Why Do Dogs Put Their Paws On You

Does your dog keep putting his paw at you? Does your furry buddy wag his tail or perhaps make any sound alongside the pawing?

Is he pawing at you when you pet him? If so, these things signal different things.

How dogs communicate with humans?


Dogs are simply smart and adaptable. So, it’s no wonder their language is an impressive thing. They use paws as a form of communication.

Through their evolution over thousands of years with humans, they have developed this form of communication. 

As a fur parent, you probably noticed their different body language.

You may see them sigh dramatically, gaze at you lovingly, or lick your feet or face. They also put their paws on you.

Pawing is dogs’ way of communicating. While they can easily bark to signal that they want to get your attention or communicate with you non-verbally, they choose to use their paws.

Pawing is one of the many sweetest forms of communication dogs can show.

Every time they need attention, they have unique ways to ask for it. Since they cannot speak verbally, they use their paws to get a message across to their companions.

When they put their paws on you, it is like they are saying, “Hey, I need your attention.”

However, other than the need for attention, this simple body language can mean other things.

Why Does Your Dog Put His Paw On You ?


Unlike humans, dogs cannot express their feelings through verbal communication.

To help them communicate, they put their paw on you. However, what does this body language mean?

Keep reading and discover the possible reasons why your furry best friend keeps pawing at you.

1. Shows Insecurity 

Insecurity is one of the reasons why your dog raises or put his paw on you.

When pawing is combined with other signs of anxiety and stress like resting ears, yawning, or lip-smacking, your dog is telling you that he feels insecure. 

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Remember that your dog can also feel unwell physically and emotionally. If they feel stressed or anxious, they may seek out comfort by offering a paw.

Think of possible reasons why your dog may experience stress and anxiety. This is especially If there’s no apparent cause. 

Did you:

  • Lose your temper with him.
  • Yell at him .
  • Get into an argument in the house .
  • Added a bigger or new dog to your home .
  • Move with him into a new home.

Any of these situations can trigger stress and anxiety among dogs.

The best thing you can do about it is to treat him to his favorite outdoor activity, let him play with a toy he loves, or give him a nice treat. 

2. Continue Petting Him or Doing A Particular Activity


While you are tickling, petting, or giving physical attention to your furry best friend, you may wonder why he keeps on putting his paw on you.

One way of letting you know that he wants to continue what you are doing is by pawing.

Your dog loves the attention you are giving to him to the point that he wants you to keep doing it. 

This behavior is very common with dogs. As soon as you begin withdrawing your hand, he will reach out and does pawing.

Let him have your touch. On the other hand, do let him overdo it. Try not to reward this behavior by petting your dog whenever he does it.

3. Wants to Play 

Every time your dog initiates play, he might use his paw. However, you still need to clarify if this is what he wants.

You will know if your dog wants to play with you by paying attention to other body signals.

For instance, if he put his paw on you with other exciting body signals like panting, smiling face, or tail wagging, then he is inviting you to play with him.

4. Comforts You 

One of the most interesting traits of dogs is that they are great at reading human emotions. It is easy for them to notice if you are sad, happy, or angry.

Do not be surprised if your dog uses his paw the same way as humans, using their hands to comfort or support others. Putting his paw on you is his little way of comforting you. 

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5. Displays Curiosity 

Some things can make your dog curious, and he may use this aw to show curiosity.

For instance, if you are holding a toy or treat, he will keep pawing it. This is because he wants to know what it is.

Some sniffing usually accompanies your dog’s pawing behavior as a sign of curiosity.

6. Needs Your Help 

If your furry buddy keeps pawing you accompanied with vocal sounds, it means that he wants something for you.

Be observant if your dog keeps going back and forth to you and his water water water or leash.

This may indicate that he is thirsty, there is no water in his bowl, or he wants to go potty.


7. Wants to Apologize 

Have you ever experience right after a while of scolding your dog, he comes to you and starts pawing you?

If so, this is an attempt for asking an apology. Your dog tries to show empathy.

This gentle pawing is commonly done after he sensed your reaction to what he has done.

He understands that his behavior was bad from your reaction, and you want him not to repeat it.

He also wants to know if you would forgive him after the reprimand.

8. Says I Love You 

In the same way as humans, dogs also try expressing their affection and love through touch.

Putting your dog’s paw every time you give him a rub or touch him is his way of expressing his love.

As mentioned above, your dog can sense your feelings and moods.

So, he may become almost clingy and super-attentive when you are in a bad mood.

You will find him giving you a gentle paw to calm and reassure you.

9. Indicates Pain 

Pawing is also an indication that your dog is in pain, and his paw might be the cause of it.

He will experience discomfort with painful paws, although he is acting and looking fine.

He may put his paws on you if he asks you to look into the problem and remove the discomfort.

A stone or thorn wedged between his paw pads can cause him discomfort.

If necessary, make sure to see a vet once you suspect a problem with his paws.

How To Stop Your Dog From Pawing At You 


While pawing behavior is adorable and harmless, you might not always have time or in the mood for a suitable response to this behavior.

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If you want to stop him from doing such behavior, you can try the following:

1. Ignore Your Dog

Your dog may observe that whenever he paws at you, he gets your attention successfully. So, there’s a tendency that he will repeat it. If you do not want to tolerate it, you can just ignore him and not make eye contact with him.

When he tries to reach for your hand, make sure to move it to a position he cannot reach. If he stops, you can give him his favorite toy, a rub, or a treat as a form of reward.

2. Give What He Needs 

Does your dog keep on pawing at you even you tried ignoring him? This may indicate that he needs something from you. Based on the above reasons why he paws at you, give what he wants. Make sure to respond accordingly.

3. Be Consistent

You need to be consistent on your no pawing policy. You have to pay attention when he does pawing and then refuse to respond to it the next he ties doing it. This will bring confusion to him.

4. Easy Tips for Grooming Paws 

Keeping your dog clean and well-trimmed will prevent you from getting hurt whenever he tries pawing at you. To do this, you can consider some of the following: 

  • Check for any small objects, overgrown nails, cuts, and thorns that may have wedged between your dog’s paw pads.
  • Clip your dog’s nails after bathing because nails tend to be softer.
  • Use paw wax or vitamin E to soften his paws and make them easier to trim.
  • Trim out the hair around his paw using scissors design for dogs.


Final Thoughts

Dogs are a delight to have around. After all, the loyal, adorable, and easy to love.

One of their common behaviors is pawing, and there are several ways why they do it.

Understanding this behavior will help you identify what he needs. This will also help you respond to him accordingly.

With the above ideas, it’s a lot easier for you to know what to do the next time your furry best friend puts his paw on you.

Besides, do not forget to groom his paws regularly.