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Topic Title: What does a raised paw mean in doggie language?
Created On Mon July 06, 2009 10:05 PM
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hudsonshock
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Mon July 06, 2009 10:05 PM
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I've got a foster dog right now that is constantly putting its paw on my hand when ever I'm petting her or just near her. At other times, my older Boxer has walked up to me while I'm on the couch, sat on the floor, and then placed his paw very deliberately on my hand or knee.

What does lifting a paw and putting it on you mean in dog language? What are they trying to tell me?
 
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Poodleholic
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Tue July 07, 2009 4:07 AM
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All my dogs do this when I either haven't understood what they're trying to tell me (I wanna go out, fill the water buckets, I'd like some loving up), or I'm not moving quickly enough! LOL Beau, especially, uses his paw, even when all he wants to do is gaze at me eye-to-eye! My silly boy!

I've heard Boxers use their paws a lot. Well, mine are Standard Poodles, and they use their paws a lot, too!

Lesly
 
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Shiplesp
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Tue July 07, 2009 4:36 AM
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Some dogs are very "pawsy," and others have learned to (and been reinforced for) get attention by pawing at people. Depending on the dog and the degree, and your preferences, this can be cute or annoying. It's something I'd be very careful about rewarding, i.e., I'd put it on cue and not reward it otherwise.

The "paw lift" that some dogs do when meeting other dogs is a sort of "I'm nothing to worry about" sign between dogs.

Susan
 
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onwards1981
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Tue July 07, 2009 4:49 AM
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I remember seeing "Paw Lift" in Brenda Aloff's book - Canine Body language.... here's what I found in the Index...

1. Paw lift w/Smile = happy dog and in "submissive" state of mind
2. Paw Lift w/ backwards orientation, rounded back, tucked tail & braced legs = anxious dog doing avoidance behavior
3. Paw lift w/extreme rounded topline (back), flat ears, lowered head, drawn lips and tucked tail = fearful dog "STOP approaching me"
4. Paw lift w/alert yet relaxed body posture = dog filled with good anticipation
5. PL w/alert, relaxed body and ears erect = curious dog
6. PL w/dog on dog greeting - side by side bodies, half mast ears, relaxed bodies = polite greeting "Hello There"
7. PL w/human greeting, squatting/sitting, ears back, soft eyes, lowered tail = polite human greeting "I'm friendly and respectful" (BA's quote)

There were also paw lifts regarding: stalking (prey), targeting, warning, neogtiating a pass by, playing, pointing...

Also, if its any help (probably not) but our girl Feeby rarely, if ever, lifts her paws yet she shows other signs of her feelings/desires etc. The only time she lifts her paw is to "Shake" or swat me for attention.

Edited: Tue July 07, 2009 at 4:50 AM by onwards1981
 
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retrievergoldengurl
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Tue July 07, 2009 2:16 PM
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Good recap onwards-i agree with the context and rest of the body language. I also taught all dogs to paw touch gently to wake me up if they need to go out etc and both know how to pup-up or CAREful place paws on moms leg only when cued for pet so i can reach them.

puppy does tend to put a paw on my arm when i pet her. sometimes this is anxiety for external reasons-she's run to me looking for guidance and I haven't realized she was doing so. It also can be habitual, some dogs "hug" with their front paws. The entire litter and several other adults at my CKCS breeder's hugged with both front legs when u held them. Very cute-displayed with all personality types in the several English and American lines she had that were unrelated. Interesting.

both my dogs tend to be pawsy but they have a lot of target training and shaping training which may start with paw and progress.

If you don't like it remove the hand when petting every time and the dog will stop...you can pair with a oops or whoops soft cue...which my dogs know means no treat but keep trying, ur very close during shaping training. if ur not a big trainer stop petting when paw is on and remove hand as many times as it takes. all in the house must be consistent as must u. if you've unintentionally reinforced this by awwwww or petting more it's undoable.

-------------------------
"Dogs live most of life
in Quiet Heart
Humans live mostly next door
in Desperate heart
Now and then will do you good
To live in our zip code."
Trixie Koontz (the dog) from A Little Big Life, A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz
Retrievergoldengurl
NOT A BRAD PATTISON FAN since bullies are cowards in my book.
NOT A DON SULLIVAN FAN since this system advocates muzzling to humble and pain to train all things, how do I explain that to my puppy?

Edited: Tue July 07, 2009 at 2:16 PM by retrievergoldengurl
 
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hudsonshock
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Tue July 07, 2009 6:21 PM
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I'm not bothered by it, except that I wondered if I should consider it "pushy" behavior. Jazz is a rather pushy girl, and I'm trying to teach her some manners while I have her. I just wondered if the paw was a sort of "Hey! Pay attention to me, dammit!" signal. Or whether it was a signal for play, or insecurity. It sounds like it could be all of those depending on context.

(I do find the list a bit funny. Essentially, if you take the "Paw Lifted" out of any of those, but leave the rest of the physical description, the meaning is the same. In other words, "dogs greeting side by side, half mast ears, relaxed bodies" = a polite "Hello there" in dog whether they've got a paw raised or not.)
 
