Dogs and the Totem Pole

category: Dogs • 1 min read

dog being petted Dog Being Petted

Dogs live in a hierarchical society. So everybody and that means both humans and other dogs are ranked on a totem pole. The one on top is the “top banana”. The “top banana” gets all the extras including the better food.

One of the way dogs show that you are the boss, is by licking you and cleaning you. This Labrador Retriever is enjoying her work of being petted. She’s going up quite a few notches on the totem pole.

How To Pet A Dog?

  • Be as non-threatening as possible
  • Turn your body sideways
  • Crouch/squat as low as possible

And most importantly

Let the dog come to you

If the dog doesn’t come to you, let it be. The dog doesn’t want to be petted. Don’t insist and leave the dog alone.

You are more likely to be accepted if you have spoken and spent some time with the owner/human.


Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II ISO 3200 and 1/50
Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM @33mm and f/7.1
Processed with Rawtherapee 5.5: