Understanding Dog Communication: Lifted Paws
Your dog interacts with you using his body every single day. It’s up to us, as responsible dog owners, to decode their behavior and decipher what they are trying to tell us. Paw lifting, as common as it is, serves a few different communication purposes: some innocent and some potentially threatening. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of paw lifting and how these incidents should be handled. To ensure everyone’s safety, read on and protect your four-legged friend with a Canine Liability Insurance policy.
Reason #1: Fear or anxiety.
Hunting dogs lift their paw when they’re gearing up to start the chase. If your dog does this while on a walk, it’s likely because he sees a duck, cat, or squirrel – something he can’t wait to run after. However, if you have a new dog, or a dog who is wary of new people and situations, he might lift his paw to show his anxiety. However, if he continues to face you, does not hide, and tucks his tail, he’s unsure of his surroundings. Take your time to ease his nervousness and show that whoever he’s afraid of will not hurt him.
According to Dogster, dogs will show fear for a number of reasons: neglect, abuse, improper socialization and more.
Pay attention to your dog’s body language, especially if he is cowering and attempting to hide in combination with a lifted paw. This signals fear and whoever is trying to approach your dog should stop and give him space.
Reason #2: Anticipation.
See that delicious plate of food on the table? If your dog is eyeing it with his paw lifted, he’s excited about the opportunity to share your meal with you.
The more you understand your dog’s body language, the quicker you can decode what he’s telling you. In turn, you can prevent unwanted interactions and negative reactions such as growling or biting.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.