Why does my dog want me to hold his paw? First of all, you probably taught your dog to do this. Secondly, there is not just one reason why he wants this. As a matter of fact, there are a few explanations and yes, we will answer each one below. This is far from a thing to want to change or avoid, but there are some facts you need to know.
Why Does My Dog Want Me To Hold His Paw? Main Reasons.
He wants a reward
Many people will teach their dogs to shake at an early age. Dogs will understand that this will give them a reward so they’ll shake hands with you. Why does my dog want me to hold his paw? Simply said, he wants that reward. He knows that every single time you give him a command and he obeys you, you will give him a treat. Now he wants a treat so he will give you his paw to hold without a command.
He wants something else
Yes, most dogs will do this in order to get a treat but not always. Some will do it in order to get a different thing. This can be a walk, a treat you are having, or just a few minutes of your time. It is a nice thing to see and usually a clever action from your pet. Keep in mind that he may want a toy or something similar and not food. Also, make sure to check when he is doing this. Maybe it is time for a walk.
Due to training
Some dogs are trained to do this almost all the time. It is more common among adopted dogs and those who were training to do this as puppies. He doesn’t want a treat in this case. He just wants to hold hands or a hand and a paw in this case. In addition, this reason is rare and there are not a lot of dogs who will use it. It is far more likely that he is doing this due to some other reason mentioned here.
He is alerting you
It is also possible that he wants to alert you. No, there is no burglar out there. Your dog will do this when someone changes his body language or when someone is coming to you. The most common situation is when you start yelling or someone is at the front door. Try to look at his body language. If he looks alerted (erected ears and sniffing around) your friend is coming over.
You should pet your dog
Here is an interesting reason and one that does look great. Your dog wants you to pet him so he will give you his paw and you should hold it. The best thing to do is to start doing the thing he wants. To determine if this is the reason, look at the behavior. If he lies on his back and gives you his paw you should rub his belly. If he stops putting the paw on your hand, this is the reason. Most dogs will stop putting their paws on the owners when they start to pet them. But once you stop, he will put his paw on your hand once again.
10 Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners. Find out here.
Due to anxiety
Yes, this is another reason why a dog will let you hold his paw. He is anxious. This usually happens when you should go somewhere and he knows that. Once again, you should pay attention when he is doing this. Are you preparing to go to work or travel somewhere?
What can you do about it?
In most cases, there is no need to change or even affect this type of behavior. It is nice and it is one of the best ways your dog can communicate with you. However, some dog owners don’t like this or they are too busy in order to even consider why their dog does this. If this is the case with you, there are a few things to do.
The first thing you can do is to stop encouraging this behavior. In the lack of a better word, you won’t give your pet a reward or you won’t hold his paw all the time. This is a very helpful thing and your pet will stop doing this within days or weeks.
The second thing you can do is to take him for a walk at the same time every single day. This is important simply because your pet won’t need you to hold his paw. Of course, he may want you to hold his paw due to other reasons as we have mentioned above. If you started walking him at the same time of a day, every single day and he still gives you his paw to hold, this wasn’t the reason why he has been doing this. There is something else and you will need to determine it.
Last but not least, you can change his focus. Basically, when he wants you to hold his paw you should try giving him something else. This can be some toy or give him some command. He will likely learn that this behavior won’t help him get what he wants so he will stop doing it. It is the same issue as with the first thing you can do as we have mentioned earlier.
In order to determine which method is the best, look at body language. A happy dog will want you to hold his paw because he wants something or he needs something from you. The unhappy dog will do this because he is scared, anxious or he wants to alert you.
The final word
Why does my dog want me to hold his paw? As you saw there are a few reasons why he will do this. Each reason is different so you need to look at the small things and determine the main reason. Yes, you can eliminate this behavior but is this something you really want to do? Most dog owners like this and they even train their dogs to do it all the time. But, if you don’t like it, you can eliminate it.
Check out my other articles: