If your German Shepherd has been putting its paw on you, you’re probably wondering why.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be doing it and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my German Shepherd put its paw on me? Common reasons are that it wants attention, food or exercise. It could also have learned that putting its paw on you gets rewards or it might be feeling insecure.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to understand why your German Shepherd does it. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd puts its paw on you
Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd puts its paw on your will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might put its paw on you as well as some signs to look for.
It wants attention
The reason why your German Shepherd puts its paw on you is likely to be that it wants your attention in some way. This would be more likely if it tends to put its paw on you when you have not given it much attention for a while.
If this is the reason why it seems to be doing it then it would help to give it more attention throughout the day. You can do this by playing with it, training it or quickly checking up on it during your lunch break.
It wants food
Another common reason why your German Shepherd will put its paw on you is that it is signaling to you that it wants food. This would be more likely if it does it when you would normally feed it, when you have not fed it for a while or if it does it when you are eating.
To prevent it from putting its paw on you while you are eating it would help to avoid giving it food otherwise it will learn that putting its paw on you gets it food.
It wants exercise
Another reason why it does it could be that it wants to get exercise. This would be more likely if it does it when you have not exercised it yet, when you would normally exercise it or if it has not been let outside for a while.
In this case, it would help to make sure that you are giving your German Shepherd enough exercise on a daily basis.
Related post: Ways to exercise your German Shepherd.
It has learned that it gets rewards
It could be the case that your German Shepherd has learned that putting its paw on you gets it things that it wants.
This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention, treats or exercise when it paws you.
Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you
It is feeling insecure
It could be the case that it does it when it is feeling insecure and it is seeking comfort. This would be more likely if it started doing it when something occurred such as someone moving away or another pet dying.
Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?
Things to consider
There are a number of things that you could consider when trying to understand why your German Shepherd puts its paw on you. Below, I will mention a couple of particularly useful things to consider.
When it started doing it
It would help to consider when your German Shepherd started putting its paw on you and what else happened at around that time. If it didn’t always do it then it could be the case that there is an external cause that is making your German Shepherd do it.
If it did start doing it suddenly then it would help to consider things such as:
- If someone moved away
- If it started when you moved home
- If another pet died
- If your schedule changed
When and where it puts its paw on you
It would also help to consider the timing of when your German Shepherd puts its paw on you. If it seems to only do it at certain times then it would likely tell you a lot about why it is doing it.
For example, if it only seems to do it when you’re eating then it is likely that it is doing it to tell you that it wants some of your food. Whereas, if it does it when you would normally walk it then it is probably trying to remind you of that.
How to get your German Shepherd to stop putting its paw on you
If you want to get your German Shepherd to stop putting its paw on you then there are a number of things that you can do.
You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your German Shepherd for showing the behaviors that you want from it.
To use positive reinforcement training to get your German Shepherd to stop pawing you, you would do something such as:
- Stop giving it attention when it puts its paw on you leaving the room temporarily if necessary
- After waiting for a few moments start giving it attention and a treat if it doesn’t paw you when it normally would
- If it does paw you then stop giving it attention again
- Repeat the above until it learns not to put its paw on you
Avoid encouraging the behavior
While positive reinforcement training can be very effective in getting the behaviors that you want from your German Shepherd it can also work against you.
If your method of getting it to stop putting its paw on you is to give it things that it wants, it could be the case that it has learned to do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead of giving your German Shepherd things that it wants, when it paws you, try not giving it attention and then rewarding it when it is behaving how you want it to.
Give it attention
Since your German Shepherd might be pawing you because it wants attention it would help to give it attention throughout the day. You can do this by training it to do things such as to stay, taking it for walks or playing games such as tug of war with it.
Since your German Shepherd might also be doing it due to wanting exercise it would also help to make sure that it is getting enough.
Generally, it is recommended that a German Shepherd get at least an hour of exercise per day. You can do this by teaching it to play fetch, walking it for an hour or teaching it to swim.
It is important to be consistent when you are training your German Shepherd to behave the way that you want it to. It won’t always be the case that you will be successful in every training session.
However, if you stick with it over the course of weeks and months then you will be able to get very good results.
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Best German Shepherd Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.
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Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook (on Amazon) - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.