Why Do Golden Retrievers Put Their Paw On You?

Understanding your Golden Retriever’s behavior is important. It’s common that dogs communicating through their body language, especially Golden Retriever breeds. 

They are well known as intelligence, friendly, tolerant attitude and makes them the 3rd most popular dog breeds in the U.S by the American Kennel Club for 2017

The main reason to tell why Golden Retrievers put their paw on you is just simply they desire social interaction attention. By pawing at you, it tries to draw attention away from what you’re currently doing. They probably try to tell you to pet them, play with them, look at them or even talk to them.

Hopefully, I can help you to understand the top 4 reasons behind paw-touching and how to control and what are the problems of excessive paw-touching.

Top 4 Reasons For Golden Retrievers Paw-Touching Behavior

Despite being a fantastic family dog, Golden Retrievers are always playful and tend to have high energy levels compared to other dog breeds. They require regular mental and physical exercise to keep them happy. 

Usually, the pet’s owner tends to easily understand when they are sad or happy through their body language. But many dog owners tend to get confused when golden retriever put their paw on your leg or arm.

Paw-touching can be very tricky to know what the reason behind. You’ll be surprised to know that there are many reasons why Golden Retrievers put their paw on you.

1. They Asking For Forgiveness

Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent dogs. In fact, they're the 3rd smartest dog breed (out of 138 breeds) according to the renowned canine psychologist, Stanley Coren.

Did you ever think that Golden Retriever is smart enough to ask forgiveness from the dog owners when the owner mad at them?

Yes, they can understand human emotion and tell whether you are mad at them when they did something wrong. One of the reasons why Golden Retrievers put their paw on your leg or arm is to ask for forgiveness.

So that, touching your legs or arm is their way to seek your attention and showing love to you that they are sorry for did something that you are mad at.

2. Asking You To Feed Them

Everyone likes food! Especially the Golden Retriever characteristics are food-motivated which can’t resist food. I believe you have noticed your Golden Retriever is put their paw on you when you are having dinner or having food on your hand.

In this situation, it’s a sign that they are hungry and want you to feed them. It is also a possible way that they want to try. But simply feed any food to your dog will result in unhealthy. Below are the foods that may harm the health of Golden Retrievers:

  • Raw Eggs
  • Sodas
  • Chocolate and coffee
  • Avocado
  • Raw or Undercooked Meat
  • Shallots
  • Scallions
  • Bones
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic

3. They Wish to Be Petted And Seeking Attention

You’ll probably notice that your Golden Retriever put their paws on you when you are busy working at your desk!

It is their way to seek attention from you and wish you to pat them. They love you to stroke their fur affectionately. All dogs crave their owner's attention and love. So do Golden Retriever.

Below image show where are those best spots to pat any dogs including Golden Retriever.

Still, there are some rules to keep in mind when pet your dog. If not, you are encouraging the dogs to show their bad behavior. For example, you do not want to pat your dogs while it’s jumping around, as they will think as a reward. Instead, make sure the dog needs to sit quietly before you start petting him.

4. They need your accompany

It's well-known that Golden Retrievers are family-oriented dog breeds. One of the most common reasons that Golden Retriever paw you is they need social interaction with you.

For example, there are times that my Golden Retriever is playing with its favorite squishy ball. The next minute, you will see that my dog is touching my leg with its paws and looking into my eyes.

This shows that my dog is asking me to accompany and play with it, in order to help it fetch the squishy ball. They love it when you have interaction with them and they feel you care about them.

Problems of excessive paw-touching?

Awwe ~~ The way Golden Retrievers put their paws on you will melt your heart away. Pawing is a natural and inherent way for dogs or puppies to communicate but excessive dog pawing can bring problems to the dog’s owner.

1. Your Dog Become Aggressive

Dog pawing is only sweet when they do it as a means of communication, to show you love, and to ask for your affection. However if you don’t respond to them, and they keep touching your arm or leg with their paws until you actually do what they want you to do.

This is a sign of aggressive behavior that can often become problematic when your Golden Retriever begins to paw all over you until you respond to it.

How to control paw-touching?

You can use a force-free, science-based method with a treat to train your dog. When you dog paw-touching on you, don’t respond to it and move a step backward. Therefore your dog four legs will be on the ground, then only you start to respond to them with a treat and said “Good Boy/ Girl”.

2. Bacterial infections

If you not taking care of your Golden Retriever’s paw hygiene. You might have a high possibility of getting bacterial infections.

When your dogs running around and explore the foreign object with its paw, many different species of bacteria will be stuck and live on your pet’s paw pads.

How to check your dog’s paw is having infections? signs and symptoms of a bacterial infection in the paws include redness, swelling, pain, itching, and drainage. At least every day before going to bed, help your pets to clean its paw.

3. It Can Be Dangerous

If your Golden Retriever is old and has big paws or without trim is nail properly, this can be dangerous when it paw-touching because they are not like a human where we can control our force. When your dog gets excited, it might potentially hurt you by ripping your clothes or scratching your skin.

This can be very dangerous if you have a baby or a little kid in the house. With proper trimming and the normal wearing down of nails so that they can’t hurt anyone while pawing.

However, if neglected not only hurt you and it might ingrown bacteria and causes serious infections. So keep your dog’s nails trimmed short!

6 Useful Clues To Understand Your Dog Body Language

Understand your dog body language is essential for building a strong and trustworthy relationship. Did you know what your pets are trying to tell you? This simple 6 useful clues to understanding your dogs.

  1. If the dog wags its tail gently and slowly while looking at you, this probably means it doesn’t understand and try to interpret what happening
  2. If the dog tucks its tail between its legs, this means that it is afraid and not comfortable with what happening now.
  3. If the dog whining mean it feel grumpy and nervous
  4. If the dog shows its belly to you while rollover, mean it show trusts to you and want you to pat him.
  5. If the dog raises, it’s one front paw mean they want to ask you to do him some favors
  6. If the dog’s ear is standing straight up mean he’s curious something and stay alert around the environment.


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