Gently pet small areas like their shoulder or chest at first. Go slowly to avoid overwhelming them.
Reward with treats while petting so they associate touch with good things. Praise calmly too.
Note areas your dog enjoys being pet - chest, ears, chin. Focus there and continue rewarding.
Find Sweet Spots
Gradually increase petting duration as your dog relaxes into it. Keep rewarding and praising.
Make short, calm petting sessions part of your regular routine. Consistency builds comfort with touch.
Speak softly and soothingly when petting. This further reinforces it's a pleasant experience.
Use Soothing Tones
If your dog seems uncomfortable, stop and try again later. Look for signs of relaxation like lip licking.
Watch For Signs