As you rest on the couch, your dog jumps on top of you and wraps her paws around you. This makes you wonder if she is trying to express her affection for you, or is there more to it?
Let’s take a peek into your dog’s mind to learn more.
If you have neglected your dog, she is trying to regain your attention by wrapping her paws around you. You have taught her that this is a rewarding experience. She looks to you for protection. She is afraid of being left alone. Her aim is to comfort you. She is seeking assistance from you. She is expressing her discomfort.
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She Is Seeking Your Attention
Have you been neglecting your dog lately, and she just wants to be noticed?
In the same way that your child places his arms over you to get your attention, your dog will do the same if she sees that this little “trick” works.
If you have not been giving your dog the attention she needs, she will naturally feel lonely and want to be noticed and petted.
She will look for ways to make you notice her, such as chewing on your shoes and clothing, eating poop, or even wrapping her paws around you when you are resting on the couch to make sure that you do not forget her.
She knows that you’re going to ignore him unless she gives you a little nudge.
This is her way of saying “Look at me!”.
And when you give her the attention that she is longing for, she will show you how happy she is by wagging her tail and licking your face.
So be sure to allocate time to take your dog out for a walk daily, even if you have a busy schedule.
This private strolling time with your dog will be well spent as she will feel your love for her and know that you still care for her.
Giving your dog the attention she needs can go a long way in building and fostering her trust in you.
There are, of course, certain breeds of dogs that need more attention than others, especially those of high energy breeds such as Border Collie, Labrador Retriever and Cocker Spaniel.
They possess excessive pent-up energy in their body and if you do not provide an outlet for them to release this built up energy, they will be pestering you for attention.
You’ve Encouraged Her to Do This Behavior
Did you happily give your dog a pet on her chest and praise her when she wrapped her paws around you?
This makes your dog associate this behavior with a positive experience.
That is, she will learn that this action will earn her some form of reward (such as a small treat, praise or pet on her chest) from you, and this rewarding experience will encourage her to keep practicing this behavior.
YOU are in fact teaching your dog bad behaviors through rewards (although that is not your intention).
Thus, it is important that you should ONLY reward your dog for the behavior that you want her to learn and repeat.
You can make your dog learn the desired behavior by giving her positive experiences.
By rewarding her after she performs an action that you wish to teach her, you are leading her to relate that action to a positive experience that she finds to be pleasurable.
This, in turn, will motivate her to keep repeating that behavior.
She Is Feeling Insecure And Needs Your Protection
If your dog does not usually wrap her paws around you and does so suddenly, this could be a sign that she is feeling insecure.
This is especially true when there is a change in her surroundings that triggers her fear and anxiety, such as when there is a thunderstorm, fireworks, sirens, or construction going on around her.
Your dog will want to be close to you during times when she is feeling anxious because she regards you as her pack leader and will depend on you to protect her and keep her safe.
When she feels anxious, you can also give her a thundershirt to wear as the shirt will help to calm her down.
The vests work by applying pressure to the dog’s torso in order to alleviate anxiety.
She Is Trying to Comfort You
You’re sobbing in one corner of the house, and your dog wants to comfort you.
She’ll sit next to you, lick your face, and put her paws around you in an attempt to make you feel better.
When she wraps her paws around you, she’s trying to show you her affection and warmth.
It’s her way of letting you know she’s here for you and trying to take you out of your misery.
Dogs are natural comforters, so your dog will do it even if she hasn’t been trained.
This is because dogs are social animals, and they are capable of understanding their owners’ emotions.
She Wants Something From You
Your dog is telling you that she needs a “service” from you. It could be that she needs to go outside for potty, she feels hungry, or she wants you to play with her or take her for a walk.
This is especially true if you have prepared a routine for her daily schedule and have not adhered to it.
In this case, you will find that your dog will begin to look for you at a specific time of day, such as when it’s time for you to feed her, to take her out for a walk, or to let her go potty.
Essentially, she is reminding you that it’s time for you to fulfill your promise.
If you are really busy, you can always have a friend or family member to help you out with this.
She Doesn’t Want You To Leave Her
It could also be the case that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and does not want to be alone.
By placing her paws on you, she can be sure that you are always with her, even when she is asleep.
Signs of separation anxiety include:
- The action of pacing or trembling.
- Frequently drooling.
- Urinating inside the house.
- Barking and whining excessively.
- Destructive behavior such as chewing, biting, scrubbing and digging garden.
- Refusing to eat food or treats.
- An indication of escape behavior.
You should focus on addressing your dog’s separation anxiety and building up his confidence to be alone if he exhibits these symptoms.
She Is Trying To Inform You On Her Discomfort
It could be a case where your dog is feeling unwell as a result of a cut on her paw or pain in the joint, and she is trying to tell you about it.
In the event that your dog appears to be acting out of character, such as licking her paws or showing fatigue and unable to move, you may want to perform a visual inspection on her body and paws to determine if there is any bleeding or infection.
This is especially important if your dog is approaching her senior years, as she may suffer from old age illnesses such as arthritis.