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Paws are your dog’s tools that allow him to communicate with you or with other animals. But figuring out why dogs like to rest a paw on a person's leg or shoulder can be a puzzle. What this is may be a part of instinctual behavior, but it can also be a valuable tool in training and education canines. When a dog is raising a paw, they are trying to tell us something. Like he wants me to pet him cuz he paws and sits next to me and rubs up against me but as I go to pet him he continuously puts his paw/arm on top of mine. A doggie's furry touch is a warm, cozy feeling. Some people believe it signals a dog’s dominance. Mixed signals are confusing to canines, and therefore are a major no-no. Don't sometimes offer him attention in response and then sometimes not. If your dog puts his paw on your thigh as you're on the phone for a work call, only to have you not react, he might quickly learn that that method is fruitless. Of course, dogs raising paws can be a sign of something going wrong, so it's imperative we pay attention to this behavior. Sometimes dogs will sit with their paw on the back or neck of another dog, and this is a clear indication that the dog with the paw raised is dominant, or the boss. How many times have you asked yourself that question, if ever? Others think it’s a sign of affection. Somewhere along the line the dog discovered that if they do “X” you will do “Y”. The latter two are more likely when your dog rests his paw on you without moving it. Just as possible as it is for a pup to paw you as a sign of submission, is the possibility of the complete opposite. The message could be one of several … My favorite dog-human interaction is when my dog noses his little head under my hand after I stop petting him, as if to say, “No, you cannot stop.” Oh, it is just so sweet. When your dog puts his paws on you, he may be demanding attention, seeking comfort, or asking for forgiveness. An Indication of Insecurity. Why does my dog put his paw on me? If your dog has a habit of placing both of his paws on you when you're petting him, however, it could actually be a sign of dominance rather than tenderness. In this case X is “put my paw on them” and Y is “give the dog a belly rub”. This is also how they learn to sit. When our furry family member puts their paw on us, it may be their way of asserting their dominance. Dogs can also use their paws and the positioning of their paws to show that they feel that they are dominant over a certain person, although this can be harder to identify. She says that dogs are actually trying to communicate with you when they lay their paws on you. They can’t speak, so a little paw language will have to do! Your dog is telling you, “I need some consoling and reassuring,” or “I’m sorry for what I did. As said above, there are several reasons a canine could put your dog puts his paws on you and we’ll outline some of the most common ones below. In communication between dogs, a dominant dog will often put his paw on the weaker dog as a sign of being above them. When he puts his paws on you, you might interpret the act as an affectionate one. Because it works. But my second-favorite dog-human interaction is when my dog abruptly puts his paw on my arm or thigh, as if to communicate something urgent. Ok I have an 8 month old pitbull he's a good dog (he does have his moments, like every other dog) lol but he's trained and everything so I'm wondering why he puts his paw/arm on top of my arm WHILE I pet him? Be consistent in this, however. Please forgive me.” Tips to stop dog pawing One of the reasons your dog would raise a paw or put it on you is insecurity. Dog behaviorist Rebecca Forrest wrote about the topic at The Dog Clinic. 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