Humans have been petting dogs for centuries but, why do dogs like to be petted?. In a recent survey, we’ve found that few dog breeds do hate being touched or petted by humans. But, the majority of the dogs will always love being pet on the head, ear, back, tail, and other parts of the body.
In this article, I will tell you five reasons why your dogs want you to pet them all the time. Usually, dogs love being pet or stroked in the back, shoulder, head, and chest area. It has been observed that it indirectly increases the Oxytocin hormone production responsible for developing the mother-baby connection.
If looked closely, dog petting is a common way of saying hello, but it seems weird when noticed. Here, we are going to take a quick view of the chemistry between humans and dogs.
The Chemistry Between Humans And Dogs
Dogs love when we touch or stroke them on the back of the head. This kind of gesture shows a close connection between the dog and its parent. It is possible for you as well to feel the undeniably fantastic bond. Believe it or not, the chemistry between you and your beloved dog is not limited to just communication.
Scientists and researchers have already shown how dogs’ hormone levels get altered whenever they get interacted with humans. It happens with us too. The increase in the production of Oxytocin responsible for creating a special bond between mother and baby also help you connecting with your pup.
Within the first few weeks, mother-baby connections usually get developed, making them feel desired and kind to others. Petting a dog can also help you in determining the trust between you and your dog. Having a quick eye connection/eye contact between you and your dog will boost the production of their oxytocin level.
On a note, they get more than 80% production increase in their Oxytocin level and 110% experienced by the people. Petting a dog is also a habit of some people. Starting your day off while giving a stroke on your dog’s head will make you and your dog feel belonged and loved.
Human-Dog Connection History
By looking at such a solid interspecies bond between humans and dogs, I will want to know what kind of connection humans and dogs shared in the past. For centuries, it has also been found that humans have been preparing dogs as their primary pets in their families.
Hundreds of living beings will love to be pets or bonded with humans, but those are not suitable for keeping at home due to some circumstances (i.e. their size, prey drive, & others). However, it has been found that other animals like elephants also love to form a special bond with humans, just like dogs.
The dogs have been with humans for thousands of years for any reason. At first, humans used dogs for hunting animals, herding cattle, pulling sledges, and guard farms. Although they were used as working dogs in the past, we can see how unique the communication system has been transformed to form a special bonding between you and your dog. Fortunately, the temperamental traits of dogs have changed gradually to perform a special bonding with humans. That’s why dogs are the best friend of humans.
5 reasons why do dogs like to be petted.
There are tons of reasons why dogs like to be petted, but here we will discuss the five primary reasons why dogs like to be petted. Maybe, after knowing why the dog wants you to stroke or pet him, it may help you deal with it.
All of us know how physical interaction with dogs influences their hormone level, but why does my dog want me to pet him all the time. Here are the reasons why do dogs wish me to pet.
To seek attention
It must be the primary reason why are dogs like to be petted. If you have not been giving proper time or interaction to your dog for the last few days or weeks, then they might want you to stop them or pet them. If you found your dog to be very clingy with you sometimes when you are home, they might need a pretty memorable interaction with you. Just like us, dogs also appreciate being attended.
Attention-seeking behaviour is widespread not only in dogs but also in humans. There is nothing wrong with stroking or petting a dog to make them feel belong and loved. However, in this area, you must understand your dog’s needs and address them appropriately. This kind of situation is likely to arise if you used to give your dog a lot of time, but now, due to some work, you have been busy lately.
The Good Feeling
Do you remember how amazing it used to feel when we were cuddling with our partners? Just like that, the dog also loves the Good Feeling. Whenever you interact with them physically or give them a stroke, they experience the Good Feeling. Cuddling is a usual behaviour between humans to form a special bonding with their partner.
Dogs are slightly similar in this regard also. I am not saying that you have to cuddle with your dog or interact with your dog sexually, but giving them a stroke on their head or rubbing their back will be a sweet gesture to let them know you are always there for him. Plus, it will also give them a Sensational Good Feeling.
Just like we socialize by shaking hands and hugs, dogs also socialize with humans. Being pet or stroke is a part of socialization for dogs too. It also gives them a notion that you and your dog share a loving Foster relationship.
Proper socialization is mandatory to raise a well-mannered dog in your home. You must give your dog a stroke or rub in their back every day. It is also essential not to use force when stroking, pet, or scratch a dog’s back. A stroke with power may threaten your dog.
I have learned many things from my research, but this seems to be the primary cause of why dogs like to be petted. Researchers have said that their blood pressure gets lower whenever dogs get stroked or rubbed, and their heart rate becomes stable.
So, whenever you feel that your dog is anxious or feeling threatened, you should give a soft stroke or rub to your dog’s back your head. It will come him down gradually. Even I tried it with my puppy that he got scared out for no apparent reason.
Psychologist says that human may associate emotion with someone touch alone. Honestly, I also think this is true because I felt that kind of emotion with someone special touch when high school. Some may argue, Some may agree, but most will deny. Although they’re animals, the same emotion thermometer can happen with dogs as well. A gentle stroke or a rub on their back may turn on their emotional thermometer getting them closer to you.
