By Karen A. Soukiasian
Pawing is one of the biggest tools your dog uses to communicate with you.
Most new, inexperienced dog owners do not realize that dog is a simple language to learn. Once you learn it, you understand your pet is communicating volumes of information by their doggie sign and body languages.
Pawing is one of the most common complaints by dog owners.
Weary owners, usually of new puppies or demanding, and usually incredibly spoiled dogs, complain that they are being shredded to ribbons by their pet’s sharp nails, and they don’t know what to do about it.
Learn to understand pawing
People often wonder why dogs put their paws on them. The truth is, there are a number of reasons why our canine friends paw us. All are signals of communication…we just have to know how to speak dog, so we know what they are trying to tell us.
Pawing is a natural and inherent way for our puppy or dog to get us to “focus” on them so that they can relay a message. This could be a good or annoying habit.
Pawing communicates, “Hey you up there, it’s me down here. I want your attention, and I want it NOW!”
If you constantly give your dog attention each time he puts his paws on you, you wind up creating a behavioral issue. You don’t want to create a situation where your dog keeps pawing at you to get your attention.
By knowing when, where, and how often to respond or ignore your dog, you can curtail that demand before it becomes a relentless problem that requires behavior modification.
Universal canine language
Pawing is the universal doggie sign, “Hey you! I want to play! Do you wanna play with me?” Since your puppy or dog doesn’t know you don’t speak dog fluently, they will usually be persistent and keep pawing until they get any sort of reaction from you.
Have you ever watched puppies or dogs interact together, where one usually initiates the start of playing, by pawing the ground or pawing at the other animal?
If the second dog is interested, they often respond by pawing. The message is now crystal clear to both of them…”Let the games begin!”
It also could also be your puppy or dog’s way of telling you, “I need some consoling and reassuring. I’m sorry for what I did. Please forgive me.”
In simple dog language, it’s their way of letting another dog know, “OK, you’re the boss, and I am being submissive.”
Bottom line: Observe your pet’s sign and body language. Learn dog so you can better understand what your puppy or dog is trying to tell you by pawing.
That way you can control the behavior before it becomes a serious behavioral problem. Your dog will be impressed when you become as bilingual as you expect them to be.
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