Animal Behaviors and why dogs put their paws on you

Along with barking at you, pawing at you is among the most common ways your dog might try to communicate with you. Most dog owners have likely experienced their dog pawing at their legs. While you may think this could be annoying at times, it’s your dog’s way of trying to communicate with you.

If your dog puts his paw on you, it can be his way of saying I love you. We pet our dogs to show our love and affection. Turns out they do the same. By putting his paw on you whilst you are petting him, he is expanding contact and reciprocating affection back to you. While this act can be interpreted as an expression of love, your dog pawing at you can also be credited to numerous other feelings. He wants to play, he wants food, he’s anxious, or may be in pain. While most cases it is a positive reinforcement for your dog, sometimes it can be a small cry for help. It is essential to look out the other areas your dog is showing in their body language. Make sure to check vitals and in detect any noticeable changes in your pets’ behavior.

Your dog could be insecure and seeking your attention, a sign that you should show him a little extra love. It could also be that your dog is trying to communicate that he’s hungry. How do you tell what your dog is really trying to say? It all depends on perspective.

You should look at the rest of your dog’s body language. If you’re just cozied up on the couch or rubbing your pup’s tummy, chances are he’s just showing love in return. In some cases, if your pup is showing signs of anxiety, such as lip smacking, yawning, and flat ears, it could mean he’s feeling insecure and is looking for affection.


When you are petting your dog, and he puts his paw on your arm or leg, it is kind of like petting you back. While most dogs can’t do an actual stroking action, laying their paw on you is a sign of affection, closeness and trust This is his way of creating a special bond with you. It can also signal I like that, don’t stop, especially if you’ve been petting him for several minutes, and you stop, and he reaches for your hand, he’s telling you more, please!

Some examples of their body language signals are, pricked ears, wagging or upright tail, attentive gaze, and a relaxed mouth. This means they want to engage with you and   most likely play! They are excited and want to engage in some sort of activity like playing with their chew toys, chasing their ball, or even going for a walk.

Pricked ears, low tail, shifting gaze, tight mouth and panting can be a form of anxious behavior or a sign your dog may be in some sort of pain, especially relating to their paw. If you see any other forms of unusual behavior or signs your pup is in discomfort, consult your veterinarian right away.

Relaxed ears and mouth, low wagging tail, and a soft gaze is most likely a tell-tale sign of a pup wanting your affection and love. Giving your attention to your pup will solidify your bond and create trust, and of course it’s the sweetest thing ever. I’m not crying, you’re crying!



1 Comment

  1. Madison Finley

    My dog puts his paws on me when he asks for help or if he’s hungry. Learning the body language of dogs is fascinating. Thanks for sharing!


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