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5 Signals Your Dog Sends When It Lays a Paw on You

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Often puppies will raise their claws or seek physical contact with this simple gesture, but there's a lot of meaning behind it. It can range from a clear expression of affection to seeking reassurance when you're feeling anxious.
Therefore, we explain to you 5 possible signs that a dog can give you every time he touches you with a paw.

How to interpret canine body language

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In many ways, it's important to provide insight into dog body language, especially when it comes to a common gesture, like placing a paw on your body. It's often seen as a way to express dominance, but that's not necessarily the case. Often the postures and gestures that dogs do are easily misunderstood, often because we tend to approach them as if they are human communication signals when in fact they are not.
Observing an animal's behavior is extremely important if you want to know exactly what it is trying to communicate. This is especially important if you want to avoid problems such as stress, anxiety and, in the worst case, aggression. A gesture like putting or raising a paw on its own can mean many different things. That's why you need to pay attention to context and other bodily cues when trying to figure out what your dog is really trying to tell you.

1. Love and joy

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One of the ways dogs express affection is by placing their paws on our legs or any other part of our body. They just do it because they just want to pet it. Lying on his feet is another physical expression of affection that you must learn to take into account when interpreting your pet's behavior.

In addition to wagging their tails, dogs may express joy through other calm behaviors, such as resting their ears, lying on their stomachs, etc. These are gestures that indicate that the dog has a lot of accumulated energy. The lesson from this is that it's really important to pay attention to your dog's behavior so you don't mistake it for something bad.

2. Submission

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Among the most common behaviors dogs use to socialize with each other are examples of submission and dominance. Usually, when a dog posing as submissive wants the dominant dog to know that he accepts his place in the relationship, he lies on his back and may lift his front leg. This can be useful information to better understand the meaning of this procedure.

3. Invitation to play

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Dogs have different ways of inviting other dogs to play with them, and body language is central to all of them. One of the most important stances used by dogs is sometimes called "playing bow." Of course, keep in mind that they can use it not only to contact other animals but also to contact humans.

In addition to these gestures, when playing dogs may bite, bark and even growl. All of these behaviors can sometimes be misinterpreted by humans as aggressive, but in reality they are not. When the game gets too difficult, you can clearly notice the dogs changing position. They usually get steeper and move faster without jumping or spinning.


4. Fear and insecurity

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Physical contact is one of the most important aspects for a dog to maintain a healthy relationship and communicate any issues. In fact, through contact, they may be communicating insecurity or fear, like by placing a paw on us. It’s important to observe their body language to determine this. Lowering the ears and yawning are other common signs of anxiety.

5. Attention

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Our furry friends take great pleasure in our company, that’s nothing new. So when we are busy and can’t really pay much attention to them but they still want our undivided attention, they find different ways to let us know they’re not too happy. Of course, one of those ways is by placing a paw on us. This may go together with other common behaviors, such as barking, searching for toys, climbing on furniture, etc.

However, if we see that the dog becomes too demanding or that their attention-seeking behavior escalates to new levels that are no longer healthy, something else might be going on. This might indicate that the dog is bored, which means that they have a lot of pent-up energy and do not have the necessary mental stimulation to occupy themselves with.


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