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Pawing = Dominance?

November 27th, 2008, 04:17 PM
In the last month or so, Skylar has taken to putting her paw on me. Example: I'll be sitting in a chair or lying on the couch and she'll put a paw on me, however high she can get it on my body like she's asking for something. Other times it seems really random and she'll just look at me. She doesn't seem to like it when I do it back to her.

Just a few minutes ago she did it to me again, I gave her a bath and after the towel drying, the post bath zoomies and then a more relaxed rub down with a dry towel, she sat up (I was sitting on the floor) and she put her paw on my shoulder and then stared at me. This particular time I told her 'Off' and she complied.

She doesn't do this to DH. Is it a dominance thing? I know that I really don't like it, especially when she manages to get her paw on my upper body.

Any insight into this behaviour? Is it innocent or is she trying to assert herself over me? :shrug:

November 27th, 2008, 04:53 PM
Buddy does it to all of us, but I believe he just wants attention, he does it for love. He's got long nails, so it hurts sometimes, so I have been trying to get him to stop it.

November 27th, 2008, 04:55 PM
Our trainer says not to pet them when they do that. If you want to pet him ask him to sit or lay down first and then pet. Not sure if its dominance but if you do pet him when he asks for it then it shows to him he is in control :)
Luke does it all the time and I admit most of the time I give in!

November 27th, 2008, 05:12 PM
We generally try not to pet her when she begs for it (nudging us with her nose mainly), we make her sit or lay down and then reward her with pets. Although it doesn't really seem to discourage her from nudging us, lol. She probably knows she's still going to get pets anyway after she works for it.

November 27th, 2008, 05:14 PM
My guys do it too if I am not paying attention to them Example: If I am reading a book or on the computer. Then they will paw at me. :D I totally cave. I admit it. But they look at me with those eyes!!:lovestruck: Good luck

November 27th, 2008, 05:19 PM
My guys do it too if I am not paying attention to them Example: If I am reading a book or on the computer. Then they will paw at me. :D I totally cave. I admit it. But they look at me with those eyes!!:lovestruck: Good luck

Yup, me too, how can you resist those big brown beautiful eyes! :lovestruck:

November 27th, 2008, 05:20 PM
My dogs will put a paw on my knee to get my attention....then they sit nice for pets. I have to admit if they did it to my upper body though I wouldn't like it. I think the fact that you've identified it makes you uncomfortable means it's a behaviour you should contiunue to correct. Sounds like you're doing everything right - she'll get the message. :)

November 27th, 2008, 05:32 PM
HappyCats I can't resist!! My guys are very good otherwise so I forgive the odd bear claw at my leg!! Lol

November 27th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Daisy used to do this all the time , almost gave me high fives :laughing: but she only wanted to have her belly scratched :cloud9: how could I say no ? :shrug: or she would do it during thunderstorms too because she was afraid.

November 28th, 2008, 07:40 AM
We pretty much have a "no dog feet touch humans" rule in our house...Jaida sometimes wants to put her one paw up on your shoulder if you're sitting on the floor with her, in that case it's clearly about wanting attention/wuvs. Heidi, I noticed, would often put a foot on top of mine when we were working on heels or side-sits...that was clearly an attitude/bossy thing. We generally discourage all feet-touching, and like others, ask the dogs to sit or settle before they get their wuvs.

November 28th, 2008, 01:30 PM
I'm with Bendyfoot. Whether it is dominance or a solicitation for pets I am not sure but I don't like it when my pup does that. Especially if I have just trimmed his toenails and they have sharp edges. Put a paw on me and those toes get pinched.

November 28th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Yeah ow, sharp nails suck. When Jaida does it we call it "The Giant Killer Paw of Death" 'cause it usually ends with a poked eye or a scratched neck if you're not paying attention, she's pretty spazzy and her aim sucks :laughing: It's funny when we come home and the dogs are all excited...they know the "no feeties rule" so they dance around on their hind legs with their arms in the air...but just out of reach of hooman legs:D

November 28th, 2008, 05:36 PM
they dance around on their hind legs with their arms in the air...but just out of reach of hooman legs:D

Chase does that cute! :lovestruck:

November 28th, 2008, 06:14 PM
Maya does it only when she has to go potty. She comes up, sits, pats you once on the knee, and just sits and looks at you patiently. Colby used to just go to the door, but if no one is near the door, no one knows. He watched her do this and saw the result, so now he does it too. Only at potty time, only one "pat" and we never taught either one to do it. :shrug:

November 28th, 2008, 08:03 PM
OK, so I'm not weird about not wanting her to paw at me. I think I'll continue to discourage her from pawing, go through the sit/settle routine and hope that eventually she gets the picture.

