Why you should never stroke a dog on the head – always do this instead says pet exper
Patting a dog on the head is the worst way to show them your affection, according to a pet expert.
Dogs are said to find the gesture “threatening” and do not like being approached this way.
“The wrong way to approach a dog is to walk up to them head on and just lean straight over them and go down and [stroke them],” Sarah Bartlett from The Hound Helpers Ltd explained.
Patting dogs on the head is “quite a threatening gesture for them.”
This is because the action reqires “going straight forward into them”
There are much better way to approach a pup, the expert explained in an interview with The Mirror.
First, approach them from sideways, rather than face on.
“The best thing is to approach them from the side and then go down,” Sarah explained.
“Keep your own bubble and their bubble, and it’s then the dog’s choice whether then encroach into your bubble.”
She explained you can test the waters by offering your hand to the dog to see if they want to be petted.
“I’m crouched down sideways and all I’m going to do is offer my hand out.
“If the dog sniffs your hand, you should then give them a little scratch under the chin or the ear.”
Scratching a dog on the stomach is another popular patting method, but make sure you do it right.
Sarah said: “Another thing to think about is if a dog rolls onto their back and shows their belly, we all love to give them a belly scratch.”
“But what we all tend to do is maybe be a bit firm with it, but for most dogs this is too much”