Dogs not only communicate through their barking or the way they use their tails. Their pawing gesture also says something a lot about what they want and need.
Here are seven possible reasons for understanding why you may get that occasional nudge of a paw.
“I Love You”
This is the most endearing reason why your dog puts its paw on you. It means it trusts, loves, feels safe with you, and enjoys being in your company.
You may even notice your furry pet leaning in its body on you while it places its paw on your leg.
The best way to respond is to give your dog some love by petting and giving light caresses on its neck or ear area.
This would not only increase their “feel good” hormones but yours as well. Spending quiet time strengthens the bond between you and your pet just by plain touching.
Sometimes your dog just wants your attention.
Maybe you have been too busy with your work, or the chores at home have been piling up lately that you are beginning to forget to give Fido that much-needed attention.
If the pawing is accompanied by bark and a wagging tail, then this signifies that your dog is reminding you that it wants to spend some time with you.
Some dogs who felt ignored even for a short time may exhibit pawing, especially after a long nap.
Simply give your dog some attention with some light playing, even for a little while. Everybody needs some break anyway.
Another reason for pawing is probably to get your attention that it is time for your dog to eat or it wants a share of the food you are eating.
If you feed your dog regularly at a scheduled time, you probably will not get pawing gestures.
But, if you feed your dog regularly outside of its mealtime and give it food every time you have something in your hands, then your Fido will probably develop the habit of always begging for food by putting its paw on you.
You can avoid this by ignoring your dog’s begging when you are eating something. It will learn sooner or later that it will not be rewarded for unscheduled eating.
“I’m Not Feeling Well”
Asking for help or comfort is also one reason why your dog paws at you.
Dogs obviously cannot say they are in pain, but they can let you know if they are feeling something is off with their body by getting your attention.
Sometimes your dog’s source of pain or discomfort is hard to pinpoint. Look for warning signs like a low-hanging tail, pricked ears, panting, crying, or shifting gaze. If there is persistence in these behaviors, visit your veterinarian immediately.
Sometimes your dog needs some reassurance, especially when they are in stressful situations.
Instances such as a large dog seem to be intimidating to a smaller dog. Perhaps, feeling anxious about being in a new environment that is unfamiliar to your dog could trigger it to paw at you.
Whatever the situation, pawing could be a sign that it is having mental distress. Other signs include licking of lips and repeated yawning.