Today I am offering more examples of dogs who enjoy being petted, or enjoy other types of human touch. (This is a followup to “Does Your Dog REALLY Want to Be Petted?”) And I’m encouraging humans again to figure out what their dog likes and doesn’t like. If your dog doesn’t like petting, maybe you can figure out an alternative behavior for yourself that both you and your dog can enjoy.
I am blessed with Clara, who thrives on touching and being touched, and has since she was a baby. Here she is at 12 weeks and 14 months. I am doing the “consent test” in both clips; stopping the petting and waiting to see if she solicits more. She generally answers with an emphatic Yes. There’s also a “stupid human” trick though, when I am continuing to ooh and ahh and pet her while she is squirming and obviously done with the whole thing. Oops.
Some dogs like other kinds of touch from humans. Here is my friend’s chihuahua, who blisses out when I gently, gently wobble her body back and forth.
And here is elderly Cricket, who really enjoys wiping her face all over any part of my body or clothing that she can reach. I think it makes her feel safe that she can control the touch this way, too. If I were to handle her the way I handle Clara, she would be desperately trying to escape.
In a previous post we saw Zani saying “No” to petting, but she enjoys lap time and snuggling up close.
I scoured YouTube one evening as well, and dug up videos of a few more dogs who seemed to enjoy petting (and saw dozens who didn’t). In many of these videos, the dog doesn’t enjoy every single thing the human does. But they appear to enjoy the petting and touching in general and ask for more. If you can find some more good ones–or think that any of these aren’t good examples, let me know. You can tell from the titles that these folks have all done something like a consent test, whether they knew it was called that or not. (In some of the videos, the people appear to have reinforced demanding behavior from their dogs. That’s a subject for another day!)
If you are going to watch only one, watch the first one. It is especially moving. The Doberman in the movie is a rescued stray and is so obviously pleased with human touch and contact. (As of 9/16/12 he is available for adoption through Doberman Rescue of the Triad, covering Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and West Virginia in the U.S.)
Cutest dog ever: don’t stop petting me (rat terrier mix?)
Don’t stop petting the dog (labrador)
Pierre – CDC foster dog/” Don’t stop petting me!!!” (poodle/chihuahua mix)
Thanks to Nancy S. for helping me look over these.
Discussions coming soon:
- A milestone with Summer
- Comparing licking and tongue flick behaviors
- “Errorless learning”
- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
- Feral Clara
Thanks for reading!