Just like kids, dogs may also feel secured & protected whenever you stroke or pet them.
The scientific research on dog reaction to Praising or petting.
Do you know? The dog enthusiasts have done deep research & experiment recently on 42 pet and shelter dogs. It was an experiment to learn how dogs react when humans stroke them or showered words without touching them. They interacted with two people with each dog personally.
Now, they observed each dog’s behaviour and noted down the number of times each dog wanted to interact with each person. The first person had to pet and stroke the dog, while the second just needed to shower some praising words. It was repeated several times for a couple of days.
Each session lasted 8.3 minutes, where the dog was either stroked or appreciated with praising words. The organized result showed that most of the dogs interacted with the person who touched them. It is a clear indication that dogs like to be petted & stroked.
There were times too when few dogs didn’t bother to give a single interest to the person praising words. Praising a dog with words means no interaction at all for dogs. Now, we will learn how you should pet a dog and what is the right way.
The right way to pet a dog
Each dog has its kind of personality that differs from another. Each breed of dog has different types of behavioural as well as physical traits. However, there are few aspects of their personality common to all of them. If you learn the correct way to pet a dog, you will be getting the most out of it.
If you don’t want to make your dog feels discomfort or angry, stroke them gently. Now, I will tell you what exactly dog likes when they are stroked and what they hate.
Stop Hovering. If you want to connect with your dog or make a special bond, then you should stop hovering. It will make your dog threatened or provoked. Your dog can easily get intimidated by it. Depending upon the type of breed it is and the personality they have, you should avoid eye contact at the first meeting.
If you want them to feel comfortable around you, instead of making eye contact with them directly at the first point, you should turn your body slightly to the side and look at your dog (not in their eye). Direct eye contact at the first meeting may make a dog aggressive or Runaway. Eye contact at the first point in the first meeting is always associated with threats by animals.
Let your dog take the lead. It would help if you never touched a dog who doesn’t want or like to be touched or pet. The ground rule is to let your dog take the lead. Whenever they feel needed to be stroked or pet by you, they will often give you some sign or gesture.
So, you should wait and look if your dog is initiating or coming near to you or not. Remember to give your dog their time. If they are new to the environment or have recently adopted them, it will take time for them to adjust.
If your dog avoids any contact, you should also do the same and avoid stroking then. If you have children in your home, then I would also recommend you to teach them. This is because the kids are the first who are going to try touching the dog.
It would help if you taught your children not to touch a dog again and again. Kids usually carry their enthusiasm, getting them near to dogs, which can’t be described or understood by dogs. So, always make sure to teach your kids to give space to your new dog.
Apart from that, it would help if you also increased your dog to take the lead. You can do so by offering them some treats or Toys. Once you notice your dog initiating few steps, you start getting closer to your dog and calm them down if they are scared near you. The best option would be to take a treat on your hand and call your dog. It will indirectly motivate them and intimidate them into taking the lead.
Practice repetitive movements
Recently, it has been found that dogs also like repetitive movements when they are petted, stroked, & loved. The repetitive motion could be anything from a stroke on their head to a gentle massage on their back. You can give them a gentle massage on their back or a scratch at the base of their cute tail.
It will give them a sensational feeling. It will be a pleasurable time for them. If you are not aware, let me be the first to tell you that the dog’s tail’s base has many sensational nerves ending.
Why do dogs like being pet on their head?
Dogs like being pet on their head because they face security, love, and belong. Apart from that, it also gives them a notion that you and your dog share a special unbreakable bond. A dog may also want you to stroke or rub its head out of itching.
Why do dogs like being scratched on the tail?
At the base of the tail, the dogs have many sensitive nerves ending. When you scratch their seat, it gives them a sensational feeling and a pleasurable time. This is why a dog is like being stuck on the tale.
Why should we stroke a dog?
There are many benefits of stocking or rubbing it dog like their Oxytocin hormone level increases coma, their blood pressure lowers, and their heart rate becomes stable. When they are threatened, provoked, anxious or depressed, or scared, Stroking a dog will help them gradually calm down.
Believe it or not but I also enjoy giving pets or strokes to dogs. The reason could be anything, but for sure, the dogs like being pet and stroked. They also want to feel belong and loved. Recent researches also claim that dog interacts with the people who interact with them physically.
I have observed dogs wanting to spend most of the time alongside their owner most of the time. If you are a busy person or have been busy lately, please consider giving your dog some time because they always try to impress their owner and be the best.
They’re protective and loyal. We should also give them back. They should be loved and feel they belonged not just by humans but also by other animals. Many dogs have been seen helping other species without any reason, which shows how caring, protective, kind & emotional they could be.
I hope that I managed to give you all the available information on why dogs like to be petted. If this article was helpful, please consider sharing it further, as it may help more dog owners learn the correct way of petting a dog.
94% of pet owners say their animal pal makes them smile more than once a day. In 2007, I realized that I was made for saving Animals. My father is a Vet, and I think every pet deserves one. I started this blog, “InPetCare”, in 2019 with my father to enlighten a wider audience.