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Old 04-06-2010, 02:08 PM
Ironwil Ironwil is offline
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Default Paws-on dominance

I've read that if a dog/puppy puts their paw on you, it's a show of dominance. I'm not sure if this is the case. I have one Aussie that will often loop a paw over my wrist as I'm petting him. It seems close to holding hands would be for humans. Sometimes he'll sit straight up from butt to head and loop both paws around my scratching hand's wrist. This behavior is really cute and he doesn't behave aggressively towards me or others, so I'm wondering if this is actually a sign of dominance. Any advice?
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:54 PM
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Sawyer does this to me all the time, it's not dominance at all. Aussies seem to use their paws almost as much as boxers do sometimes.

Some people are so concerned with their dog attempting to dominate them that EVERYTHING except laying in a corner is construed as "he's dominating you!!!!11!"
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:36 PM
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Not dominance, just a dog who likes to use his paws. My neighbor's dog loves to put her paw on your arm while you pet her, she also uses her paw to beg. I think it must have been one of the first commands they taught her or something. I agree with Zoom, nowadays people contribute nearly every disliked (but perfectly normal) dog behavior to dominance, they think every dog should simply sit in a corner until you choose to play with it or tell it to do something...like a toy.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:44 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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I think he likes you. A dog that is otherwise gentle needs a little slack. Dogs that point will put their paw on you, as will dogs that have been taught to offer a paw.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:57 PM
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JPuckett1989 JPuckett1989 is offline
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SAdie does the same thing except with just one paw and just looks up at you with those big ol brown eyes. It's adorable. I never taught her to do it,she just started doing it on her own.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:05 PM
Ironwil Ironwil is offline
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Default Paws

Thanks for your responses! I was thinking much the same thing. Honestly, this particular Aussie is a large black/white bi-color, and he's a big teady bear. Even with the other dogs, he'll only fight if one of them REALLY antagonizes him. He's the alpha, but he's just not that aggressive. We just had puppies, and need to institute some serious obedience training so we're not overcome by armies of fur, but I don't see this as an issue. They're very smart, and generally seem to really want to please me and my wife. I'll continue to allow him to give paw. The truth is, I know some things are necessary for training, but certain things experts advise against, like allowing pets on the furniture, I'm going to allow anyway. I don't want a dog that does nothing but lie around or sit still until I tell them otherwise. I just want them to listen and not eat guests who come over.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:09 AM
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Frankly, some of the dominance people are just obcessed with control. They want the dog not just to have good manners and obey, but to be grovelingly submissive at all times. Sort of like a slave: "don't touch the master!" "soft beds are only for masters!" "always follow two steps behind the master!"

Just because the dog is not being a groveling lowly creature does not mean they are trying to dominate you. They're often just being themselves. Now, if you don't like the paw thing, put a stop to it . . . but the dog is probably just saying, "hey, I love you," or "hey, pay attention to me" or just 'hey, I'm here" or even "I like to touch you." And many dogs have in fact been trained to offer a paw to "Shake" . . . I have trained my older dog to do that, but only on command . . . I don't like being pawed at random, because it might lead to jumping. But if she does paw at me, I don't think she's trying to be alpha, she's just being mildly naughty, and I tell her not to. That's the end of it. And my dogs ARE allowed on the furniture . . . my rule is anywhere I put my butt, but can put theirs . . . unless I want to put my butt there, and then they have to move
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:44 AM
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My Collies are very 'hands on' too - not a dominance thing. I think there are some 'hard' breeds who might do this as a sign of testing the waters (who is really in control?) but I think it's more someone who is interpreting canine communication wrong.
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