PETTING A DOG YOU DO NOT KNOW
Despite what they show on cartoons, many dogs do NOT LIKE to be pet on the top of the head, especially on a first meeting.
This may seem obvious but we all forget sometimes. Before you approach a dog you should always the human if the dog is friendly and if you can pet them. If the answer is yes (!) then proceed...
First, without loud noises, speak to them softly in a really calm manner. With a gentle voice say "hi" to them and look at them so they can see that you're talking to them. You can even get down on their level so you don't approach them from above.
Approach them slowly. Gently take your hand(s) and go from underneath. Do not go from above their headbecause they can be scared. They may think you're trying to hit them or hurt them, so just go from underneath and gently touch their side.
Rub your hands over the back of their body and just say "hello" as you talk to them and look at them. You could say something like, "Hi, how are you? Are you a boy or a girl?"
So far so good? Then, you can continue to pet them. Enjoy tail wags and licks.
PETTING YOUR OWN DOG
1. Make sure that you not only pet them often but you give them a lot of attention.
2. Make sure that you talk to them and that you look at them in the eyes.
3. DO NOT just look at your phone and talk to your dog. You want to really create a personal bond with them, that they get from you daily because a lot of dogs are forgotten or they're just hanging out watching you while you're on your phone.
4. Please make sure that you spend time talking to your pets, looking at them in their eyes, talking to them, Saying their names, listening to them, massaging them, touching them, being very aware of their needs. Because you are the only thing that they have.