I’ve come to realize over the years that dogs have preferences when it comes to where they like to be petted. I’m sure you’ve experienced this with your own dog and know the exact location on his body that makes him give you his complete, undivided attention. That euphoric spot that makes him stop in his tracks, forget all about chasing squirrels and playing with toys, and simply melt into your arms, hoping that you’ll never stop.
Or perhaps the perfect spot is right behind her ears. She’ll lean into your hand as though she’s begging you to rub there forever. Or it could be right where your dog’s tail meets the end of her back. With some dogs, scratching that area seems to result in an immediate smile. Sometimes it’s right under the chin. They’ll sit patiently while they lift their head higher and higher with every rub and scratch.
My dogs have their preferences, too. For my little Schnauzer, Dusty, it’s the deep-tissue massage that I give her on her neck and shoulders each evening while we’re watching television. She’ll sit perfectly still, all four paws on the ground, lowering her head and sinking into every rubbing movement. I’ll move my fingers and thumb together in a motion that reminds me of a cat kneading their favorite bed or blanket.
Because she’s a little puppy, I’m of course very careful not to rub too hard. Playtime, chewing on bully sticks, running around under my feet all take the back burner in her little world when she’s getting her neck and shoulders massaged. This seems to be the only time when she isn’t in constant “puppy motion.”
For my late dog Woody, nicknamed Boudreaux, his favorite spot to be petted was always his belly. He’d lie flat on his back, stretch all four legs out as far as he could, and fully display his belly for lengthy rubs. We dubbed him Boudreaux — King Belly Rubber.
He’d lie on his back for a belly rub any time of day or night, but especially before bedtime. I would simply call his name and ask him if he wanted a belly rub. Without hesitation, he’d come running as fast as he could, jump up on our bed, lie down and roll over in full grandeur. Sometimes, he’d even show his teeth as though he was smiling!
For my boy Buzz, who passed away last year, his favorite spot was always on his neck right above his shoulders. He’d allow me to scratch up and down, and side to side, for as long as I’d like. He’d rub his face, head, and body all over the bottom part of the couch — he figured that he could cover most of the rubbing and scratching himself. However, he couldn’t reach his lower neck and throat areas. He left that up to me!
I’ve never encountered a dog, mine or anyone else’s, who didn’t have a favorite spot they liked to be petted. Once you find that perfect spot, it’s all over. You’ll have a friend for life after that!
How about you? Does your dog have a favorite spot? Does she melt in your arms when you hit that spot? Let us know in the comments!