Massaging your dog is a wonderful way to bond and to notice subtle details about your dog’s body and behavior. It relaxes your dog while relaxing you at the same time.
When your dog is napping, start gently, slowly massaging him. If you are aware of sensitive areas, avoid those for the time being (some dogs are very sensitive to having their feet, butt, or other areas touched). Notice if he opens and then slowly closes his eyes. Notice if the tension in his tail dissipates. Notice if his breathing increases, slows down, or stays the same. Notice if he licks his lips, yawns, or shows other movements around his mouth.
When I massage my dogs, I often hear them make soft grunts, just the way a person might rumble “mmmm….mmmmm” on a massage table. I’m pretty sure they are enjoying it. 🙂