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Dominance

R. Bear
January 21st, 2009, 07:33 AM
I can't remember where I saw it in this forum and I've searched to no avail, but there was a post or two about a dog putting it's paw on it's owner. Some people think this is a show of love or wanting attention, but to me it is a display of dominance. My dog does it to me from time to time, especially when I am doing something he doesn't particularly like - when I'm drying his paws after a walk, when brushing, etc. Here's a good tip that I found really works to stop this behaviour: When your dog places its paw on you, take the paw and do something with it. Examine the nails, start filing them (keep a nail file in your pocket), pretend you are cleaning between the toes etc. If he's going to voluntarily give you the paw, then make good use of it. It re-asserts your dominance and you will find he will think twice about putting his paw on you. I have had great success with this method and it doesn't seem to have caused any concern when it is actually time for me to initiate a nail filing or any sort of "paw work".

Melinda
January 21st, 2009, 08:00 AM
I've always automatically done that, when she lays her head on my lap, I check her ears, teeth, eyes....never really thought of it as dominance....I'll have to rethink it I guess

luckypenny
January 21st, 2009, 09:52 AM
Lucky often does this when I'm brushing him (he loves being brushed). He's our best behaved, cuddliest dog so it's not a concern for us at all. I guess it depends on the individual dog :shrug:.

tenderfoot
January 21st, 2009, 10:21 AM
Yes, dominance exists but I think the term is WAY over used.

I would encourage you to think of 'who is in charge' or 'who is controlling who'. When your dog demands attention for whatever reason - who is in charge? If you reward the behavior with the very attention he is seeking then he learns it works. It could simply be that your dog has learned this works - it doesn't have to be 'dominance'.

Putting a paw up can mean different things - it can be submissive, controlling or assertive - depends on the dog and the situation.

Melinda
January 21st, 2009, 10:46 AM
thanks for clearing that up tenderfoot!

Rottielover
January 21st, 2009, 11:45 AM
I also believe that putting a paw up can be other things, my best friends dog is VERY submissive, and when she sits, her ears lie flat and she puts her paw on your leg.
For the situations I have been in with her, it is more of an approval thing.

rhartjr
January 21st, 2009, 07:54 PM
There was a thread about this last month:
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=58619&highlight=paw+dominance
this the one?

I've had two that were real pawers. I never felt it was a dominance thing though, more like an annoying idiosyncrasy. The first was a Golden I had. He was the best trained dog (voice and hand command) that I've ever had. Spent years trying to get him to stop, to no avail. The other is my Golden pit cross. I've actually had some luck lately teaching him a no paw command when I see the paw coming up.

mummummum
January 21st, 2009, 09:23 PM
We have words. Incredibly powerful words sometimes.

We have gestures. We have expressions. We have silence. We humans have many ways of expressing our hurt, our anger, our confusion as well as our love.

Why is spoken language taken as absolute?

Our dogs, being thinking and feeling beings, speak to us about emotional and physical health all day ~ with their paws, their vocal calls and their mobility.

Every so often I'm smart enough to listen to my dogs.

pitgrrl
January 21st, 2009, 09:38 PM
We have words. Incredibly powerful words sometimes.

We have gestures. We have expressions. We have silence. We humans have many ways of expressing our hurt, our anger, our confusion as well as our love.

Why is spoken language taken as absolute?

Our dogs, being thinking and feeling beings, speak to us about emotional and physical health all day ~ with their paws, their vocal calls and their mobility.

Every so often I'm smart enough to listen to my dogs.

Such an excellent post. Thank you.