If your dog has been wrapping its paws around your arm a lot, 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 to get it to stop. 

So, why does my dog wrap his paws around my arm?
Possible reasons why your dog wraps its paws around your arm are that it is looking for extra attention, it makes it feel safer, it has some anxiety or that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded
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Since there are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it, 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.  

Why your dog wraps its paws around your arm

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’s looking for extra attention

The cause could be that it is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it. 

Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day but to avoid rewarding it with attention when it behaves in a way that you do not like.

It wants something

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. 

Encouraging the behavior

The cause could also be that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it puts its paw on you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. 

If you want your dog to stop doing it, it would help to reward it when it does not put its paw on you and to stop giving it rewards when your dog starts doing it. 

Anxiety

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 outside. 

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. 

Affection

The cause could just be that it is being affectionate. This would be more likely if it does it at a time such as when you are petting it or rubbing its belly. 

Things to consider

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

What else happened when it first started

If your dog did not always wrap its paws around your arm, 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 it gets rewarded or something causing it to be anxious.

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider the type of body language it shows when doing it. If it shows signs of being relaxed such as by having its tongue out and wagging its tail, it would be more likely that it is just being affectionate. Whereas, if it shows signs of being anxious such as crying or pacing, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to something such as separation anxiety.

What is different when your dog wraps its paws around your arm

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your dog tends to do it more. If there is, it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it only does it when you are about to leave home, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to separation anxiety. 

What to do about your dog wraping its paws around your arm

Below are some things you can do in order to get your dog to stop doing it. 

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it with things such as attention when it does not.

Reduce reasons why it might be anxious

It might be the case that it has been doing it due to something causing it to be anxious. It would help to limit possible reasons why it might be anxious by doing things such as letting it pee, get exercise and eat before leaving it for long time periods. 

Redirect its focus

It would also help to try to redirect its focus onto something else when it seems likely to wrap its paws around your arm. Things that you could redirect its focus onto would include toys or a bone.

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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.