Being around dogs or owning a dog has many health benefits for both you and your dog, and it is not due to all the walking you’ll be doing. Petting your pooch can lower blood pressure, stress, and even cholesterol. So where do Cavaliers like to be petted? Here is a brief list:
- On the Chest
- The Shoulders
- The Neck, just under the collar
- The Base of the Tail
- Under the Chin
- Behind the Ears
- The Tummy
- The Back
So those are the places they like to be petted, but not all dogs like to be petted in the same places. How do you read the subtle signals from a new dog or the neighbor’s dog? Below are a few tips on how to read the Cavvy’s body language.
There are different ways and styles to pet your Cavvy, some you should avoid preventing your doggie from becoming scared.
Reaching out rapidly to a sleeping or resting dog is the wrong thing to do, also cornering a Cavvy is a big no-no. This will fill them with fear, and won’t be in the mood to be petted.
Instead, you should encourage the dog to come to you by speaking calmly, in a low tone, and gently patting your legs. When they do come towards you, you should squat low, and get down to their level so that you don’t seem so imposing.
If they are still slightly reluctant to come to you, turn so that you are side onto them as this signals that you are less threatening to them, and keep your eye contact low. Don’t stare directly at them, this will unnerve them even more.
What Cavaliers Like
Not all Cavaliers like their tummy tickled, but my Cavvy does. If she is lying on the floor when I walk into the house, she will immediately roll over for me to give her a little tickle.
When petting your Cavvy on the shoulders, always move your hands in from the sides, if you come in from the top they can’t see where your hands are and tend to stiffen up. This isn’t very relaxing for them, and won’t enjoy it when you are petting them.
Cavaliers love to have their back scratched, but you must do it in the direction that their fur lies. A gentle scratch with your nails along their back is heaven to them.
I tend to use a petting glove on my dog Lady, as my nails are not very long. This has another added bonus as it also grooms their coat at the same time. Here is an affiliate link to something similar to the petting gloves I use.
The Base of the Tail
Whilst giving the back a good old rub, move down to the base of the tail. This is another spot they love with the petting glove or a gentle scratch with your nails. When a dog is enjoying this you can see it in their faces.
The chest is similar to the tummy tickle, only they are sitting down for you to pet them in this way, and Cavvy’s love it. Not only Cavvy’s like this, but almost all dogs do. My mom’s dog, Stan, always taps my hand to keep petting his chest.
Under the chin plays into the chest rub, moving up and down in one gentle movement. Lady never wants me to stop giving her chin a gentle scratch.
The ears can be a tricky one as the majority of Cavvy’s hate their ears being touched, but the crease where the ear meets the head is the sweet spot. It’s best not to go straight in for the ears, wait until he or she is totally relaxed and then move up to the ears.
Start scratching along the back of the neck where a dog’s collar sits, and if you are sitting in front of them, move down into a chin scratch, then into a chest rub. Three in one, this doggie will love you forevermore.
What Cavaliers Don’t Like
Not just Cavaliers, but almost all dogs hate being hugged. They find it very intrusive and sometimes scary.
It is especially scary for them when it’s a very overpowering hug from a child.
Small children tend not to be as gentle as older children and have to be guided.
However, I gentle loose hug would be okay, as long as they are not being fully gripped around the neck.
My daughter gently hugs Lady quite often, and she’s fine with it, but you can tell that she would much prefer a tickle under the chin.
Along with hugging, there are many other places a Cavvy doesn’t like to be petted for various reasons, here are a few places in a shortlist, but this isn’t exhaustive:
- The top of the head
- Nose, and around the muzzle
- Along the length of their ears
- Private areas
- The length of their tail
A Happy Cavvy
Reading a Cavvy’s body language can really help when you are approaching them for the first time. It’s very easy to see when a Cavalier is happy as their entire body wags in rhythm with their tail. Their eyes are relaxed, and they move towards you.
As soon as they start to lean into you, you know that they love being in your company.
When To Stop
If ever any dog, not just a Cavvy, anxiously sniffs you, becomes jumpy, or backs away, it’s time to stop petting them. They don’t feel comfortable, it may not be you in particular, it may just be the environment that they are in.
It’s vital to read these signs so that you can stop, and then try again when they are comfortable.
My Final Thought
Most Cavaliers like to be petted, and majority of humans like to pet Cavvy’s as they are so cute and loveable. But read the body language and assess the situation, if he or she doesn’t want your affection then wait and they will soon learn to trust you.