Common Signs That Your Dogs Like Being Petted

Does My Dog Like To Be Petted?

Don’t we all love petting our furballs? But, do your dog really like being petted?

It is really hard to resist petting a dog. The sight of a loving dog might always make you want to pet it. And obviously, petting a dog has a lot of health benefits for us, human beings. But, you should know that not all dogs like being petted.

So, does your dog like being petted?

If your dog leaning, staying relaxed, and loosely wagging its tails shows that it likes being petted. On the other hand, the drawn back lips, tucked tail, and growling of your dog indicates the dislike of your dog for being petted.

So, this article is all about petting your dog. You can understand whether your dog likes being petted or not by the end of this article.

Why Doesn’t All Dogs Want To Be Petted Or Touched?

Some dogs really don’t like to be touched or being petted. Touching or petting dogs that aren’t comfortable with it may end up in terror. Such dogs may attack or bite you if you try to pet or touch them without any prior notice.

So be careful especially, when you try to pet a dog on their first time meeting you.

You may lose yourself and run to small and miniature furballs when you see them. They are obviously super-cute. But actually, small and miniature dogs mostly don’t like being touched or petted because they are tired of people picking and indulging with them without any prior notice.

That is quite natural. Just imagine how would you feel if everyone passing around comes and tries to indulge. Don’t we feel strange and get frustrated? Obviously, yes. That is the same case when you try to pet a dog without any warning.

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So, you really can’t complain if a dog bites you while trying to pet it without any familiarity or warning. You should have respected the space of the dog and given it time to adjust to your presence rather than trying to pet the dog on the very first second of the first time you meet it.

Also, some dogs might have bad experiences with someone petting them. Such dogs would also show no particular interest in being petted. They might become aggressive or escape from the spot if you try to pet them. Some dogs might also get panic around new people trying to pet them for the same reason.

How Can You Understand If Your Dog Like Being Petted?

Understanding whether your dog likes being petted is pretty easy if you are a crazy and experienced canine master. Usually, the dogs that like being petted would ask their masters for it.

The dogs definitely will not tell you in words to pet them. However, they will communicate with their masters well with body language and behavior. And therefore, understanding body language and behavior is the key to understanding the likes and dislikes of your canine friend.

Predicting If your Dog Like Being Petted By Understanding Its Body Language

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), dogs mainly use their eyes, mouth, ears, tails, hair, and body posture to express their likes and dislikes or state of mind.

As dogs can’t talk to us verbally, as a canine master, you should know and understand what their body language conveys. Understanding the difference in body language will let you understand your dogs well and act accordingly.

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So, let us look at what some of the body language of your dog actually means. Understanding these signs will definitely let you understand whether your dog likes being petted.


According to the ASPCA, if you find a lot of sclerae (White part) visible in your dog’s eyes, it means that your dog is tensed.

So, if you find more sclerae being visible while petting your dog, it would be better to leave them alone. Because in some ways, your presence is making them tense.


You will find your dog relaxed and keeping its ears backward and slightly out to the sides if your dog is enjoying you petting them.

Similarly, if the dog points its ears outwards and wrinkles appear on its foreheads, your dog is not quite much interested in being petted.


According to ASPCA, the relaxed mouth of a dog shows that your dog is in a relaxed state of mind. Dog exposing their teeth and pulling the lips backward are either nervous or frightened.

So, if you find your dog pulling their lips and showing their teeth, they are afraid for some reason and for sure don’t enjoy petting at the moment.


If you find your dogs loosely wagging their tail while you pet them, they are in a relaxed state of mind. And they are enjoying your company and loves being petted.


You should stop petting your dog if you find their hair raised. The raised hairs of dogs usually indicate that they are either upset or agitated.

Body Posture:

You may find your dog’s body posture getting stiff if they are uncomfortable with any situation.

While petting your dog, a relaxed body posture implies that they are enjoying it.

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Common Signs That Your Dogs Like Being Petted

Here are some common signs that imply your dog likes being petted.

  • Leaning towards you.
  • Nudging the head onto your body.
  • Pawing at your hands. That is actually dogs demanding their masters to pet them.
  • Relaxed body posture.
Common Signs That Your Dogs Like Being Petted

Common Signs That Your Dogs Doesn’t Like Being Petted

Here are some common signs that imply your dog doesn’t like being petted.

  • Escaping from your hands.
  • Leaning the head away from you.
  • Tucked tail.
  • Growling.
  • A tendency to bite.
  • Drawn back lips.

What To Do If Your Dog Doesn’t Like Being Petted?

If your dog exhibits a body language that implies they don’t like being petted, it would be better not to force them. Forcing your canine friends would actually end in a bad relationship.

Instead, you can respect their likes and dislikes. And definitely, you can find another way to accompany or spend some quality time with them. You can try out playing games or go for a walk with them.

You can try out different forms of petting if your dog is not comfortable with the ones you are used to.


Don’t force your dog to get adjusted to the norms of petting you are used to. Also, better not to indulge in petting them the first day at your home. Respect their space. Moreover, give them time to get accustomed.

It would be always better to wait for your dog to initiate a relationship with you. By allowing them to take the first initiative, you can easily find the right form of petting they would love.

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