How To Pet A Shark: Several Facts Around

Petting a shark may seem like a strange concept. But, you will be surprised to know many people do it. Let us together learn more about this.

You can pet a shark by using two fingers and being gentle with them. However, you need to be careful around them and opt for professional assistance if needed. Sharks can get quite aggressive if they feel threatened by you, and therefore, it is important to make them feel safe so that they come to you.

There are different ways you can pet a shark, and there’s a lot more you can learn about them. Allow us to take you through some of the most commonly asked questions.

Image Credits: “Petting a Tiger Shark” by Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Do sharks like hugs?

Sharks may come across as aggressive animals. But do they like hugs and physical contact? Let’s find out.

Sharks enjoy hugs from aquarium keepers and people in general. They are very shy creatures and seldom approach people out of the blue. If you want to pet a shark, you can hug and tickle it using two fingers. If they approach you with an open mouth, you should go ahead and tickle them gently.

Whatever you do, it is essential to be aware of a shark’s behavioral patterns before you approach them. Remember, they should not feel threatened in your presence, or they may get quite defensive and attack you. 

Are sharks friendly?

A common question people have often asked is whether sharks are friendly creatures. Let’s find out together.

Most shark species are very friendly and are not a direct threat to humans. This is because human beings are not a natural part of the shark’s diet – they prefer fish, octopuses, squids, and other marine animals. As a result, they are usually friendly towards humans and would enjoy being petted by you.

Owing to their friendly nature, sharks are often referred to as ‘sea puppies.’ However, it is important to make them feel relaxed or else they might turn hostile towards you. 

Do sharks feel affection?

Sharks are shy creatures who prefer keeping to themselves. However, do they feel affection? Let us find out together.

Sharks feel and enjoy affection, just like dogs. They enjoy being stroked and caressed by aquarium keepers as it relaxes them and gives them a sense of security. However, while stroking a shark or showing any affection, you should keep your movements controlled as sharks react violently to frenzied movements.

Due to their affectionate nature, sharks are often dubbed as the ‘dogs’ of the ocean. They do not actively seek out human prey and are not a direct threat to humans unless provoked. 

Are sharks gentle creatures?

Image credits: “Horn Shark 9763” by mliu92 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Owing to their magnificent size and sharp teeth, sharks are often considered ferocious animals. But is that the truth? Let’s find out. 

Sharks are, in reality, gentle animals and pose no threat to humans. In addition, many sharks prefer living in solitude, and some move around in groups of 5 to 15. They do not interfere with human activity and love to be petted. Some shark species that are really docile include Horn Shark and Nurse Shark.

That being said, sharks can get really cranky when they are hungry, and it is best to leave them alone in such instances.

Are hammerhead sharks dangerous?

Image Credits: “Georgia Aquarium – Hammerhead Shark” by hyku is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Although most sharks are docile and harmless, some can be extremely dangerous. Let’s understand whether hammerhead sharks are dangerous.

Generally speaking, hammerhead sharks aren’t a danger to humans. However, over the years, there have been recorded instances of unprovoked attacks, which have alerted people, and as a result, they are advised to maintain caution around hammerhead sharks and approach them carefully, if at all.

It is true that although most sharks aren’t dangerous, they can be quite hostile and even attack humans in some instances.

Which are the most hostile sharks?

Image credits: “Great White Shark in South Africa” by travelbagltd is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There are some shark varieties that prove to be quite hostile and we must be cautious around them. Let’s check out who they are. 

The Great White Sharks are believed to be extremely hostile creatures and there have often been reports of them attacking humans. Other than that, we have tiger sharks, shortfin mako, bull shark, and oceanic whitetip shark. All these shark varieties have shown similar aggressive traits and are viewed as a threat to humans.

While a large number of these attacks on humans might be due to the shark’s defensive nature, some of the attacks have been unprovoked, and therefore, it is advisable to be careful around these sharks. 

Can you pet a great white shark?

Image credits: “An angry Great White Shark” by TheGrantPeters is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Great White Sharks are fierce and aggressive animals. But, can they be petted like some other sharks? Let’s find out.

The Great White Shark does not like being petted. They are not as affectionate as other shark varieties and may react aggressively if they feel threatened by you. Therefore, it is advisable to always maintain a safe distance from them. In addition, they have sharp, enlarged teeth which can be dangerous.

Remember, Great White Sharks, like most shark varieties, have powerful jaws and well-structured teeth which can help them tear their prey apart. Since they are unpredictable, it is best not to meddle with them. 


Sharks are beautiful oceanic animals who are shy and affectionate. While tickling, stroking, and rubbing their snout are some ways you can show affection, always remember that your movements should remain relaxed and controlled around sharks or they may feel threatened by you. All said and done, wait for the shark to swim towards you. Sometimes, they may open their mouth which is a sign of affection. 


I am Sehrish , I love writing about animals. I like exploring the different aspects of the animal kingdom and aim to present the information to the readers in an interesting, easy-to-read format. The world of animals is full of undiscovered, intriguing facts and stories and there is nothing I enjoy more than delving deeper into it.

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