petting your dog in the wrong manner. Though your dog didn't want to speak up so as to spare your feelings, chances are your favourite canine has been longing to be petted correctly.
To begin with, despite what you may have heard about a dog being pet, you can't always trust a wagging tail. Should you notice ears pinned back or hair raised on a dog's back, this means they are nervous about your presence. Just like people, there are some dogs that like their space and have a paws-off approach to life, so keep this in mind before you reach down to say hello.
Petting an Unknown or Stray Dog
While petting a dog you know can be complex at times, petting an unknown or stray dog is even more confusing. For starters, never spook a dog you don't know by running at them or moving your hands toward them in a quick manner. This is especially important regarding stray dogs, since they may be lost from their homes or simply out on the streets and be much more prone to being easily scared.
Petting a Friendly Dog
When you know the dog you want to pet, still follow the same basic rules of patting the dog, which include moving slowly, speaking calmly, and letting the dog come to you first. If you have a treat or two handy, this will definitely get you in the dog's good graces. Also, be mindful that while petting dog you're not accidentally reinforcing undesirable behaviour. As an example, some dog owners require their dogs to sit prior to being petted. Should you ignore this rule, the dog may start to get confused, and the dog's owner won't be too happy either. However, by using good judgement and common courtesy, most dog petting missions are successful for everyone.
Is Petting Really That Important?
Just as humans long to feel the touch of others, dogs too like to be petted as much as possible. Therefore, petting is extremely important to the emotional well-being of almost all dogs. By experiencing the sensation of being touched by a person, a dog's level of good feelings gets a major boost, making them feel happy and joyful.
Therefore, so long as the circumstances are right at that particular moment, consider yourself to be doing a good deed when you pet a dog.
Where to Pet a Dog?
An age-old question that has at times stumped the brightest minds, discovering where do dogs like to be petted can turn you into the smartest person in the room. Actually, it all comes down to what is referred to as the dog's "sweet spot," which is the place that makes them kick back their leg, makes their eyes shine brighter, and has their tail wagging at warp speed.
Though there are many areas on a dog's body you may be tempted to pet, some are recommended much more than others. As for the "sweet spot," this is generally the head, chest, and upper portion of their back.
In some cases, the lower back can be petted, though most dogs are iffy at best about this approach. As for areas you probably should leave well enough alone, these include the dog's legs and most definitely the tail. Should you try to pet a dog's tail and accidentally do anything that feels like you're pulling, expect to get nipped.
Just as an old dog can still learn a new trick now and then, it's never too late for you to learn the best methods to use when patting a dog. From sticking out your hand and letting them approach you to finding that one "sweet spot" that will make you their favourite person for life, putting these tips into practice will make you the toast of the dog universe.
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