Why Does My Dog Put His Paw on Me?

You use your hands to speak. Why not, then, your dog?
To say that our pets captivate us would be an understatement. The truth is, we have a slight obsession. Every action those adorable tail-wagging animals take—from staring at us affectionately to sighing loudly, from licking our faces to licking our feet and watching TV with us—seems to be infused with a feeling of enchantment and mystery. So you’re not alone if you’ve ever “pawsed” to wonder, “Why does my dog put his paw on me?” According to Colby Lehew, head trainer at Chicago’s Dogletics dog training centre, it’s actually one of the canine behaviours that veterinarians and dog behaviour specialists are questioned about the most.

dog paw care

A method of communication is pawing.

According to Gerardo Perez-Camargo, DVM, Vice President of Research and Development at Freshpet, “pawing” is a fundamentally a form of communication. Or, to be more precise, it’s an act of initiating conversation, like when you touch a friend on the shoulder to grab their attention or clear your throat to indicate that you’re about to talk. However, your dog may achieve it just as quickly by barking. Therefore, your dog is making a decision when he decides to put his paw on you to catch your attention. What motivates this?

Like humans, dogs also speak with their hands.

According to Sarah Wooten, DVM, a veterinarian and expert at Pumpkin Pet Insurance, many dogs have a tendency to “talk” with their “hands.” Lehew claims that this is because we have instructed them to do so. You are probably happy when your dog gives you his paw. At times, you might even give a reward (such as compliments, physical attention, or food). We encourage our dogs to communicate with their paws again by praising them when they do. once more. Here are 8 surefire indicators that your dog trusts you.

Empathizing Dog With Owner

The paw that begs to be petted.

You probably won’t even need to question “Why is my dog putting his paw on me?” if you get the “paw” when you’re already tickling, caressing, or otherwise lavishing your dog with physical affection. It’s likely that you’ll sense intuitively that your dog wants you to carry on as you are. According to Dr. Wooten, this is one of the most frequent causes of dogs putting their paws on their owners. Service dogs are the only exception, and you’re not allowed to pet them.

Why did you stop paw

Similar to how a dog may touch you if you were petting him then stopped, according to Dr. Wooten. He’ll reach out and paw you as soon as you start to pull back your hand, which tends to happen pretty rapidly. It frequently has a high degree of effectiveness and limited space for interpretation. Your dog is asking for more food. If you’re unsure, try looking for one of these telltale indicators of your dog’s happiness to clear up any confusion.

The paw of “it’s going to be OK”

Reader’s Digest quotes Dr. Wooten as saying, “Good or negative, dogs feel our energy, and they care about how we feel.” “Our pets can quickly sense when we are depressed or unhappy.” And at that point, your dog may extend his paw toward you as if to convey the message, “Hey, I get that you’re going through something, and I want you to know, it’s going to be okay.” Did you realise that occasionally even dogs crave a little solitude? These are the indications that your dog wants some solitude.

GettyImages 83326617 32813d6782d3442aacd699f5d6953233 1

‘I love you’ paw

One way dogs can express their affection is by touching you with their paws, claims Texas-based veterinarian Sara Ochoa, DVM, who works as a consultant for DogLab. Dogs love belly massages, and they also appear to be aware that their owners enjoy being caressed as well. Since they care about us, they try to make us happy.

The paw that’s “not feeling so good”

Dogs believe that when they give us their paws, we will reward them. However, not all incentives come in the form of adoration, food, or verbal applause. When your dog isn’t feeling well, offering support and help might serve as a reward. If you want to know if your dog is giving you a cheerful paw or a “I’m not feeling so good” paw, pay attention to his body language. However, feel free to use these 13 symptoms that your dog is in discomfort if you’re unsure.

The worried paw

how to teach my dog to give me their paw 556 600 square

According to Trupanion staff veterinarian Caroline Wilde, DVM, our dogs can experience physical and mental discomfort. Therefore, if your dog is feeling frightened or agitated, he might offer you a paw to comfort him. You might also see your dog continually yawning or licking his lips in this situation. Additionally, if your dog is licking his paws, that may be a sign that he’s stressed or anxious.

Its lengthy “pawse”

When your dog extends his paw, it usually isn’t for very long. On occasion, though, he will really leave his paw on you rather than just tapping you with it. At times, it nearly feels like he has you in his hands. You might wonder, “Why does my dog place his paw on me and leave it there?” According to Jennifer Coates, DVM, a member of Pet Life Today’s advisory board, the rationales behind short and long dog touches are roughly the same. A long “pawse,” however, typically occurs after a brief “pawse” has been disregarded or unappreciated. On the other hand, you can probably trust it if a persistent paw-touch appears out of nowhere.”pawse” has been disregarded or unappreciated. On the other hand, you can usually be sure that you’ve just experienced the canine equivalent of a bear hug if a persistent paw-touch appears out of nowhere. Did you realise that dogs sometimes find human behaviour as perplexing as we do? Here are 23 things we do that, according to experts, completely perplex our canine friends.


A member of Pet Life Today’s advisory board named Jennifer Coates, DVM
Colby Lehew, director of dog training at Dogletics in Chicago
Veterinary consultant for DogLab and a small animal and exotic animal doctor headquartered in Texas, Sara Ochoa
Vice President of Research and Development at Freshpet, Gerardo Perez-Camargo, DVM
Trupanion’s staff veterinarian, Caroline Wilde, DVM
veterinarian Sarah Wooten, DVM, of Pumpkin Pet Insurance

Leave a Comment