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Thread: Giving the Paw

  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    Default Giving the Paw

    Does anyone know what it means, or could mean when our Pyr gives us his paw all the time. He sits, up comes the paw. He'll place it on your knee, or if that's not possible, wherever it lands, which is bad sometimes, and we don't always want his paw because he's somewhat obsessive about it.

    And sometimes when we let him give us one paw, he goes on and gives us the other as well.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Default Pyr Paw

    I was always told this is "Pyr Paw"
    ours always did this to get attention, and with a paw that size they got our attention!!
    but it seems they also gave it when they wanted a little love, or if I was brushing them, up comes the paw..."please stop" is what I think they are saying. rubbing their ears..then stop..up comes the paw.."please don't stop"
    when my husband reads and the Pyr princess has her head on his lap and she wants to be petted...up comes the paw...on whatever he is reading..."stop reading, pay attention to me" is what I think she is saying.
    guess what I'm saying is that the Pyr paw is their very expresive way to get your attention

  3. #3

    The Big Dawg (Administrator) risestar's Avatar


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    The Paw seems to be a genetic trait. For the most part, its used to get your attention when yours is elsewhere

    Its likely this is a trait that was bred in, so many centuries ago to get the attention of their human shepherds

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    Road Dawg larryk's Avatar

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    According to Roger Abrantes in “Dog Language” pawing is a pacifying gesture and can involve actual contact or not. It is done by a submissive dog to a more dominant dog. Brenda Aloff in “Canine Body Language” includes paw lifting as a calming and negotiation signal. She lists several paw lifts, Anticipatory (waiting alertly), Curiosity and Submission Lifting a paw is a natural behavior inherited from wolves. I think many dogs learn that we humans respond to the natural pawing motion by paying attention especially if we are actually touched. Then the pawing behavior becomes a learned way for the dog to request attention. My Pyr, Sheila usually paws me once if she thinks I have quit petting her too soon. If I pet her more she is happy and if I don’t pet her she just goes and lies down. Luckily she only paws once as sometimes her claws scratch my bare arm.
    Dogs will also place a paw over another dog’s back to signal dominance.
    What do you think you Pry is signaling. Is he asking for attention or could he be signaling dominance? Years ago I had a Lab who was obsessive about pawing to get attention.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Topper's Avatar

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    Default Paw

    Our little/big guy uses has paw when he want to get your attention. Our guy also like us to put our hand in his month and he hold it.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    My boy Leo paws us to get attention. He sill sit in front of you and if you don't start petting or if you only use one hand he paws at you. He will also rest his paw on your knee and when you start petting he will put the second paw on your other knee and hold himself up on his rear end allowing you to scratch his belly - he learned this from watching our Lab Rocky who does this to get belly rubs all the time. The pawing in our case is a submissive behavior because he wants attention. He will paw at our Alpha Lab Rocky to try to signal dominance which is quickly put down by Rocky and Leo is reminded that he is NOT alpha in the house. Leo accepts it and goes about his business.
    Rocky - 11 yr old YLR - Loves frisbees, tennis balls, and swimming.

    Leo - 4 yr old Pyr - Very confused Pyr... Likes to fetch - sometimes, likes to swim - sometimes, likes to cuddle - most times, and thinks he may be a Lab - sometimes...

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    We took Sebastian to have his shots today and the vet was sitting on the exam table next to Sabby talking...he came up to her...turned...and I asked 'is he leaning into you?' She said 'oh yeah, he's a leaner....likes lots of affection, but that's okay.' At that point I brought up the paw to her, and like the rest of you have said, (and he at the same time turned and gave his paw to her)....he's asking for affection.

    I love our vet btw. Years ago we had a vet who didn't seem to like dogs. Weird I know. But this vet has been great with our dogs.

    I too was totally thrilled that he's all good and ZERO tarter on his teeth. Very glad for that!

  8. #8
    Road Dawg

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    lol my male bubba will turn a half circle and lean all his weight on you but my other male yoyo will paw and paw even if you are petting him, i guess he thinks hes not getting enough attention! i always thought it was kinda cute so i let him paw. my female garyann will just come and stand over you. and my little female dog will just take a flying leap lol. fuzzy.....well he has major problems that i am despratly trying to fix. hes a sweetie too though.

    and if fiance is playing a computer game and bubba wishes to bless him with his royal hiney....oops meant highness....he will stick his big nose under his arm and start rooting. that usally does the trick, and its extremly funny for me!

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    Oh my goodness, the arm pit nudge....Sebastian does it from time to time.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) DPW's Avatar

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    Question about "the lean." Cider does this quite often. When I go out to pasture to check on the goats or whatever he will sit down and lean into me as soon as I stop walking. I've wondered if this was affection or if he was attempting to show dominance by "throwing his weight around."
    Sounds like 2nd Pyr's vet had no problem with it. So is the lean just a show of affection?

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