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Roxanna
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Tue July 07, 2009 8:43 PM
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I've had boxers for 20 years now and they do use their paws a lot, at least the ones I had did. I'll be sitting in a chair and Jasper will come up and put his paw on my leg if he really needs to get outside and he thinks I'm not getting up fast enough. In the morning if he doesn't think I'm getting out of bed fast enough, he'll get back in bed and put his paw on my shoulder. Yesterday I was laying on my back and got his paw in my stomach - that hurt!

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Susan
 
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hudsonshock
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Wed July 08, 2009 12:18 AM
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Just to be clear, Jazz isn't a Boxer. She's some sort of short-haired yellow long-muzzled 60lb muscley mutt. Maybe some yellow lab, maybe some pointer, some pit around the eyes. Her muscles and chest could be pit, maybe even Boxer, could be anything. No jowls, though, no Boxer coloration at all, and her tail has a normal protective coat of hair )which Boxers with uncut tails don't have).
 
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Shiplesp
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Wed July 08, 2009 4:08 AM
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It *is* pushy behavior when directed at humans to solicit attention. That's why I suggest you put it on cue and not reward the spontaneous presentations of the paw. I don't often mind it either, except when the paw is muddy and I'm already dressed for work! And if they do it to a frail person (elderly, toddler, etc.), it could cause damage. That's another reason why I prefer it NOT to be my dog's default asking behavior.

Susan
 
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onwards1981
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Wed July 08, 2009 5:38 AM
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I think they all get a little pushy now and then - like people. Some days Feeby will WHINE and throw a big fussy temper tantrum because I'm working on my computer - she'll fuss like I'm being SUCH a HORRIBLE NEGLECTFUL MOMMY..MOooooooMmmmmYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

But then if I ignore her she will eventually stop and play on her own. And yes, it can take up to a half hour of on and of "MooooooMMMMMMMmmmmyYYYYYYYYWhhhhhhhyyyyyy woon't Yoooooooooouuuuuuuuuu plaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy with MEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee??"

Interestingly, she only does it to me. Not to Dave. Not to anyone else. Just ME. It must be because every now and then I give in and give her a quick snuggle. Its my own darn fault.
 
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RottieWoman
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Wed July 08, 2009 5:44 AM
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I have reinforced a variety of other default behaviors <"say please"> as opposed to the specific paw lift, especially with my new girl, whom I've done a lotta shaping/capturing with. She commonly Targets with her nose and also loves to offer her "hold". She will give paw on cue and of course will use the Paw Lift communication signal but I haven't rewarded nudging or tapping a person w/a paw. Although I personally don't mind it as Susan said.

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Rottie Mommy in WI - USA
 
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hudsonshock
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Wed July 08, 2009 12:18 PM
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Just out of curiousity, what is her "hold"?
 
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threedogs
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Sat July 11, 2009 11:40 AM
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Try stopping the petting along with with turning your head away from her. She'll get the message. It's dogspeak for "leave me alone".

Judy
 
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Lonewolfblue
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Sat July 11, 2009 12:15 PM
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Back when I had Betty, my Cattle Dog, she used to paw alot, especially when I had pizza. So I thought that was the perfect situation in which to capture the High-5. So when she would get ready to do it, I would put my hand out and she would paw at my hand, and I would click and give her a small piece of pepperoni. I did this, and when she was 100%, which didn't take her long at all, I started tagging it with 'High-5". She caught on really fast, and that's how we captured High-5.

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RottieWoman
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sorry, late reply to ques., hudson - my "hold" is what I started calling my Rottie's behavior of what is often called "sit up" or "beg" - because I taught her that using my arm as a brace which she held onto by placing her forepaws on it <I held my arm out across her chest> as she sat on her haunches. Many people teach a "Sit Up" kinda thing by using a wall in back of the dog. I just did what seemed easier for us. But yes, now I will need another cue for keeping an object like a dumbbell or a glove in her mouth, because the "hold" is usually used in trad. obedience for those behaviors.

I like how you captured the High-5, Lonewolf :-)

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Rottie Mommy in WI - USA
 
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Lonewolfblue
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Sat July 11, 2009 1:12 PM
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And I'm thinking that not only did I capture it, I redirected it, as she no longer pawed, but waited for me to give her the command, 'High-5'. That was a nice thing. Not sure how many people have Kathy Sdao's videos, but I like how they captured the bell sound from the walrus, which normally meant, 'I'm going to kill you'. So when he was in attack mode, they kept tossing treats, and soon, they had the bell on cue, but the walrus was not acting aggressively. Pretty cool. So I think the same happened with Betty, I turned a bad habit of her pawing to get my attention because she wants pizza, to having the High-5 on cue, and she no longer pawed.

Edit:
Here's a video of Betty's training. My laptop was in flip mode, so she really was on my left, not the right. The print on my shirt is backwards because if it. But at the end of the video, I have Betty's High-5's.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2926036923471025889

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Edited: Sat July 11, 2009 at 1:16 PM by Lonewolfblue
 
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