We all know that dogs like to be pet. Some dogs are even addicted to this and they want this type of affection on a daily basis. Why do dogs like to be pet? As always, the explanation is far from simple. We will have to cover a few main elements. In most cases, you should pet your dog. But, there are cases when you shouldn’t. Usually, this means when a dog does something he shouldn’t.
Why Do Dogs Like To Be Pet? Main Reasons.
The basic explanation
Why do dogs like to be pet? They are social creatures and they enjoy contact with people. They love contact with their owner the most hence this is an important part of the relationship. It is a well-known fact that petting a dog will release oxytocin in his brain. This hormone is released in humans during the same time. It increases in level when we hug someone or show affection. It is called the cuddle or love hormone so you can get an idea.
In other words, a dog and the owner will feel happier and more satisfied during petting. Some therapists recommend petting a dog or a cat when you feel depressed. It is also a fact that depressed people usually feel better when surrounded by pets.
Where should you scratch a dog?
Every single dog is different and he will have his own preferences. But, in a nutshell, most dogs love to be scratched on the neck, shoulders, head, and belly. If you are doing this for the first time, start with the head and shoulder. The neck is an option as well but not for some breeds. They can consider this as an attack so it is better to start with head and shoulders, just to be safe. If a dog rolls over and shows you his belly, yes you should scratch him there.
Over time you will find which areas your pet loves and you should always scratch them there. If that is the neck, you should start with it. You can scratch some dogs at the base of their tail. This is not an extremely common area but you should try it.
A dog kicking his leg while you scratch him
This is something that will happen. You can see it all the time. When you scratch a specific spot on the chest or belly of a dog, his leg will kick. Why does this happen? The answer is actually very simple. This is an involuntary action. You are basically pressing the nerve that sends signals from the brain to the leg. As such, his leg will move. There is nothing bad about this but after a few seconds some dogs may get uncomfortable or they will start scratching. It is best to avoid this spot.
Rubbing the ears releases most oxytocin
As you know already, oxytocin is a powerful hormone. When you rub the ears of your dog, the release is massive. This happens because the ears of any dog are loaded with nerve endings. This means that a dog feels every single movement and pressure point. In other words, your pet loves this and yes, you should scratch or rub his ears. Keep in mind that in some dog breeds this is not safe! For example, German Shepherds have erect ears. When they are young, you shouldn’t touch, pull or rub their ears. Other dog breeds don’t have this issue.
Another thing to know is that ears contain a lot of nerve endings. This means they are very sensitive. The pressure that looks harmless can cause pain. That’s why you should be extremely gentle and always start with the gentlest touch. Follow the behavior of your dog and find a level that is suitable for him.
Touching the head of a dog
This may sound like an obvious place to pet your dog. However, it is not always a good idea. Dogs consider the top of the head as a vulnerable spot. If they don’t trust you, they will not allow you to touch it. It is a smart way to see if your dog trusts you. If he allows you, you are the best owner.
This also means that if you have adopted a new dog and you want to see where he likes you to touch him, start with shoulders and back. Try the top of the head occasionally and see whether he allows it. Do not force him to do this!
Don’t pet a dog that sleeps
There are a lot of related questions. Some say that dogs enjoy you petting them when they sleep. Others claim this is a big issue. All we can say is that dogs are more similar to humans than you may believe. As such, it is better to test and see if your dog likes it or not. Keep in mind that you can scare your dog easily and he may even attack you! Most dogs shouldn’t be pet when they sleep. It is better not to do this, just to stay safe and don’t bother your pet as he sleeps.
You can pet your dog to calm him down
It is possible and actually very useful to pet a dog who is under stress, scared, or angry. But, first, you will have to remove the cause of that issue. If it is another dog, a loud noise, or something else, deal with it first. Then start scratching him. Target chest, neck, and shoulders. He will like it and he will enjoy it. This simply means you will calm him quicker. Make sure he is completely calm before you stop doing this.
The final word
All dogs love when you pet them. Why do dogs like to be pet? They love your touch and they love spending time with the owner. After all, dogs are social creatures and they enjoy your touch, voice, and company. This is not something you should do; it is something you must do if you want to have a happy dog.