Don’t you just love when your dog spontaneously puts their paw on you? It feels like such a trusting, loving moment. Like they want to hold your hand.
And, perhaps that’s exactly what it means.
Recently, The Dog Clinic posted about this very topic giving us more information of what our beloved animals are saying when they reach out a paw.
Long story short… it’s definitely a way for them to communicate.
They likely do it to get your attention. The Dog Clinic’s Rebecca Forrest writes,
Dogs thrive on human companionship.
We’ve bred them to be dependent on us for everything – including fun and social interaction – so they aren’t shy about letting us know they’re feeling neglected.
They also do it to tell you they’re feeling insecure. Is your dog showing other signs of anxiety?
If something disruptive happened in the moments before their paw shot out at you, then distract them with a game or toy.
If you’re petting your dog and you get some paw love back, then that’s a definite sign of affection.
The love hormone, oxytocin, releases in both humans and dogs when petting is involved.
If for some weird reason you can’t be pawed at the moment, Forrest suggests ignoring the gesture can discourage it if you stay consistent.
Also, see that your dog’s needs are being met before they feel the need to put a paw on you by checking the food bowl and keeping stress levels low.
Otherwise, enjoy your puppy pal’s little love notes.