If your dog keeps putting its paw on your foot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my dog put its paw on my foot? Possible reasons why your dog has been putting its paw on your foot are that it wants attention, it is being protective, it makes your dog feel safer, it wants something from you or that it does not realize it is doing it.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Reasons why your dog puts its paw on your foot
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants attention
The cause could be that it is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it extra attention when it does it.
It is being protective
The cause might be that it is being protective by standing or sitting close to you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when other people or animals are around and if it can be overly protective around them.
It wants something from you
The reason why it has been doing it might be because it wants something from you. It could be the case that it wants things such as to get a walk, to get fed or to go outside to pee. This would be more likely if it does it more at a certain time, such as when you would typically feed it, walk it or let it out to pee and if it stops doing it afterward.
The cause might also be that it causes your dog to feel safer. Dogs evolved as pack animals and they were bred to be around humans for most of the day. So, it is likely that touching you with its paw will make it feel more secure.
Another possible cause could be that it is feeling insecure. This would be more likely if it does it at times where it might be feeling insecure such as when there is thunder and lightning, sirens, or construction works.
It might also be the case that it has been doing it due to having some separation anxiety. Having separation anxiety would be more likely if it tends to do it more at around the same time that you usually leave home and if it starts showing other signs of being anxious.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
When your dog puts its paw on your foot
It would help to consider the timing of when it puts its paw on your foot since the timing will likely have a lot to do with it.
If it does it when it is outside, with you, it would make it more likely that it is being protective or doing it because it makes it feel more secure. It would also help to consider what body language it shows when it does it with you outside.
Whereas, if it tends to do it more when you are with it inside, it would be more likely that it is doing it for attention or to get you to give it something.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always put its paw on your feet, it would also help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be because it learned that the behavior gets rewarded or something causing it to become anxious.
What to do about your dog putting its paw on your foot
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that your dog learned that it gets rewards when it puts its paw on your foot. Instead, it would help to avoid giving it extra attention, when it does it, and to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to.
Redirect its focus
Another option would be to redirect your dog’s focus when it seems likely to start putting its paw on your foot. Ways to do so could include giving it a toy or giving it something that it is likely to need, such as to go out to pee if it has not been able to pee for a while.
Give it things it might want at a regular time
It might be doing it because it wants something such as to be walked or fed. It would also help to ensure that your dog is able to get the things that it needs without having to wait too long, such as by feeding it on time in the mornings.