PLEASE DON’T PAT MY HEAD

By Sunday, June 11, 2017 26 No tags Permalink 0

Goofing around with the camera – I placed a pair of sun shades on Jaxson’s head. He was an excellent model that day, extra patient and very obedient.  When my daughter reached out to pat him on the head and commend him for his pawsome cooperation – he gave her the oddest look.

It was as if he wanted to tell her –

Please don’t pat my head.

The camera was still in my hand so I was able to capture the moment…

PLEASE DON'T PAT MY HEAD

I was so taken back by his expression, I scribbled “don’t pat my head” on the back of an envelope so I wouldn’t forget. #oldtimerstechnology

PATTING A DOGS HEAD –

Days later (when I found the envelope again) I looked at a few articles and was horrified with the information I read.

Over and over again the content repeated itself. Most dogs DO NOT like to have someone reach out towards their face and go pat, pat, pat on their heads.

Even if it’s someone a dog knows, trusts and loves, he may put up with it – but he probably doesn’t like it.

I immediately called Harley over and when I slowly reached out to touch the top of his head, he lowered his muzzle and squinted as if to say –

Sweet Baby Jesus, she’s doing it again.

Probably because they’re part of our family, they tolerate it. But now that I know what I know – I must remedy this and change my behavior.

Plenty of times I’ve patted a strange dogs head and never once looked for any body language signs. I never thought to look for signs of nervousness or discomfort.

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO SHOW AFFECTION –

Some experts suggest you rub a dog on their rear end right by the tail. That’s never seemed to do much for Harley but it sends Jaxson into a state of euphoria.

Harley loves for me or anyone to rub under his ears. He’ll slant his head ever so slightly and purr like a kitten.

HOW DO YOU PET A DOG? –

Most dogs dislike being touched on top of the head and on the muzzle, ears, legs, paws and tail. Slow petting, similar to gentle massage or light scratching, can calm a dog down. Place your hand on an area where the dog enjoys being handled and gently move your hand or fingers in the same direction the fur lies. Source: Vetstreet

If you’ve never watched your dog’s reaction when you’ve patted him on the head – check it out. If he’s not relaxed, and doesn’t lean in tight for more, could be he’s not into pat, pat, pat either.

They say if your dogs preference is NOT a pat on the head – try neck rubs, back massages and even belly rubs. Find the area that your pup truly enjoys which give him endless enthusiasm.

As for my two Doods – I will always remember when I want to reward either one of them for being awesome, I will refrain from banging them on the head.

ONE MORE THING –

Does your dog like sunglasses?

Jaxson is obsessed…

PLEASE DON'T PAT MY HEAD

Somebody call Ray Ban – I think he’s ready to start his own signature line…

PLEASE DON'T PAT MY HEAD

Give without remembering and always receive without forgetting. ❤️

26 Comments
  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    June 11, 2017

    Y’know, funny you should mention this – Ducky has gotten a bit “grumbly” with me at times when I’ve gone to pat her on the head. So I stopped doing it, gave her a little butt scratch, and then turned my attention to something else. And then she settled down and went to sleep.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      That’s kind of what made me write the blog post. I experienced the same thing. Jaxson is never “anti” affection and he loves my daughter dearly. Isn’t it funny how much we can learn from them if we just listen.

  • All Things Collie
    June 12, 2017

    I have some who enjoy any and all petting, they just can’t get enough. But others definitely prefer to not have their faces or the top of their heads touched. They tolerate it, but don’t enjoy it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      I just realized that Jaxson really doesn’t care of it He was tolerating me. So I’ve learned to stop. I think he’s appreciative that I’ve noticed. LOL

  • Patricia Broccoli
    June 12, 2017

    OMG Cathy what a perfect blog when most needed. I have to tell you since losing Eli I look forward to reading your blogs and I have to say we didn’t wait too long before getting another doodle in our home to love. The first week was not easy. I questioned our decision because Eli was so vivid in our minds and I was comparing Baxter to Eli. Not fair to either one. Long story short, we were petting his head and he was backing away from us and couldn’t understand why since Eli let us pet him but most likely tolerated it since we were doing that for a long time but did prefer the belly rubs. We were worried that maybe Baxter was hit therefore was leary of the head pat. He does love his ears being rubbed and of course his belly. I have gotten over my apprehension of getting another puppy so quickly and we actually took him out this weekend to a park and ate with him a dog friendly patio and he did very well. Learning so much from your articles.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      That’s wonderful Patricia! Sounds like Baxter hit the home of a lifetime with you. Please send me a photo – cathycbennett@gmail.com Monday, June 19th I will post a blog Titled “Reincarnation – A Dogs Purpose” I’d love to know your thoughts about it and how it fits with your memories of Eli and now Baxter. Take care

