6 Ways Dogs Use Their Paws to Communicate
7 March, 2018
We know how our dogs smooch and lick us all over to show their affection. It’s their way of indicating their love to us. Unless, of course, they just like the way we taste! And, similarly, our dogs will communicate with us by playing or even pawing us. In fact, there are many ways our dog try to communicate with us by using their paws.
1. They want your attention!
Dogs are like small children. They want our attention for a variety of reasons from wanting some play time or affection, or that they just want to hang out with you. Dogs want to be included in the action and paw you to show you just that. It’s similar to when your child pokes or tugs you to get your attention. Dogs paw you because they want you to pay attention! And, it works!
2. Your dog needs something
When your dog is hungry, is hurting or needs or wants something, pawing you can be a more subtle way of letting you know. They may exhibit this behavior even though you have trained them not to jump up or beg and just need you at that moment.
3. They are apologizing in their subtle way
If you’ve ever scolded your dog or put them in time out for bad behavior, the reprimand is often followed by some sort of apology. Your dog might act contrite or even calmly placing a paw on your arm, immediately following the scolding. They are trying to say “I’m sorry” in their own way. And how can you stay angry when his gentle paw is placed on you. They are asking for reassurance when they paw you after they have been behaving badly.
4. Your dog just wants to tell you they love you
Like humans, dogs need to feel connected. And a simple touch (or paw) is a warm way to connect. If they can’t cuddle with you, your dog may find other ways to make that bond and reinforce it. Pawing you gently or placing a paw on you is one way to touch and feel connected. Or your dog will sense your upset and use his paw to show his love and understanding.
5. They want to grab something from you
If you’ve ever teased a dog by hiding a treat in your hand, you are probably familiar with this type of communication. A dog who paws at an object or hand is trying to get access to it. Over time, your dog will learn that pawing at something he wants results in him receiving it.
6. Pawing means it’s play time
Puppies and young dog interact with each other at play time with their paws. To initiate play, a puppy may paw the other dogs or paw the ground in front of them to let them know it is time to play. If the other dog paws back, they have agreed that it is time for play. And pawing you is another indication that they want to play.
When your dog paws you next time, you probably will know the why and it will make communication between you even better.
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