Why Does My Dog Not Like Me Touching His Face? 5 Reasons!

Most people get a dog expecting that he will love every pet we give him, no matter if it is on the head, face, or belly. However, this is sadly not always the case, especially for rescue dogs who may have had bad past experiences with people. Nevertheless, many owners of dogs who do not enjoy being pet everywhere have likely asked themselves: why does my dog not like me touching his face? 

Dogs do not like having their faces touched because it contains many sensitive areas such as the eyes, muzzle, and nose. As a result, a human touching a dog’s face could be seen as a threatening gesture to the dog, especially if the person is a stranger to them. 

In this article, we will be describing all of the most common reasons why a dog does not like having his face touched. We will also be answering some commonly asked questions and providing some additional things to consider when it comes to dogs who do not like having their faces touched. 

Reasons Your Dog Wont Let You Touch Its Face

There are five main reasons why some dogs don’t like having their faces touched. Although this can seem discouraging to some dog owners, the only thing that you can do about this is respect your dog, pet him where he likes being pet, and take things slowly.

The only exception to this is if you suspect that your dog is in pain, in which case you should take him to the vet. Here are the five reasons why your dog won’t let you touch his face. 

The Face Has A Lot Of Sensitive Areas 

The eyes, muzzle, and nose are all susceptible areas on a dog, and they are all located very close to each other on the face. In addition to this, the ears are also very sensitive areas on a dog, and they are close to the face. This leads to some dogs becoming nervous anytime a person goes to touch their face. 

Your Dog Had A Bad Experience

Your dog could be intolerant to you touching his face because he has had a bad experience with someone touching his face in the past. This can be common for dogs who have come from shelters as they sometimes come from bad homes.

However, even an event as simple as a child being rough with a dog’s face can cause this fear. Although the child likely meant well, the event could still cause a negative association with people touching the face of a dog. 

The Way You’re Approaching Your Dog Is All Wrong 

Some dogs are more sensitive to people’s body language than others, so your dog may not like you touching his face simply because he doesn’t like how you are approaching him.

Instead of walking up to him quickly and touching him while standing up, try approaching him more slowly and kneeling to his level before touching him.

Something Hurts 

Your dog could not like it when you touch his face because he is in pain. This should be a red flag if your dog once tolerated you touching his face and is suddenly avoiding it. 

Your Dog Just Doesn’t Like It

Sometimes dogs don’t like being touched in the face. Even if you got the dog as a puppy and socialized him correctly, he does not appear in pain.

He hasn’t had any negative associations with it does not necessarily mean that your dog will enjoy being touched on the face. If this is the case for your dog, then all you can do is show your dog affection the way he enjoys, and that is completely fine. 

Do Dogs Like Their Faces Touched

No, most dogs do not enjoy being touched on the face, especially by strangers. However, some are tolerant of it. This is because of how sensitive the eyes, ears, muzzle, and nose are.

Instead of the face, you should try petting a dog under the chin, on the sachet, and around the shoulders or base of their neck. You and the dog will have a much better experience this way. 

Why You Should Never Pet A Dog On The Head

It would help if you didn’t ever pet a strange dog on the head because the dog could potentially view this as a threatening gesture.

As a result, he could get nervous and, in some cases, even start reacting defensively. Instead, you can try petting a new dog on the shoulders, chest, neck, and under the chin. These are the traditional places where a dog enjoys being pet. 

Why Does My Dog Not Like Me Touching Him

Your dog may not like you touching him because he has not been exposed to it enough or because he has developed a negative association with it. This is particularly common in newly adopted dogs from a shelter.

They may have come from a situation where they were a long-time stray or a bad home. If this is your situation, you should gain trust slowly, and he will likely start to enjoy you touching him over time.  

Why My Dog Gets Angry When I Touch Him

Your dog may appear to be angry when you touch him, either because he is afraid or in pain. If he is a new dog, then he is likely just scared. It would help if you approached him slowly in this situation, and it may be a little while before the two of you are cuddling together on the couch.

However, if your dog used to let you touch him and is suddenly acting defensively, then he is likely in pain. In this case, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. 

Other Considerations

There are a couple of other things that you should consider when it comes to dogs who do not like being touched in the face. The first is how you can desensitize your dog to petting.

The next thing to consider is the common signs that a dog is in pain. Here are some things to consider about dogs who do not like people touching their faces. 

How To Desensitize A Dog To Your Touch 

There are many potential reasons why a dog may become nervous about people touching them. However, there is a way to desensitize your dog to your touch slowly. For this exercise, you should have some treats on hand. 

You should always start with what your dog is comfortable with, such as petting his chest, and you should work up to touching other areas slowly.

Every time your dog lets you touch him on his face, you should give him a treat and lots of praise. Be patient; this exercise can take a lot of time and patience from both you and your dog. 

What Are The Common Signs That A Dog Is In Pain 

In some cases, a dog does not like people touching his face because he is in pain. As a result, it is beneficial to know some other common signs of pain in dogs. Some of the most common are: 

● Excessive panting 

● Excessive licking 

● Restlessness

● Decreased appetite 

● Increased heart rate and breathing rate 

● Drooping the head 

● Sudden onset of aggressive behavior 

● Lethargy 

● Whining and whimpering 

● Trembling or shaking 

If you notice any of the above signs of pain in your dog, then it is essential to take them to your vet as soon as possible. 

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