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Why Does My Doberman Put His Paw On Me: Top 8 Reasons

Why Does My Doberman Put His Paw On Me: Top 8 Reasons

One of the most frequent ways your elegant Doberman Pinscher may attempt to connect and communicate with you is by pawing you, together with barking. There are many reasons why my Doberman puts his paw on me, and we will go through all of them.

The majority of Doberman owners have probably had their Doberman put its paw on their legs or any other part of their body. This is your Dobbie’s attempt to interact with you, even though you may find it bothersome at times.

Your Doberman Pinscher may be expressing his love for you by placing his paw on you. To demonstrate our pets our warmth and devotion, we pet them. 

Evidently, they act similarly. He is extending touch and showing you affection by placing his paw on you while you are cuddling him.

Why Does My Doberman Put His Paw On Me

Doberman standing by woman

Your Doberman pawing at you may be seen as a display of love, but there are many other emotions that could be at play.

He may be in discomfort, feeling anxious, or he may just want to play or eat. While it is usually a form of encouragement for your Doberman, it can also be a silent cry for help.

It’s important to watch out for the various cues your Doberman is giving off through body language. Be sure to monitor your pets’ vital signs, and look for any observable behavioral changes.

However, there are various reasons why your Doberman might put his paw on you. I know for a fact that my Doberman used to put his paw on me whenever he needed attention, cuddles, or whenever I was eating something, hoping that he might get a bite.

1. Your Doberman Might Be Seeking Attention

Whenever your cute Doberman Pinscher puppy is putting his or her paw on you, it might just be a sign of them expressing their undevoted and unconditional love to you.

It’s kind of like your Doberman is giving you some love back when he places its paw on your hand or leg while you’re caressing him.

Even though most dogs can’t actually stroke you, they can express their love, trust, and loyalty by placing their paw on you. They do this to build a unique connection with you.

If you’ve been petting him and cuddling him for a while, and then stop, your Doberman may reach for your hand to indicate that he wants to tell you, ‘I want more cuddles!!!’. It can also mean I appreciate that, or I enjoyed that, so don’t stop.

2. Your Doberman Is Expressing Affection

Doberman playing with girl on floor

We know that our Dobermans don’t have the ability to express themselves by using our language, but they have their own language that we can somehow understand!

If you already own a Doberman, or to be honest, any other dog breed – you will know how their body language functions.

However, you have already had or will have a special moment with your Doberman, where your pooch looks you in the eye and puts his or her paw on you.

Only after experiencing that exact moment will you understand what expressing affection really feels like, and what unconditional love feels like.

They might put their paws on you randomly as you are laying on the couch watching TV. That is a small gesture, but it means so much to them.

According to experiments, petting produces the hormone, oxytocin, which produces positive emotions within both the petter and the petted. 

In a self-sustaining loop, the calmer the petter becomes, the calmer the pet becomes. Although there isn’t an overt “I love you” in this conversation, the message is clearly felt.

Only when you commit the error of withdrawing too soon will your dog utilize its paw to “push” you to continue scratching or petting it. It is good to view pawing as an implicit act of kindness if the pet and human have pleasant connections with it.

3. Your Dobbie Might Be In A Playful Mood

Their pointed ears, wagging or relaxed tail, alert gaze, and slack mouth are a few instances of their nonverbal cues. This indicates that they are eager to interact with you, and probably play.

They want to do something because they are excited, like play with their interactive dog toys or chew toys, chase their frisbee, or even go on a walk.

A puppy might try to engage you by pawing, whining, wiggling its tail, or snatching a toy and placing it in your lap if it needs to go outdoors for a bathroom break or playtime.

The dog may eventually resort to placing its paw on your leg and glaring straight at you if their paw does not really inspire you to go outside.

The least troublesome technique appears to be placing a paw on you.

4. Your Doberman Might Be Begging For A Treat

Doberman playing with girl outside

Putting their cute stinky little paw on us is one of the ways of communicating for our Dobermans. By doing this, they are trying to get our attention, and to tell us something.

However, they might be begging us for something, too, and in some cases, they might just be begging for their favorite treat!

However, keep in mind that if you give them a treat every time they beg for it, they will get used to this kind of behavior! It can become kind of a learned behavior, which could even have some negative effects on your relationship.