You'd swear she was starved of attention the way she nudges and paws, lol.

K9 Love
November 28th, 2008, 08:49 PM
I've never bought into the "pawing = dominance" gimmick.

They do it because it works, not because they're planning to overtake you as "alpha"! ;) They figure it out, it gets your attention, they want it, they get let out, or they get patted. It WORKS! :)

I agree with ignoring it "actively". I know it sounds confusing, but ignoring a dog actively, is a way of ignoring them but making it clear to them that you are. I might push their paw off first, but it may become a game then, how quick they can get their paw back on you, or I might just stand up so the paw falls off. Reward what you want to see, so if they sit in front of you or lie down, then give attention.

My boy does this sometimes, it's so rare and he's so gentle about it, I really don't mind. If I do mind at the time, I just let him know and he stops right away.

November 29th, 2008, 06:46 PM
My dog paws when he wants out. I don't ignore it,as it's a more reliable cue than simply staring at me, which could mean anything. It works for us. And Scruff is a terrier, so if wants to show dominance he does things a LOT more assertive than simple

Ford Girl
December 3rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
Dazy does this all the time - to everyone, as a greeting, we never discouraged it but we have taughed her "paws down" which means keep your paws down - its not the time.

How can I resist this? :lovestruck: I dont interprit it as dominence but if you don't like it - teach your dog not too. :)

December 3rd, 2008, 12:42 PM
Both Keely And Kacee do this to me. I dont know why people would take it so "personaly" or not like it, if it isnt causing problems, whats the point of making them stop?

Just the other day i was eating in my recliner and I didnt have keelys attention so she layed her paw on my belly as if to say " Mom, Why arent you sharing" So i gave her a little peice of beef and she was content and went to sleep. No, i dont mind giving my dog a little peice of what im eating, I dont ming her staring at me while eating. I think its a little uptight if you dont like it when your dog paws at you or watches you eat. I mean i could understand it if the dog was up in your plate or knawing your hand off to get a peaice of chiken of something:shrug: Just my :2cents:

Ford Girl
December 3rd, 2008, 01:16 PM
Babymomma, I guess cuz some dogs are big and some times dirty - and not all people are dog people, so I can understand why you wouldnt want to always encourage it. I have a girlfriend who doesnt even like to pet Dazy cuz of the paw/hair/drool factor - it grosses her out. LOL!

Personal preference, I dont think its dominence tho, but its not always something people enjoy.

December 3rd, 2008, 03:49 PM
For me, it's the forcefulness of it and the fact that she does it to my upper body. And it also seems that there are different types of pawing. Sometimes it seems like it's attention getting and generally gentle, other times it defintely different and way more forceful.

Ford Girl
December 3rd, 2008, 04:00 PM
Makes sense Stacer - especially with big dogs, the nails sometimes hurt too. You know your dog best and you know when they are trying to be the boss. Little buggers.

Dog Dancer
December 3rd, 2008, 04:23 PM
FordGirl - I think Dazy just wants another Kokanee! She looks so content. Stacer you know what feels right, go with your instincts.

December 8th, 2008, 02:20 PM
I know that some folks attribute pretty much any dog behavior to a dominance thing, but I don't buy into the whole "everything your dog does is a dominance issue" school of thought.

In Skylar's case, I would guess that you already know the answer - she wants attention and she wants it now. She probably didn't get much attention in her life, and now that she has humans who love on her, she wants it constantly.

I see the difference in my two dogs - Hazel, who has been with us since 9 weeks and always lavished with as much attention as she could want, will come up to you for a pat on the head or a belly rub and then is content. Malone, who was adopted from the humane society, is extremely demanding and needy. He constantly wants to be petted and loved on - and he will nudge your hand, lick your hand, put his paw on you, whatever it takes to get your attention. He's not trying to be alpha, he's trying to get me to pet him. He doesn't have very good aim, and has scratched me before, so we started teaching the 'no paws' command, and 'back off' for when he's being just generally demanding. He's getting better about the pawing, and I never pet him when he's being demanding. I wait til he sits and waits quietly for a moment, then I'll pet him.