Does your dog keep putting his paw on you? Are you miffed about why he keeps putting his paw on you? If so, you’re probably asking, ‘why does my dog put his paw on me?’
You don’t have to worry, your dog is probably not making any negative gestures.
There are a number of things your dog may be signaling by putting his paw on you, but your furry friend most likely considers you as his friend and wants your attention.
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Why Does My Dog Put His Paw On Me?
Paws are as significant to canine communication as words are to human communication. When your dog puts his paw on you, he is usually asking for some form of attention. However, there are several different types of attention he may be looking for.
It’s up to you to read his other body language to figure it out to he can get what he needs.
‘Play With Me’
Your dog may put his paw on you as a way of instigating social interaction.
Dogs use their paws to communicate with us and each other. If you’ve ever watched dogs interact with one another, you’ve probably noticed that they put their paws on each other, too. They do this to initiate play.
If your dog is trying to initiate play, he will likely be displaying excitement in other ways through body language, such as tail wagging, panting and excitement.
‘What Is That?’
If you have something in your hand that your dog wants to see, he may display his curiosity by pawing your hand. Similarly, he may paw containers such as cabinets if he wants to see what’s inside.
If he’s pawing out of curiosity, he will likely be doing some sniffing as well.
‘I Need Your Assistance’
If your dog’s pawing is not accompanied by excitement, he may be giving you a tap in order to let you know he needs you for something.
This reminder tap may be accompanied by a bit of vocal sounds, and your dog may also try to give you some hints of what exactly he wants by running over to his food bowl, leash or door.
Check to make sure he has water and food in his bowl. Have you let him outside recently? Maybe your dog wants to go on a walk.
‘I’m Enjoying This’
If you’ve been giving your doggie a good scratch on the head, he may put his paw on your leg to let you know he’s enjoying it.
This cute gesture makes it harder to stop petting him, doesn’t it?
‘I Feel You’
In some instances, dogs use their paws in a similar way to how we humans use our hands. When we feel empathy, we may hold another human’s hand, or put our hand on their shoulder. Similarly, your dog may paw you as an effort to comfort you.
Dogs can read human emotions almost as well as humans can. If your dog senses that you are feeling sad or need some love, you can expect a bit of paw action.
If you have recently scolded your dog and seem a bit aggravated, your dog may put his paw on you in an effort to apologize.
‘I’m Your Boss’
It’s one thing for your dog to innocently tap your leg or hand with his paw, but if he starts jumping on you and putting his paws on your shoulder, that could mean that he thinks he’s in charge.
Firmly tell your dog ‘no,’ and don’t reward this behavior. A dog who thinks he’s in charge of his human can display some serious behavioral issues that expand beyond pawing, so if your dog starts doing this, make sure to let him know who the real boss is.
Your dog pawing you shouldn’t be a problem, but sometimes it is possible for your dog to cross the line.
Dogs learn from positive reinforcement, so if you need to make sure you don’t reward his pawing by giving him treats or excessive attention whenever he wants it. Your dog needs to know that when you don’t want to play, he needs to entertain himself.
Your dog will paw you no matter what, so make sure you keep his paws hygienic. Long claws can scratch you up and hurt you, and dirty paws can ruin your clothes. Regular paw grooming will prevent this from happening.
If your dog could speak human, he probably wouldn’t put his paw on you so much.
When your dog puts his paw on you, he is probably asking for attention. What type of attention he’s asking for is up for you to determine by reading the other signals his body is betraying.
Your dog’s pawing shouldn’t be a problem unless he is asserting his dominance and pushing you over in the process.
However, make sure you keep your dog’s paws clean and his claws trimmed so that he doesn’t scratch you or ruin your clothes. That way, you won’t respond to his affection by getting irritated with him.
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