I advise that you discourage this kind of behavior by distracting your dog or directing their energy onto another activity, such as going for a walk, playing, doing tricks, etc.

5. It Might Be Bored

Your dear Doberman might just be trying to stimulate you into doing something cooler than hanging out with them. Maybe their high energy levels didn’t meet their expectations for activities today, and they are searching for a way to burn off some extra energy!

Therefore, it is highly recommended that high-energy dog breeds, such as the Doberman Pinscher always have some cool activities prepared for them.

That could be an interactive dog toy, an arranged playdate, going to the dog park, running together, learning new tricks, etc. 

Dobermans are the types of dogs that need mental as well as physical stimulation, and let me tell you… they need a LOT, and they need to get the best of both worlds in order to be content. 

6. It Might Be Displaying Dominance

happy Doberman standing by owner

This is a rare case, but it still can happen. This kind of behavior usually happens when you have a Doberman that is not properly trained, raised and socialized, and has a lot of excess energy that needs to be burned off.

Whenever your Doberman feels as if it is not safe in your presence, as if you are not the leader of the pack, that same Doberman might feel the need to be the one that will lead your ‘pack’.

By having the need to do so, your Doberman might start displaying dominance in various ways, and one of them might be putting his paw on you.

But, not in a friendly way, such as wagging his little tail and looking at you with warmth and kindness, but rather having stiff body language with an occasional growl.

This is an unwanted negative behavior while asserting dominance over you… his owner. Dobermans are pretty tricky in situations like this, so I would definitely recommend that you consult a dog behaviorist or a veterinarian.

Your Doberman might not have a bad intention by doing this; however, Doberman Pinschers are a dog breed that needs to have an assertive owner who knows how to deal with this high-energy dog breed, similar to the Malinoa.

7. It Might Be Facing Separation Anxiety

Just as any other dog breed, Dobermans might suffer from anxiety and separation anxiety as well. Taking care of your dog’s mental health is equally as important as taking care of its physical health.

Dobermans can have different forms of separation anxiety; however, the usual ways they display these feelings are by crying, nibbling on furniture, destroying their toys, and feeling restless in a bad way.

In some cases, they might as well get diarrhea, and the overall feeling of weakness and short breath… the same as what we experience when we are feeling anxious.

Dobermans are very specific dogs that need to have a lot of physical activity, and they need to constantly be mentally stimulated, at least whenever they are not sleeping.

If you are the type of person who just does not have the benefit of time, getting some interactive dog toys, such as chew toys and licking mats would be a great way for your Doberman to relax and forget about this feeling.

If your Doberman is always fearful, and puts his paw on you, it might be a way of expressing its worry and trying to get help from you.

8. Your Doberman Might Be Territorial 

owner holding Doberman 's paw

These dogs just naturally come off as protective. They can often sense danger when it is approaching, and might give off some warning signs to you before the danger actually happens; and they might just be doing that by putting their paw on you.

However, it would be important to distinguish the bad territorial behavior vs the good territorial behavior.

When your Doberman is too clingy, and he barks at anyone who tries to approach you, and you feel as if it is a bit overwhelming, it might be negative territorial behavior, which is usually an unwanted form of behavior.

It is highly important that you teach your Doberman where his boundaries are with you when it comes to its behavior, and to start teaching it as soon as it arrives into your household.

If you are trying, but you cannot find a way to cope with your Doberman’s territorial behaviors that are a bit overwhelming for you, I recommend that you find an expert in dog behavior or to talk with your veterinarian about this issue.

Final Word

owner holding Doberman puppy

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the dog owner’s reaction frequently reinforces pawing. When a dog paws at you, it’s quite cute, so you respond by petting them or having a good laugh, which teaches the dog to paw at you again the following time.

While it’s unquestionably adorable, you should make sure your dog isn’t being pushy or demanding attention only when it wants it. Pawing could either occasionally be inappropriate or it might develop into an excessively frequent sign of food begging.

Allowing polite pawing while discouraging compulsive or irritating pawing is tricky, so it’s important to understand your dog’s body language, and set clear boundaries so that your dog understands that attention and other positive things are only available on your terms.