Why does he put his paw on me? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Why does he put his paw on me?

1yr old intact male. Anytime I sit down, he insists on putting his paw on me, sometimes both. He would crawl into my lap if I let him. I push his paw off and tell him no. Of course he looks at me like I have just crushed his feelings :(
He is relentless with the paw. The more I tell him no, the more he wants to put both on me, climb up on me. It is a vicious cycle, I get mad and he gets more upset! Is he being submissive or aggressive? It isn't to play (we do plenty of that) because when he finally stops, he goes to his bed and goes to sleep. Any thoughts? Thank you!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 09:45 PM
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In dog to dog language it's a bit dominant to do that, human to dog I'd think it's a bit different. My male(neutered) likes to paw at me, it's a "hey...hey...hey pet me" sort of thing. My female does it when she's amped up and wants to play rough.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 09:46 PM
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When Lisl does that she wants me to pay attention to her. It's not necessarily because she wants to play. She wants me to pet her or allow her into my lap, or just to talk to her.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:28 PM
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It is like Stewie on the family guy. German Shepherd style. LOL Mum, Mummy ,Mum ,Mum ,Mum ,Mummy ...

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:35 PM
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Most likely the dog wants your attention and you getting angry is just increasing the active submission appeasement behavior you are seeing as a paw lift, and maybe missing other subtle signals that go along with it. Active submission may also be identified as attention-seeking behavior: nuzzling, licking (including licking ears and lips), jumping up, paw lifts and pawing motions, “smiling,” teeth clacking, crouching, pretzeling, and play-bows. If it were me I would think about increasing your exercise playtime to see if that helps. Just guessing from your brief post, that your dog needs more interaction with you.


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 11:20 PM
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When Rocco does that we give him the attention he needs. We hug him, let him climb up on us or by us, pet him, etc. Once his attention need is satisfied, he'll go lay down somewhere else. I personally welcome the affection.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 11:47 PM
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yes "Most likely the dog wants your attention and you getting angry is just increasing the active submission appeasement behavior you are seeing as a paw lift, and maybe missing other subtle signals that go along with it. Active submission may also be identified as attention-seeking "

and if you get angry or frustrated the dog will be anxious and the behaviour increases . Often people encourage the "give a paw" behaviour and then get short fused when the dog keeps clobbering them .

You see this " the active submission appeasement behavior you are seeing as a paw lift" when you have pups in the 6 to 7 week age range , separated from their dam , who comes in for the visit and all the pups swarm her and try to sneak in a quick nurse . They meet her with this behaviour , a juvenile hold over , which blocks her from being harsh with them (they have teeth) -- . This is appeasement behaviour.
Are we okay with each other?

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 11:51 PM
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It is also a great opportunity to teach the "shake" command
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 12:14 AM
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but what are you teaching the dog with the shake a paw ? from the dog's perspective , you are asking him to stay juvenile

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 01:38 AM
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My 12 year old still reaches out with his paw and touches me. I've always taken it as he just wants the connection. I reach over and pet him and we will cuddle for a little while then he goes and lays down.
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