7 Possible Reasons Why Do Dogs Put Their Paw On You

7 Possible Reasons Why Do Dogs Put Their Paw On You

Author WDF Staff


Dogs communicate differently than humans. Since they cannot talk, they use other methods to let everybody know how they feel. Sometimes, your dog will bark, howl, or even put a paw on you. This can be characterized by one of the cutest things your dog does. Have you ever experienced your dog sitting in front of you and starting pawing you? Why is that? Can that be a sign of something bad? Stay with us and find out: "why do dogs put their paw on you?"

1. Seeking attention

The most obvious reason dogs put paws on you is to seek attention. When they are bored, dogs will seek attention. With pawing, they are trying to get your reaction and start interacting with you. Maybe your dog has been alone for too long and missed his favorite person, so if your dog starts pawing you when you come home, this could be a reason.

RELATED: Do Dogs Have Dominant Paws

2. They love you

The second most favorable reason is that dogs love you. Dogs communicate differently than us, and they have their ways of showing us love. Some dogs will lick you, some will snuggle near you, while the other can put a paw on you. When the dog puts a paw on you and tries to make eye contact, it means they have a strong emotional connection with you.

dog giving paw

Dogs can sense our emotions, and if we are sad or down, they will try to help. In this case, the dog will put a paw on you to let you know that everything will be ok and that he is there for you.

3. They want to go outside

Your dog could want to go outside, either for a potty break, for a walk, or to visit the dog park. Either way, this behavior will be accompanied by toe-tapping, tail wagging, and in some cases, barking. Maybe the dog needs to go to the urgent potty break, and he will let you know with pawing.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Clean and Care for Your Dog’s Paws

4. They want to play

If your dog is trying to start playing with you, he could start pawing. If you notice toys around your dog when he is pawing, or you see exited jumping and tapping, this could be a sign that your dog wants to play. Playing with your dog is very important, to have a stronger connection with your dog, and also not to allow your dog to develop behavior problems. A tired dog is a happy dog. If you provide your dog with the proper amount of exercise and playing time, you can be sure he will behave.

human hand and dog paw

5. They are anxious

Dogs will look at you like an alpha, and they will come to you for help if something is wrong. If your dog is feeling scared or anxious, he could start putting a paw on you. This behavior will be accompanied by pricked ears, lip-smacking, a low tail, and a tight mouth. If you are unsure what is bothering your dog, your vet or dog trainer can help. There is nothing shameful in seeking advice.

RELATED: Separation Anxiety In Dogs - How To Stop It

6. They are hungry

If your dog comes near you and starts putting a paw at you, it could easily mean they are hungry and it's meal time. Maybe you forgot to feed the dog at the usual time, and now he is letting you know. Also, this behavior could happen when you are eating, and your dog will paw at you in an attempt to get some food from the table.

7. They are hurt

In some cases, pawing can mean that your dog is hurt and he's trying to get your attention to help him. Some dogs can also start barking, whining, and shaking, but in cases of milder injury dog could put a paw on you. If you don't have much experience with dogs and are not sure what is wrong with your dog, we suggest that you seek vet help for more information. Your vet will know your dog's medical history, and it will be easier for him to help the dog.

RELATED: Dog Licking Paws - What Does it Mean

human hand and dog paw

Should I stop this behavior?

Since most of the stated reasons are harmless, there is no reason to stop this behavior. Also, seeing your dog putting a paw on you is one of the cutest dog behaviors. You should only be careful that this behavior isn't an indication of some health problems with your dog because, in that situation, you must act fast, figure out what is causing your dog problems and help the dog.


Most dog owners will sooner or later experience their dog giving their paw without asking, and it is a way for them to communicate with you. In most cases, this dog behavior is nothing to be worried about, and it will only create a stronger bond with your dog.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo