3 Reasons Why Your Dog is Pushing You Away with his Paws

Have you noticed that your dog continues to push you away using its paws? For most dog owners, this behavior is not out of the ordinary. There are several different reasons why your dog is using its paws to push you away, and you’ll be surprised at what you will learn about this curious behavior.

1. Your Dog is Seeking Attention

Your dog might be seeking attention by pushing you away with its paws. The main issue is that your dog is smart enough to know that a certain behavior will elicit a response from you. They may also do this in other ways such as by peeing to get your attention. If this is the cause, you will need to re-train your dog to not try and push you away to get attention. The first step would be to ignore your dog whenever it does it again.

2. It Could be a Playful or Happy Gesture

A dog may push you away when you give it belly rubs, so it could just simply be a playful gesture your dog is exhibiting. There are other signs you want to check for such as if your dog is relaxed and open towards you. If you notice that your dog is bowing, this is also a sign that he wants to play and is trying to instigate play sessions with you or someone else. Its tail might also be wagging and there might be playful barks to also tell you he wants to play. Make sure your dog has plenty of interactive toys to keep it busy.

3. Sign of Separation Anxiety

Your dog might be leaning on you or pushing you with its paws because of separation anxiety. Dogs with high anxiety may exhibit other behaviors such as trying to follow you everywhere and howling constantly whenever you leave. If you suspect separation anxiety is the issue, you need to talk with your veterinarian to come up with an appropriate course of action. This could be something as simple as consulting with a behaviorist or medication might be required if the situation is severe enough.

How Dogs Use Their Paws to Communicate

Dogs use their paws regularly to communicate and it’s a very important part of the body for your dog. They use their paws to convey wanting attention, wanting to play, and will use their paws if they need to go outside to potty. If your dog is pawing at your leg or arm, this is likely attention-seeking, and if you give in then the dog will continue to do it.

Your dog will know that if he paws your leg you will pet him, and it’s not easy to get him to stop if you give in. The best thing to do is to ignore it and not give into the paw touching as a hint for pets. For your dog, the paws are the key to communicating something to you or someone else. When a dog gets a certain reaction, then he will continue to use its paws in that manner to communicate that same want or need.

Dogs use their paws to tell you they need to go outside because they’ve learned that pawing doors means they will open. Most owners associate door pawing as a sign the dog needs to go outside, and the dog realizes this too. Owners also don’t want their doors scratched up, so opening the door is a good way to stop the damage to the door.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Tee | 15/09/2022

    What is wrong with you?! If your dog is asking for attention, pet him/her!

  • Ebony | 28/12/2022

    My dog put her paw on my arm and push my arm away from tobacco, this is happen alot today, when I try roll up tobacco. Is she telling me to stop smoking?

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