When it comes to petting a dog, slow and steady is the way to go. Long, gentle strokes are the most calming and relaxing for your pup. Use your fingers and the palm of your hand, firm but relaxed, to touch your pup's entire body in a slow and steady manner. Start from the head and move down to the tail.
Make sure you put all your attention and energy into it and focus on all the layers, from the hair, through the skin, to the muscles and finally to the bones. Most dogs feel comfortable being stroked on the chest, shoulders, and base of the neck. When stroking these areas, stretch your hand from the side, instead of moving your hand over the top of the dog's head. Individual dogs also have specific places where they like to be petted; common areas are the base of the tail, under the chin, or on the back of the neck, where it collides with the collar.
Most dogs don't like to be touched on the top of the head and on the muzzle, ears, legs and tail. Slow stroking, similar to a gentle massage or light scratching, can help calm a dog down. Place your hand in an area where your pup likes to be manipulated and gently move your hand or fingers in the same direction as the fur is growing. Petting should be soothing and therapeutic for both you and your pup; both of you will benefit from this shared contact.
When you pet a dog in a relaxed, slow, and gentle way, they're likely to lean in hard to get more.Certain petting tactics can cause most dogs to run in the other direction; however, there are certain strategies that will make a dog wag its tail with happiness. A dog that likes being petted will generally lean towards you or will actively seek contact with you when you stop petting him. Whether you're petting your own pup or one you've just met, here are some strategies for better petting - including which petting styles you should avoid and those you should employ.