If your dog has been pushing you with its feet, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog push me with its feet? Likely reasons why your dog pushes you with its feet are that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, it wants you to stop touching it, it is playing or that it does it naturally.

There are actually a number of possible causes and they will depend a lot on the context that your dog does it. However, there are some things you can do about the behavior and there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause.

Why does my dog push me with its feet?

Below are likely reasons why your dog pushes you with its feet and what would make each of them more likely.

Your dog wants you to stop petting it

If your dog does it when you are petting it, the cause could be that your dog wants you to stop petting it. This would be more likely if it does it more when you pet it in a certain manner and if it also shows body language signs of wanting you to stop such as leaning away from you, moving its face away from you, or growling. In this case, it could help to try petting it in a different manner.

Your dog is playing

It might be the case that it is not actually trying to push you away. Rather, it might actually be playing with you. This would be more likely if it also shows other signs of being excited such as wagging its tail, having its tongue out and not trying to back away from you.

Your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded

It might also be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it pushes you with its feet, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Your dog does it naturally

It could also be the case that your dog does it naturally because it wants more space. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it when sitting next to you on the couch or when it is in bed with you.

Your dog feels safer

Another possible cause is that your dog likes to touch you because it makes your dog feel safer. This would be more likely if your dog leaves its feet on you and it does not try to push you away. If it leaves its feet touching you when sleeping next to you, it might also be a sign of separation anxiety since it likely wants to be woken up when you leave.

It wants something from you

It might be the case that it is hitting you with its paws because it wants something from you. This would be more likely if it does it when you have something such as food in your hands. It would also be more likely if it tends to do it more when it would normally get things such as a walk or food.

Your dog wants your spot

Another possible cause is that your dog wants the spot you are sitting or sleeping in. This would be more likely if your dog pushes you away when you sit in a certain spot and if it immediately moves there when you move. It might also be a sign of possessiveness which would be more likely if it does things such as growl when you try to move it from the spot.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has always pushed you with its feet

If your dog has not always pushed you with its feet, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded, a change in how you interact with it, or you started sitting in its spot.

The timing of when your dog pushes you with its feet

It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog pushes you with its feet. If there is a certain time that your dog tends to push you with its feet, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it does it when it is in bed with you, it would be more likely that it extends its legs naturally but it might also be the case that it is trying to get you to move.

What to do about my dog pushing me with its feet?

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid rewarding it

It could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for pushing you away. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not push you away and to avoid rewarding it when it does push you away.

Training

Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging the behaviors you want to see by rewarding them and discouraging unwanted behaviors by not rewarding them. To use it to get your dog to stop pushing you away, you could reward it with a treat when it does not push you away but it normally would and stop rewarding it when it pushes you away.

Avoid intimidating it

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been pushing you away due to you being too forceful with it. Instead, it would help to interact with it calmly and to use training to get it to behave the way you want.

Why does my dog push me with its paw?

A likely reason why your dog pushes you with its paw are that it wants something from you such as food or attention. It could also be the case that your dog wants to touch you because it makes your dog feel safer, or because it naturally likes to extend its paw.

Why does my dog push me with its legs?

Your dog might push you with its legs because it wants to make more space for itself or because it naturally likes to extend its legs when it is lying down. It might also be the case that your dog is trying to get you to move from a spot because it likes that spot or because it wants you to get up and give it something.

Why does my dog push me with its nose?

Your dog likely pushes you with its nose because it is actually trying to smell you since it allows your dog to gather information about you. Other possible causes are that your dog is trying to get you to pet it or give it attention.

Why does my dog push me when I pet him?

Your dog might push you when you pet it because it wants you to pet it differently or because it is showing affection to you. It would help to consider the body language your dog shows when it does it. If it does things such as try to lean away from you or growl, it would be more likely that it does not like how you are petting it. Whereas, if it rests its paw on you and wags its tail, it would be more likely that it likes how you are petting it.

Why does my dog push against me?

Likely reasons why your dog pushes against you are that it wants to touch you because it makes your dog feel safer, it is trying to get you to move from a spot or because it wants you to get up and give it something. It would help to consider the timing of when your dog does it and the body language it shows. If it does it in bed and growls, it could be because it is being possessive of its spot in the bed. Whereas, if it does it in the morning, it might be because it wants you to get up and feed it.

Why does my dog push me when lying down?

If your dog pushes you when lying down, it would be likely that your dog does it naturally because it likes to extend its legs or because it is being possessive and trying to make more space for itself. It might also be the case that your dog wants you to give it something if it does it more before you have given it things such as food or exercise.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.