Why do dogs not like their paws being touched? (3+ reasons)

In this article, we will give you 3+ reasons why dogs do not like their paws being touched. We also teach you how to carefully touch your dog’s paws in 7 simple steps and how to find if his paws are hurting.

Why do dogs not like their paws being touched?

As with humans, dogs prefer to be caressed and pampered in certain areas of the body, while in others it is annoying. For some owners, it is clear that their dog does not like their paws to be touched. If you do touch them, your dog may show signs of discomfort that you haven’t even noticed:

  • He lowers his ears;
  • Hides the paw;
  • Begins to lick the area nervously;
  • Stares at you even if he’s lying down.

Various reasons lead a dog to feel uncomfortable if its paws are touched. When it happens, they can remove them immediately, but also be nervous or aggressive.

These are the main reasons why dogs do not like their paws being touched:

Canine body language – On many occasions, we tend to interpret the reactions of dogs by comparing them with those of humans. However, dogs have different body language with signals that mean different things.

In this sense, have you ever seen a dog touching the paws of another? No, so for them it is not a natural gesture. This is one of the reasons for the discomfort they show.

Discomfort – The legs have a large number of nerve endings; for this reason, they are a very sensitive area in dogs. Doing so causes a sensation similar to tickling, and it is very uncomfortable for your dog.

Wounds – An injured dog will prevent you from touching the area that is bothering him. During walks, a splinter can become embedded in the legs or damage a nail. Faced with pain, the dog will not want you to touch its paws.

If you suspect that your dog may be injured, enlist the help of another person to reassure or distract him while you examine the area.

Psychological traumas – It is common for rescued dogs to be more distrustful and fearful, that could be the reason that causes discomfort when you try to stroke their paws. This is because on the street or with previous owners they have suffered abuse and mistreatment that generates trauma.

Why don’t all dogs like to have their paws touched?

As with human beings, some dogs have greater sensitivity in their paws, in their ears or their tail. Therefore, each furry can have a different response when someone tries to manipulate the most sensitive regions of their body. 

Some dogs may show their discomfort in a more “subtle” way, trying to hide their paw and showing signs of calm, such as yawning, turning their head or licking their lips, while others may adopt a defensive posture and attack, especially if someone else tries to touch them. in its most sensitive parts.

If your dog hates his paws to be touched and reacts very negatively when you try to check him or cut his nails, this is probably a “weak point” on his body. However, if you notice that the character of your dog has changed, showing more aggressive, nervous or hyperactive, do not hesitate to go quickly to the veterinary clinic. 

Some diseases that cause pain or impair the senses of our furry dogs can lead to hypersensitivity and behaviour problems.

Besides, as each dog is the owner of a unique organism and personality, it is possible that some dogs even like to receive strokes or massages on their legs, especially if they have been used from puppies by their tutors to allow themselves to be touched in this region. In adult life, this habit represents enormous advantages, since it will be easier to check the paws and cut the nails of our dog.

Remember that the extremities of dogs are in constant contact with the ground, the animal may come into contact with dirt, pathogens or sharp objects that can cause injuries or cuts. Also, it is essential to rule out the presence of ticks and other ectoparasites, since they can lodge on the legs of dogs, where they can hide and feed easily.

Therefore, even if your dog doesn’t like to be touched by its front and rear legs, it will be necessary to accustom it to being manipulated in this region. Ideally, we begin to teach our dogs to allow us to touch their paws from their first months of life, always with great care and respecting the limits of our furry ones. 

With patience, dedication, and the use of positive reinforcement, you will see that your furry can gradually accept you’re checking his paws. 

How to carefully touch your dog’s paws

Avoid touching your dog’s paws when you pet him, there is no reason to bother him if you have already noticed that he does not like it.

Despite this, there are situations where you need to examine your dog’s paws. For example, when presenting a wound, to check for fleas or ticks between the fingers or when you must do something as simple as cutting the nails.

The best thing is to accustom the dog from puppy to receiving caresses in his paws, these are a crucial part when you caress him so that he relaxes. However, if your pet is already an adult and you need to check its paws, follow these tips:

  1. Try to make him feel comfortable and safe. Lay her on her bed next to a toy she likes.
  1. Begin by stroking his head, his back and calmly lower towards his thighs.
  1. Talk to him at all times. Use a soft, leisurely tone of voice.
  1. Approach the paws gently and watch their reaction.
  1. Stroke the paws for a few seconds and then move to other areas of the body. Repeat this, leaving your hands on the paws for longer each time.
  1. Offer him an edible treat when he lets you touch his paws. In this way, you will interpret it as something positive.
  1. Be very patient, you may have to try for several days before your dog is comfortable.

