You will surprise to know that there is a right technique of petting a dog. The morning hug, which makes up your day, might not be welcome by your pooch. Here’s how
to pet your dog.
Don’t generalise the dog’s behaviour and attributes, understand the need of your pet – before petting. Here are few ways to pet a pooch:
1Understand the dog:
Don’t pet a dog who doesn’t initiate contact with you. Even the slightest hint of contact like tail wagging or eye contact should be considered a sign for petting. Understand the dog’s mood by the wag of the tail. Let the dog sniff you and become familiar with you. If he stays back or acts a little grumpy, you should not pet him.
Be extra cautious around a sleeping, fearful, sick or reserved dog. You don’t want to alarm them with sudden greetings and pats.
3 Perfect approach:
Whether it is your own dog or an unknown dog, you have to always approach the dog slowly and preferably bend down to their height.
4 Stop when the dog feels uncomfortable:
When you approach the dog, if he moves away or shows any signs of discomfort, then you need to stop.
5 Hugging blues:
Hugging your dog can be a routine for you. But do you know that some dogs get frightened and threatened when you hug them? Cuddling your furry companion for a pampering session is nothing less than rejuvenation, but you need to be cautious. It can also be the case where your pet may like the hug of one family member over the others. If you notice the dog exhibiting any such signs then it is better to mould yourself as per the liking of the pet.
6 Petting your friend’s dog:
If you want to pet someone else’s dog you must ask the pet parent about the dog’s temperament and behaviour. If the dog is friendly with strangers then you can slowly approach the dog and give an encouraging pat on the back.
7 Petting a stray:
If it is a stray that you want to pet, be very carefull as they are not vaccinated. You can foster the friendship with warm food, clean water and companionship. In no time, the stray will let you pet him.
8 Make petting a play session:
Bring in your pet’s favourite toys – ball, tug of war or a soft toy and elevate the excitement.
9 Don’t force your pet to interact with other dogs/humans.
Just like we humans, dogs have friends and foes. So if your pet isn’t friendly with your neighbour’s dog it is perfectly okay. Also don’t allow strangers to pet your dog when he is showing signs of wanting to be left alone.
10 Positive encouragement:
Positive encouragement works wonders with fearful and shy dogs. Give them treats when they stay calm and show socially amicable behaviour.
11 Pet slowly:
Don’t make any sudden movements like scratching, slapping or moving your hand very fast on his body. Pet him slowly and if you feel, he is liking it, you can continue it.
Where to pet and where not to pet?
Understand that each dog has individual choices, likes and dislikes. All dogs are different and have different preferences. When you understand how physical contact is affecting your pet it helps you develop a positive relation.
Generally most dogs like to be patted on the chest, back and behind the ears. In fact, it is rightly said that ‘Give a dog a belly rub and you’ll have both a friend and a permanent job.’Many people think that dogs like being patted on the head. On the contrary most dogs don’t like being patted on the head. It is quite common for dogs to lean away when you try to pat them on the head.
Avoid petting on the muzzle, paws, top of the head and tail. Whatever you do, do it with love and affection. Happy Petting!