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Thinking about Skylar's comments regarding Beginner Novice it is also worth noting that the CGC requires the dog to accept being lightly combed and also having its ears and front feet handled by the evaluator.
 
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thinking about Skylar's comments regarding Beginner Novice it is also worth noting that the CGC requires the dog to accept being lightly combed and also having its ears and front feet handled by the evaluator.
Oh, Bobby has his CGC. He’s “almost” a perfect gentleman in the classroom setting. And nobody tried to pat or pet his head. 😉
 

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I am glad to hear that, just a general comment intended there.
 
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Cody loves having the sides of his head/under his ears petted. He's okay with the top of his head if it comes after those things. I'm not sure about with strangers, b/c though he met a lot of people during his life, which has entirely been during covid, it's mostly been in "on the go" situations: walks, dog parks, meeting people in a fenced backyard where the dogs can play, etc.

As a child, I was taught to never approach a dog and try to pet the top of its head. Always let it smell your hand first, and then pet from the side behind the ears. Maybe it was just the more aggressive dog breeds I was raised around; is this not typical?
My little girl was exactly that way. She would duck if I made the mistake of reaching down to pet her head, but it was no problem if I transitioned to petting her head by moving up the back or side from petting her neck.

What you learned as a child about not petting a dog on its head is spot on for all dogs, but, unfortunately, it seems not to be common information.
 

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Beckie doesn’t like to be petted on the head by anyone. It’s okay if I do it, but it has to be a certain way. Merlin is a sucker for any kind of touch from me, even grooming or brushing his teeth, but basically nobody else can touch him. Anywhere.

I think it’s a shame so many people are unaware that dogs don’t like to be touched on the head. It should be taught in school and by parents because most parents don’t even know it. This simple one minute teaching would prevent many dog bites.
 

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Happy doesn't mind a head pat at all. In fact she doesn't object to being touched anywhere. Since her first day home,, I made an effort to get her used to being touched anywhere anytime. It's a good thing since she attracts a lot of attention when we're out, especially from children. It doesn't hurt that she's a natural cuddle bug.
 

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Tekno hates strangers touching his head and will actively dodge a head pat. He enjoys a butt scritch instead.
My toy poodle, Teddy absolutely hates anyone touching his head. He tolerates chest or side rubs, and loves to be scratched behind his ears though. He very reluctantly allows me to carefully touch his head but goes out of his way to avoid all other hands. On the other hand, my miniature poodle, Ernie, loves all the attention and fuss he can get and doesn't object to anything. He particularly loves ear rubs and scratches and goes all goofy with those 😊. My now deceased toy poodle, Toby, loved belly rubs above all else and positively melted into you if you indulged him. He never objected to head pats either. I guess it depends on the dog. Not that much different to humans really; some love being touched and cuddles and others can't stand it. My personal preference is for a nice hug so long as its not from a total sleazy looking stranger!
 

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Misha doesn't like the head being touched either but I do notice an association between coat length and petting tolerance. When he is shaved short he enjoys being pet and scratched a great deal. With a fluffy tk he does not appreciate petting the floof. I think he doesn't like not being able to feel what is being done to him.
 

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My youngest daughter was six when we got our first poodle. She took great pride in teaching all of her schoolmates the proper way to pet a poodle. Years later, and several poodles later, I had high school students tell me that they remembered my daughter showing them how to pet poodles. It was pretty funny when she would admonish, "No head smashing!"
 

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The first time that I met Loki, despite knowing that not all dogs love head pats, I went for his fluffy topknot and he drew back, offended. I was quickly corrected by his breeder (and by Loki - I didn't know dogs can give such a withering stare) and he begrudgingly accepted a chest rub.

He prefers head/neck scritches to chest rubs now and will lean completely into us to get the full benefit, but only accepts them from family members. Everyone else, he dances out of reach, which I honestly don't mind.
 

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I have had Chihuahuas who detested their heads being messed with unless they knew you knew how to do it. I've noted over the years, with them it's often the little ones with very little or super fine hair by their ears on the head. I wonder if it's just more sensitive. Mr. Layne is not fond of people trying to monkey with his head. I can do anything with him. Friends that he approves of are okay, not his favorite but he's okay. A stranger, he will duck or move his head & look at them like, "that's a no" but he's not ugly about it. My Giant likes it when people reach for her head because it gives her free access to all the parts she will use to correct them if they are bad or need to be reminded to back off.
 
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