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Do Dogs Like Head Pats?

do dogs like head pats

Why do some dogs seem to enjoy being pat on the head while others duck away to avoid it?

In this article, we’ll talk about why dogs don’t actually enjoy head pats and what you can do instead.

Do dogs like head pats?

Contrary to popular belief, most dogs don’t actually like head pats.  Unless they’ve been exposed to dog pats since they were a puppy, they’re probably not used to having their head patted.

Additionally, someone reaching down from above can seem like a threat to your dog. Again, if they’re not used to it, they may immediately enter their “protective” mode. This can quickly turn to aggression.

Of course, if your dog is familiar with you, they’re more likely to tolerate your pats. Not to mention, if you’ve raised them since they were young puppies and frequently give them head pats, they may not view this specific action negatively at all.

Alternatives to head pats

If you want to touch an unfamiliar dog–even if it happens to be a friend’s “totally sweet and harmless” pooch, you can opt to gently rub their back, chest, shoulders, or chin instead. And, of course, if they open their stomach area to you, then that means they feel safe and secure enough to willingly receive belly rubs.

Did you learn something new? Check out our other dog articles at PetFitness blog!

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