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Why Does My Dog Put His Paw On Me

We all love to play with our dogs. They’re man’s best friend, the best furry companion someone could ask for. They exhibit many fun behaviors when we’re playing with them and hanging out with them. However, one that can seem a bit baffling is when they put their paws on us. Many dog owners wonder what exactly it means and what the results of that could be. That’s why in this article, we’re going to be going over precisely that. That way, you know what to do when your dog puts their paw on you and how exactly you should react to that situation. So let’s get right into it!

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Puts His Paw On You

There are many reasons your dog might put their paw on you. From seeking out communication with you to trying to say they’re hungry, or to even getting your attention, there are a lot of different meanings that this little gesture could have. It’s all about context clues and the information around you - consider this article a checklist to run through in your head whenever your dog puts their paw on you in the future. 

To Communicate

Pawing you is simply a way that dogs communicate. It’s similar to how humans could seek to communicate with one another by clearing their throat to signal that they’re about to talk or gesturing to someone else by tapping on their shoulders. However, there are a few meanings that dogs could be offering you by putting their paw on you.

They communicate by paw instead of barking because they’re typically rewarded by putting their feet on you. Owners see it as cute, leading to dogs getting treats and affection. This is opposed to barking, which pet owners often punish.

Related: Why Do Dogs Bring You Toys When You Get Home?

To Get Your Attention

woman petting dog head

Dogs love the affection of their humans - they’re some of the most social animals out there and, as such, are connected to their owners. As a result, they often want respect and love, and it’s natural to find ways to seek this out from their people. For example, they may reach out their hands to put them on you to signal that they’re trying to get some form of attention. Of course, an excellent response to them doing this is to pet them - who doesn’t love petting a dog after all?

To Tell You It’s OK

Dogs are brilliant animals and can often tell when their owners are upset or unhappy. So if you’re disappointed, crying, or feeling some form of uncomfortable and sad emotion, your dog may try to help you feel better by reaching out to their paws to put on you as a form of comfort. It’s their little way of saying they’re there to support you, love you, and want to see you thrive. Aren’t dogs some of the sweetest animals, after all?

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To Tell You They Love You

Dogs like to replicate behaviors they’re taught, and seeing their humans pet them is something they often do. They learn that putting their paws on those they care about is a way of showing love, and when they do it to you, it could be their way of saying that they love you. They’re communicative animals, after all, and are eager to tell you how they care about you and want to give you affection. So when your dog puts their paw on you, provide them with some pets - they deserve it!

Related: When Do Puppies Start Walking?

To Let You Know, They Don’t Feel Good

However, your dog putting their paw on you isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Depending on other visual cues like how their face looks or how they are acting with their body, it could be their way of trying to communicate that they aren’t feeling too great and need some support and care for themselves—when your dog puts their paw on you next time, run through everything you usually would with them to check in to their health and see what they need and how they’re currently feeling. You could help make them feel just a million times better!

To Tell You They’re Anxious

In the same vein, your dog could be putting their paw on you to let you know they’re feeling anxious. Things like thunder blaring in the background or feeling anxious from you leaving the house to go to work all could plague your dog and affect how they think. This is often accompanied by other context clues, such as heavy breathing or how their tail is positioned. Make sure you’re privy to all of this to help your dog feel better - you don’t want them to be scared!

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To Get Food

In a more lighthearted sense, your dog could just be putting their paw on you to communicate that they’re looking for food. It isn't the end of the whole wide world for them - they could be a bit hungry and looking for some extra food and support. So the next time your dog puts their paw on you, check the levels of its food bowl. They could be low!

Alternatively, it could be your dog’s way of asking for a treat. If their food bowl is full, consider giving them a nice treat!

Talk to the Paw

a dog putting his paw on his owner

Now that you know what your dog means when it paws on you, you can approach the situation with all the love and care needed for your canine friend! Give them some love and help them to know how much you care about them. The best way to do this is to get some sneakers to fit over those paws so that they’re comfortable when you take them out on walks. Consider looking into RIFRUF sneakers to put on your dogs, so they feel nice and snug!

Related: Why Is My Puppy Limping?

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