If necessary, enlist the help of another person to distract the dog while you check the paws. If you must trim his nails, teach him to stay calm with the paw contact before taking him to the dog groomer; otherwise, you will react violently to staff.

What does it mean when my dog covers his face with his paws?

Do you wonder why your dog covers his face with his paw? Among the many curious things that dogs do, we find the habit of putting their paws on their muzzle or face, as if they were covering them or hiding.

In reality, there is no single explanation that justifies why dogs put their paws on their faces. There are several possible causes for this canine behaviour, so we must be attentive to their body language and context to know why your dog is covering its face or muzzle with its paws.

Here’s a summary of the main causes that can help you understand this behaviour:

  • To clean impurities or residues from their face. If the dog detects any residue that bothers her on her face or blemishes in her eyes, she can try to remove them using her paws. 

You can also try cleaning food debris from your mouth or snout when you finish eating. To prevent your dog from hurting himself doing this, it is essential to provide him with optimal hygiene of his body and his environment, also, to properly cleaning the blemishes from his eyes and eventual food remains from his face.

  • To relieve itching. When a dog feels itchy on his face, in his eyes or his mouth, he can use his paws to scratch and relieve the discomfort generated by the itch, as well as rub himself with pillows, mattresses or other household objects. 

The first thing you should do is check their eyes, face, mouth and ears to see if you find impurities or foreign bodies that may be causing itching. Then, if you do not find any residue, it is best to consult a veterinarian. Allergies and also some diseases can cause itching in our furry dogs, so we must be vigilant if our dogs constantly try to scratch their face, eyes or ears.

  • They like you or get something that interests you. As you already know, dogs are highly intelligent and sensitive animals that can quickly assimilate our responses to their behaviours. If your dog perceives that, by putting his paws on his face or his muzzle, he wins a prize, a caress or an acknowledgement from you, he can repeat this behaviour just to please you or receive something that interests him. 

Besides, if your dog knows that this gesture causes you grace or tenderness, he can also use it to calm you down and communicate that he does not want conflicts with you, especially if he perceives that you are angry or if you directly scold him for some unwanted behaviour. 

In this sense, remember that scolding and punishments of any nature are dangerous and counterproductive methods in the education of dogs since they expose them to contexts of high stress and fear, which can lead to numerous behaviour problems. 

To properly teach your furry and correct inappropriate behaviours, give preference to positive reinforcement that will not only encourage their cognitive abilities but will also reinforce the bond of affection and trust between you.

Conclusions

In this article, we gave you 3+ reasons why dogs do not like their paws being touched. We also taught you how to carefully touch your dog’s paws in 7 simple steps and how to find if his paws are hurting.

To summarize, if your dog hates his paws to be touched and reacts very negatively when you try to check him or cut his nails, this is probably a “weak point” on his body. However, if you notice that the character of your dog has changed, showing more aggressive, nervous or hyperactive, do not hesitate to go quickly to the veterinary clinic. 

Some diseases that cause pain or impair the senses of our furry dogs can lead to hypersensitivity and behaviour problems.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Why do dogs not like their paws being touched?

Why does my dog growl when I touch his paws?

Your dog may be growling when you touch his paws because he finds it uncomfortable or associates this gesture with previous negative experience. Avoid touching your dog’s paws when you pet him, there is no reason to bother him if you have already noticed that he does not like it.

Do dogs like getting their paws rubbed?

Some dogs like getting their paws rubbed, while others may hate it! When rubbing your dog’s paws make sure you are very gentle and that you also pay attention to its reaction. If he starts to growl or seems uncomfortable, stop touching its paws. 

Can a dog be mad at you?

A dog can be mad or upset because something happened, but he is not “mad at you”. Dogs do not feel emotions like humans do, and they also do not associate blame with emotions.

Do dogs like hugs?

Not all dogs like hugs. If dogs could choose they would prefer a belly rub or a back scratch to a squeeze.

References

Wagwalking.com

Dogsandtreats.com

petplace.com

Hi, I am Martin, I am a pet lover! I own a Golden retriever and a Long-eared Owl. They keep me company & I often had questions about them which I couldn't find answers for online. I put this hub together for people like me & you.

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