Why does my dog always try to put his paw on me?

Hey everyone,
Whenever I am petting Apollo he continuously tries to put his paw on my lap. Time after time I push it down right when I see him lift it and tell him "no" but he still does it. He does this all the time and its been happening since he was big enough to do it. He will do it when he is lying by my feet as well, he will put his paw on top of my foot, I move it off right away and he will do it again.

Any idea's why he does this? Is there some meaning behind this behavior that I don’t understand?

Thanks in advance!

Asked by Apollo on Sep 13th 2010 in Other Behavior & Training
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Maybe he is just trying to be affectionate? If it bothers you, stop petting him until he puts his back down. Pet and praise him when he doesn't put his paw on your lap, but ignore him when he does. This may work.

Brutus answered on 9/13/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Hey Apollo! Squ'mey does that to me, usually when he's feeling ignored & wants to play, not just petted. If I get down on the floor with him he's better, but really won't stop until we go outside for some fetch or a walk. Some folks see it as a dominance thing, but I just see it as a quirky gsd thing. Both Wiley & my last guy did it too. As for the foot on yours, maybe he wants to be able to tell when the pack is on the move? Especially after being away from you for awhile he probably wants to know where you are all the time.

Member 904338 answered on 9/13/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Squ'mey... not just GSD's!! My poodles are all mostly a touchy/feely group! Some want me to hold the paw, others bat me in the face with their paws. And, most of them will sit with their paw or paws on my feet as well. I like it, I consider it a sign of affection!
Toto is most happy if I am holding his paw when he sits beside me either at home or while I am driving. Again, I like it!

Member 641257 answered on 9/13/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Whenever I am sitting & start petting Sailor he will put his paw on my lap, as I pet him. He does this very gently. He never does it any other time except for when I am sitting & start petting him first. I have always considered this affection. I had a bullmastiff who did the same.

Sailor answered on 9/13/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Ember FDX

"Offering paw" is a gesture of affection and friendship, just like a human handshake - in fact, that's why it's so easy to teach dogs to "shake" or "give paw."

Some breeds are more prone to it than others, but most dogs do it to some extent. Usually you can see it when two dogs are meeting and deciding if they way to play or not. One might simply rise a paw, or outright bop the other on the chest.

Certain dogs will turn it into a way to solicit petting, because it usually works for them. If that's the case and he's becoming pushy about it, ignoring the behavior and/or teaching a replacement behavior (lie down for petting) would help.

Ember FDX answered on 9/29/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer