Knowing these 5 techniques on how to pet your dog should improve your relationship with him

Disclosure: Our recommendations are based on our testing, research and analysis. We may earn a commission on products purchased using links on this page.

Types of physical praise, OR how to pet your dog

By Dog Blogger, Autumn

For me, there’s nothing better than a bellyrub, but when using physical praise every dog has a certain type of touching they prefer.  Know there are several different forms that can be used and find out what works best for your dog and the situation.  We’ll thank you for it!

  • The Stroke

    A common movement where the flat of your hand glides down with slight pressure over our body.  Remember depending on the speed of the stroke, you can excite us or calm us.

  • The Circular Rub

    Using the flat of your hand on the front of our chest, rub us in a circular motion.  MMMMMmmmm, feels good.

  • The Pat

  • A drumming of the dog with the flat of  your hand to various degrees of intensity on the dog’s body. Usually the best place to pat a dog is on its withers of side, and occasionally under the chest.  Please remember NEVER do this on top of our head.  It’s irritating.
  • The Scratch

  • Using the tips of your fingers scratch us under the chin, behind the ears, on the rear towards the tail, sometimes on the top of the head. A two handed “massage” up and down the length of the body can help release tension and really feels good.
  • The Grip

  • A kneading motion where your hand takes gentle grip of hair, loose skin, and sometimes even muscle tissue. The shoulders, the chest, and even the base of the back of us respond to this movement.


Want to learn more about canine behavior and training? Subscribe to Acme Canine’s Patreon page.


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please give us feedback on this post:

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?