How to stroke a dog? The right gestures

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A petting can be very unpleasant for a dog, but its owner is not always aware of it. It is therefore important to know if the animal consents and to respect what it wants or does not want. It is also necessary to know how to stroke a dog and, above all, to make sure that the animal is tactile enough to appreciate this type of contact. An unwanted petting by the animal can send a negative message and lead to an aggressive reaction. Let’s do a check in.

Some dogs don’t like petting

Systematically petting a non-tactile dog will encourage him to stay away when called upon. It is therefore not with a caress that we can congratulate, encourage or reassure this kind of animal, but rather with a reward. We can of course give him a treat, but that’s not the only solution. Verbal reward has a positive impact on the dog. There is also the game that can satisfy a dog when a caress will only annoy him.
This problem is also found with dogs that have been abused. This is a situation that many people experience who adopt a dog whose life history they do not know. These masters have a lot of love to give to their new companion, and spontaneously are very generous in caresses. However, a dog that has been beaten can no longer trust a human because he fears him. This contact is generally badly experienced by the animal and it can generate a sometimes violent defensive reaction

Pet a dog: the right gestures

A caress should please the animal. It can be reassuring, comforting, or can be a sign of satisfaction on the part of the owner when the dog has obeyed for example. For it to be accepted and appreciated by the animal, it must still be done properly. To pet a dog, the gesture should not be:

So that the caress is appreciated by the dog and that it does not want to escape it, it is recommended to make sure that the animal consents to be petted. Always stand in front of the dog and approach the open hand towards his nose while talking to him gently, without establishing contact. A dog who does not wish to be petted adopts an avoidance attitude which varies from animal to animal, namely:
He turns his head away,
He backs up,
He runs away,
He rolls up his lips and shows his fangs,
He growls, putting his ears back.

Useless to insist.

Whether the dog adopts either of these attitudes means that you are taking a risk in petting it. He can then be aggressive. It should be understood that this animal communicates a lot with its body. Any master should be able to understand this body language. Knowing how to decipher the messages that a dog transmits through his attitudes helps prevent many accidents.

On the other hand, if the dog consents to be petted, his attitude is generally not deceiving. He walks over to the outstretched hand, sniffs it or even licks it. Reaching out to him without touching him, however, is like asking permission to pet him. This is part of the rule of the game because a stroke should only be given if it is desired by the dog. Respecting an animal also involves this type of approach. And you do not stroke a dog in spite of common sense because it can annoy him very quickly. Better to limit yourself to the neck. On the other hand, petting a dog on the head is undesirable.

A caress should always be experienced positively by the animal. It can be to greet him, reassure him, congratulate him or reward him or quite simply to show him a friendly sign. As soon as he accepts this type of gesture, the caress is motivating for him. This is how you manage, smoothly, to bond with your little companion.

You have to be very careful with children because they are very spontaneous and always want to pet dogs that cross their path. This can be the cause of bites. Adults therefore have an important role to play with children and must teach them how to pet a dog.

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