Why Does My Dog Put His Paw on Me and Push

Why Does My Dog Put His Paw on Me and Push?

It is not uncommon for dogs to use their paws to communicate with their owners. One common behavior that many dog owners may observe is their dog putting their paw on them and pushing. This behavior can have various meanings and can be interpreted differently depending on the context and the individual dog. So, why does your dog put his paw on you and push? Let’s explore some possible reasons.

1. Affection and Attention: Dogs often use their paws to seek affection and attention from their human companions. By putting their paw on you and pushing, they are attempting to get your attention and possibly some cuddles.

2. Requesting Something: Dogs are smart creatures, and they quickly learn that using their paws can get them what they want. Your dog may be pushing you with his paw to communicate a specific request, such as going outside, getting a treat, or playing.

3. Asserting Dominance: In some cases, a dog may use his paw to assert dominance over you or other dogs. By pushing you, he is trying to establish his position as the alpha in the pack.

4. Anxiety or Insecurity: Dogs may also use their paws to cope with anxiety or insecurity. By pushing you, they are seeking reassurance and comfort, much like a child reaching out for a hug.

5. Learned Behavior: If your dog has received positive reinforcement in the past when using his paw to push, he may have learned that this behavior leads to rewards. Consequently, he may continue to repeat it.

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6. Excitement: Dogs often express their excitement through various behaviors, and using their paws is one of them. When your dog pushes you with his paw, it could indicate that he is overjoyed or eager to engage in a particular activity.

7. Attention-Seeking: Some dogs may resort to using their paws to push you as a way of seeking attention when they feel neglected or bored. By doing this, they are attempting to redirect your focus towards them.


1. Is it normal for my dog to push me with his paw?
Yes, it is normal for dogs to use their paws to communicate with their owners.

2. How should I respond when my dog pushes me with his paw?
You can respond by giving your dog attention, fulfilling their request, or redirecting their behavior if necessary.

3. How can I discourage this behavior if it becomes excessive or bothersome?
Training exercises, such as teaching your dog alternative ways to ask for attention or rewards, can help discourage excessive paw pushing.

4. What if my dog’s paw pushing is accompanied by other concerning behaviors?
If your dog displays aggressive or fearful behaviors along with paw pushing, it is essential to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

5. Can I teach my dog to only use his paw for specific requests?
Yes, through consistent training and positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog to use his paw for particular purposes, such as shaking hands or high-fiving.

6. Why does my dog push me with his paw when I’m sitting down?
Your sitting position may be more accessible for your dog to reach and get your attention.

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7. Can all dog breeds exhibit this behavior?
Yes, dogs of all breeds and sizes can use their paws to communicate with their owners. However, some breeds may be more prone to this behavior due to their individual personalities and tendencies.

Understanding why your dog puts his paw on you and pushes can help strengthen your bond and improve communication. Remember, every dog is unique, so observing their body language and considering the context is crucial in interpreting their intentions accurately.