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Why does my dog raise its paw when being petted?

If your dog raises its paw when you pet it you might be wondering why. This post will show you a number of possible reasons why your dog has been raising its paw when you pet it.

So, why does my dog raise its paw when I pet it? Possible reasons why your dog raises its paw when you pet it are that it was previously trained to do it, wanting you to stop, wanting you to rub its belly, it might be doing it to show affection or it could be showing it wants you to pet it more.

There are actually a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and it could be a combination of factors. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.

Why your dog raises its paw when you pet it

Each of the different reasons why your dog raises its paw when you pet it will likely come with a number of clues.

Below are a number of possible reasons why it does it and what would make them more likely.

Previous training

The reason might be that it was previously trained to do it which would be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter or from someone when it was no longer a puppy.

To get you to stop

It could be the case that it does it because it wants you to stop petting it. This would be more likely if it shows other signs of wanting you to stop such as pulling away from you, not wagging its tail or drawing its lips back.

Related: Why does my dog touch me with its paw?

It’s copying you

The reason why it does it could be that it is trying to mirror your own body language. Since you are being affectionate towards it by petting it your dog might be trying to show that it appreciates it by also petting you.

It wants you to rub its belly

It could also be the case that it does it because it wants you to rub its belly. This would be more likely if it tries to roll onto its back when it does it.

It wants to get you to pet it more

The reason why it does it could also be to show you that it wants you to carry on petting it. This would be more likely if it puts its paw on you when you stop. It would also be more likely if it shows positive signs when you are petting it such as wagging its tail, leaning into you and nudging its head onto your lap.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason why it does it.

If your dog has always raised its paw when you pet it

It would help to consider whether or not your dog has always raised its paw when you pet it or it has started doing it suddenly.

If it has started doing it suddenly then it could be because it learned that it gets belly rubs when it does it or that you reward it when it does it. But, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.

If it has always done it then it would be more likely to be due to one of the reasons mentioned above.

If your dog raises its paw more at a certain time

It would also help to consider if it does it more at a certain time. If it does then the timing could have something to do with it.

For example, if it does it when you are eating then it would be likely that it is trying to get you to give it food.

Consider the other body signs it is showing

It would also help to consider the other body language signs your dog is showing when it does it.

If it is showing other signs of being happy such as leaning into you, wagging its tail and having a relaxed posture then it would be more likely to be doing it for a positive reason.

Whereas, if it shows signs of discomfort like pulling away, being stiff and not wagging its tail then it would be more likely that it wants you to stop.

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