Dogs have many ways of communicating with us including using their paws to “talk.”
Dogs are very adept at reading our body language and the tone of voice we use to talk to them. They may not understand exactly what they’ve done to upset you, but they do know that it’s something that has made you angry at them.
When your dog exhibits unwanted behavior and receives your reprimand, s/he will try to apologize. After the scolding, s/he often places a paw on you as if to say “I’m sorry.”
Touching you gently with a paw is a plea for forgiveness and the assurance that you still love your dog.
Pawing is a way of asking for your attention. The dog can be telling you that s/he is waiting for food, is in pain or simply wants to be petted.
As a pack animal, your dog needs eto feel a close connection to you. S/he demonstrates this by a gentle pawing or just placing a paw on you to increase the closeness, furthering the bond and love your share.
Dogs sense when their human is sad, in pain or upset and will use their paws to indicate they understand and try to make you feel better.
Dogs sometimes initiate play by pawing each other or the ground. If the dog being pawed responds in kind, play begins.
If you are annoyed at times by the pawing, train your dog to accept a “no.” Be gentle but try to divert your dog’s attention by tossing a toy or offering a treat when s/he stops. You may not want to encourage pawing, but at the same time you don’t want to discourage your dog harshly as that could hurt the bond between you.
Learn your dog’s many ways of communicating with you. It will help you both to understand each other and strengthen the connection between you.