Why Do Dogs Put Their Paws On You? Is It Cute Or Concerning?

Why do dogs put their paws on you? along with a picture of a dog paw.


In the same way, we like to pet our pups and let them know we love them, our dog likes to communicate with us with their paws.

If you’ve ever been sat on the couch watching the latest Netflix trending series only to have a paw emerge on your face, arm or lap, you’ve probably wondered to yourself, “why does my dog put his paw on me?”.

While questions wondering “why does my dog put his one paw up?” is more than normal, it’s worth wondering a little deeper. You could ask whether they are trying to communicate love, in which case it would simply be a cute gesture. Or, if they are feeling uncomfortable and are putting their paw on you or in the air for a concerning matter.

Luckily, being a dog-centric team right here at Hiputee, we’ve got the answers to these common questions and more. 

  • Why Does My Dog Put His Paw on Me?

A dog puts their paw onto you in the same way we love to give our fluff-balls a stroke and a cuddle. It’s our way of telling our pup they’re loved and they’re safe. While this is the case for most pawing situations, you also need to be on the look-out for other contextual cues that could suggest otherwise. 

 For example, your dog might place a paw on you if they are anxious, if they see you are anxious or if they want a bite to eat. If their tail is low instead of wagging and their gaze is shifting instead of attentive, there could be something else on your pup’s mind and it’s best to take a closer look.

  •  Why Does My Dog Put His One Paw Up?

If your pooch is lifting their paw and you haven’t asked for it in the form of a trick-and-treat, then there’s a chance they could be anxious. There’s also a chance they’re focussing on something (which is more common in hunting dogs). 

A way to check is if your pup is sat on their hind legs with both paws off the ground and one pointing up in the air. This is a sign they feel anxious or threatened. As a doggy parent, you should remain calm and try to comfort them or encourage them until they relax.

  •  Why Does My Dog Put His Paw on My Face?

Much like in the same way as your dog putting their paw on your lap or arm, your dog might place their paw on your face (if you’ve got a not-a-lapdog-anymore sized pup, you’re likely in for more of a whack on the face than a paw on the face).

However, you’ll find this typically only happens when you sat together and your attention is on something else like a captivating book, work or that same Netflix show from earlier. They’re only giving you a loving tap on the face to remind you they’re there and their attention meter is running on low.

  •  Why Does My Dog Dig on the Bed and the Couch?

There are two reasons your dog might want to paw on the bed (yours or theirs) and on the couch, too. The first is the fact that they are wanting to ‘fluff’ the bedding and find the most comfortable spot to take an afternoon snooze on. Typically, you’ll also see them pivoting on the spot to do this, too.

Secondly, they might be able to smell something. Don’t forget, a dog’s olfactory senses can be up to 10,000 times stronger than ours. So, even if you can’t smell anything, they could be digging for gold after getting a whiff of a treat dropped down the side of the couch last week.

  • Why Does My Dog Go Under the Bed and Scratch the Carpet?

More often than not, when a pup is venturing under the covers or under the bed for a good old scratch at what lies beneath, it’s a way of displacing energy. One thing to note is that energy is generally anxiety or excitement, so just like the answer to “why does my dog put his paw on me?” it’s important to look at the other cues to find out which.

When we say ‘displacing energy’ we mean when a dog wants to do something but can’t. They’ll then try and do something else such as scratch at a carpet. For example, if your fluffy friend wants to go for a walk but you can’t at that moment.

  •  Why Does My Dog Stare at Me?

Sometimes, you’ll come across strange animal behaviour such as entering a staring competition you never signed up for. Luckily, there is only a positive part to play in this behaviour. 

Just like us humans, dogs stare to show love and affection. Interestingly, doing this releases a ‘love hormone’ called oxytocin which makes us all feel comfortable. However, your pup can use this to their advantage such as getting a bit of your delicious meal at dinner time. So, beware of cheeky pups and enjoy the affection.

If you have any other questions you’d like to answer by the doggy-pros, then just send us a message and let us know what you’d like to see next time. Here at Hiputee, we don’t just bring luxurious and comfortable beds for your pooch (although we do love that), we also have the A-Z of doggy daycare and more.