  • Monika & Sam
    June 12, 2017

    Jaxson is too cool for school. We have one volunteer at the hospital that Sam really likes to visit with because she’s a nice lady…but she’s a head patter. I try to keep it to a minimum or not at all. I may just need to say something the next time because he looks at me with a “HELP me” look on his face. Great post!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Interesting! I’ve got to pay more attention to the children that Harley visits. The majority of them rub his body. Perhaps because he’s on their beds and they have access to his whole body.

  • Two French Bulldogs
    June 12, 2017

    Good post. Palms up when you want to pet me please
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Great way to get people to know / learn the difference. I will say that next time – “palms up when you pet the Boys please!” Thanks my friends.

  • Tiffany Bennett-Cuartero
    June 12, 2017

    Jaxson is to COOL!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      for DOODLE School

  • Jan K
    June 12, 2017

    Oh my gosh, can Jaxson wear those shades! He is TOO cool!! He could definitely be a sunglasses model.

    I have also read that dogs don’t like to be patted on the head. Luke lets me know that by ducking his head away sometimes when I try! Cricket doesn’t seem to mind as much (or she’s just more polite about it!).
    Let me tell you, it’s a hard habit to break! I do try to remember when greeting other dogs, and especially with Luke. He sometimes likes a little scratch under the chin, and some of my other dogs have loved a good chest rub too.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      He really likes them, I might have to find some elastic so they will stay on and he can wear them outside when he’s playing ball LOL

  • Lindsay
    June 12, 2017

    Jax is much like our Baxter. He does not like it one bit and gives you the eyes, just how you describe Jaxson does. Charlie could care less, pet him anywhere and everywhere and he’s happy as a clam. But Baxter, I always tell people to ignore him completely at first, that he’s a finicky one, and when he does come up to you, please put out your hand for him to smell and let him tell you how much he wants or doesn’t want. Pets are on the chest or chin, always. He’ll tolerate it when we try to go over his head, but that’s exactly what it is: tolerance. And my view is, if he doesn’t like it, then why do it?

    xoxox

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      One of the other bloggers wrote a comment and said she asks people to approach her dogs with “palms up please” I love that! I will try to remember to incorporate it with strangers when they ask of the Boys can be petted.

  • Rebekah Ward
    June 12, 2017

    My dogs love butt, neck and chest scritches. My girl especially dislikes being touched on her head.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Rebekah, I hate it now when I think of the years I’ve patted their heads 🙁 In the short time that I’ve stopped, Harley now instinctively raises his chin knowing I’m going to run under it. Smart dog – slow learning parent LOL

  • Dixie
    June 12, 2017

    Hollywood! Love the photos. Miss my favorite Boys!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Hi Dixie!
      They miss you too!
      They’ve started going to camp again – it’s fine, but not the same 🙁
      Trying to come up soon, will most definitely let you know when. XOXO

  • Emma
    June 13, 2017

    The pat on the head is not popular here either, but petting from forehead back we don’t mind at all. Nice shades, dude!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Thanks Emma.

  • Patricia Broccoli
    June 13, 2017

    Oh my goodness. What a great blog. We always thought it was strange when we reached out to pet our puppies in the beginning that they would back away. In time they would tolerate it but preferred the belly rubs and ear massages. Learning so much from you and so appreciated.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Hi Patricia! Thanks so much. I’m learning also, that’s why I love to share, many times even through comments I’m finding out more and more about the beautiful and mystical world of pet parenting. Thanks for reading, please come back again soon.

  • The Daily Pip
    June 14, 2017

    I have tried to get Ruby to wear sunglasses for YEARS, but no luck

    That’s interesting about patting dogs on the head. Ruby prefers back and belly rubs.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Harley has never allowed me to place anything on his face or head. Leo tolerated it but not for long. Jaxson seems to love it.

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