If your dog has been getting you to hold its paw, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog want me to hold its paw? Possible reasons why your dog wants you to hold its paw are that it wants something from you, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, it wants you to pet it, previous training, or anxiety.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why does my dog want me to hold its paw?

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 something from you

If your dog tends to get you to hold its paw more at a certain time, it would be likely that it does it because it wants you to give it something. Things that it might want could be to go for a walk, to have the food you are eating or to get fed.

It has learned that the behavior gets rewarded

The cause could also be that your dog has learned that it gets rewards for getting you to hold its paw. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats, food or extra attention, when your dog gets you to hold its hand, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

It is trying to alert you to something

Another possible cause is that your dog is trying to alert you to something. This would be more likely if your dog does it more at a certain time such as when there is someone at the door and if your dog shows different body language to normal.

Previous training

It could also be the case that previous owners trained your dog to get you to hold its paw. This would be more likely if you adopted your dog when it was not a puppy and if your dog has always done it.

It wants you to pet it

If it does it when you are petting it then it might be because it wants you to rub its belly. This would be more likely if it also rolls onto its back when it does it. If it does it when you are not petting it, the cause might also be that it wants you to pet it, this would be more likely if your dog stops putting its paw on you when you start petting it and it puts its paw on you when you stop.

Anxiety

Another possible cause is that something has been causing your dog to be anxious. This would be more likely if your dog does it more at a certain time such as when you are about to leave the house or when it hears a noise.

Things to consider about your dog wanting you to hold its paw

Below are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when your dog first started getting you to hold its paw

It would help to consider whether or not your dog has always wanted you to hold its paw or if it has started doing it suddenly. If your dog has started doing it suddenly then it would be more likely that an event caused it to start doing it.

If your dog did start doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards when it does it or a sudden change in its daily schedule. It would help to consider what else changed when it first started doing it.

Whereas, if it has always done it then it would be more likely to be due to one of the things mentioned above.

What is different when your dog puts its paw on you

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your dog tends to get you to hold its paw. If there is then it would be more likely that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it tends to get you to hold its paw at around the same time that you would normally walk it then it would be more likely that it does it to remind you to walk it.

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider the other body language signs your dog shows when it gets you to hold its paw.

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.

What to do about your dog wanting you to hold its paw

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

Redirect its focus

One option would be to get it to focus on something else when it seems likely to start doing it. By doing so, you should be able to get it out of the habit of doing it if it has been doing it for attention.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, it could be the case that your dog has learned that getting you to hold its paw results in it getting rewards. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it is behaving the way you want and to avoid giving it rewards when it gets you to hold its paw. Doing so should help to teach it that behaving the way you want it to will result in it getting rewards but behaving in a different way will not.

Give it what it wants at around the same time daily

If it seems like your dog has been doing it because it wants to get something from you, it would also help to give it what it wants at around the same time daily. For example, it would help to feed it at the same time each day. Doing this should help to teach your dog when it can expect to get certain things.

This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

Most Recommended For Dogs

Best Dog Training Program

Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program - If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link.

Best Dog Treats

Our favorites: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring (on Amazon) - Great for puppies. American Journey Dog Treats (on Amazon) - Great for adult dogs.

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.