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7 Real Reasons Why Dogs Not Like Having Their Paws Touched

Why Do Dogs Not Like Having Their Paws Touched

You just want to touch your dog’s paws sometimes. 

But sadly… 

Most pups don’t like it when you do that. 

And that makes you question:

“Why do dogs hate it when you touch their paws?”’

Don’t worry. 

I have all the im-paw-tant answers. 

Keep reading to find out: 

  • Easy tips to make Fido like having their paws touched.
  • Whether some pups like having their paws touched or not.
  • 7 real reasons why dogs don’t like having their paws touched.
  • And that’s only the beginning…

Do some dogs like having their paws touched?

Some dogs like having their paws touched. However, it’s rare for them to enjoy it. And the canine could only be tolerating the act. 

For example, some fur parents teach tricks to their pups. 

And 1 of those stunts is: ‘shake hands.’ Or ‘gimme your paw.’ 

Now, when a dog obeys those tasks…

They’ll usually get rewarded with treats. Plus, lots of pets and praise. 

With that, a pooch can learn to like being touched on their paws.

Sometimes, dogs might give you their paws without command 

I know a friend’s dog named Levi. And he was taught the ‘shake hands’ trick. 

Now, when my buddy starts eating…

Levi offers his paw to his fur dad. 

Well, who knew the pup would use that trick to ask for food?

That said…

Did you know that some pups use their paws more than others

To name a few, those breeds are:

Well, isn’t that interesting? 

Anyways, some pups might also enjoy a foot massage. But only when you know how to do it right.

That aside…

Most dogs simply don’t like having their paws touched. 

Now, this could be due to many reasons.

And you’ll find out about them below:

Why dogs don’t like having their paws touched – 7 reasons

#1:Dogs feel vulnerable 

First, try to examine Fido’s body. 

As you can see, aside from your pup’s nose… 

Their paws are the only parts that have no fur.

Basically, there’s nothing to cover their pads. Plus, Fidos rarely expose their paws openly. 

In fact, if you look at a pup’s body language

You’ll notice that most dogs avoid each other’s feet. And they hardly bite them in that area too.

Due to this reason: 

Dogs feel vulnerable when you touch their paws. 

#2: They’re not used to physical touch

Dogs Don't Like Having Their Paws Touched Because They're Not Used To Physical Touch

Is your pup still young? 

If so, then they might just need time to adjust to your touch.

Basically, you have to train your pup to like it. Or at least, they’ll tolerate having their paws touched. 

In that case…

You must take 1 step at a time. So, try to follow my guide. 

First, start petting your dog more than usual 

Start by offering treats to your pup. 

And since you’ll feed them with your hands… 

Reach out to them for a simple head scratch. Or give them a quick pat on the back. 

With this, you’re letting Fido know you mean no harm. 

Now, you can keep this up for 3 to 7 days. 

And just observe the way the pup reacts. 

For example:

If your furry pal starts wagging their tail upon seeing you…

Then, that’s a good sign that they’re starting to like you. Or Fido might even look forward to your touch. 

Once you notice those positive signs…

You can start touching Fido’s face. Like rubbing their cheeks with affection. 

Then, slowly work your way to their tummy. 

Now, that’s another sensitive part of your dog’s body. 

So, if your pooch accepts your belly rubs… 

Well, that’s another sign of acceptance. 

In that case, try lifting Fido’s legs next. And then start touching their paws. 

But don’t rush it. 

You still have to observe your dog’s reaction. 

If your pup’s flinching

Then that’s a sign that you should stop. And if Fido’s staying still, then you can keep touching their feet. 

Also, don’t forget to reward your pup with treats and praises.

So, with this simple training… 

Your dog will think that touching their paws is a good thing.

Continue reading: 15 Scientific Facts About Your Dog’s Body Language

#3: You touched their paws too sudden

If humans have flexible arms, well, dogs don’t. 

Instead, Fido’s legs can’t twist that much. And that means your pup can’t bend their limbs, the same way you can.

So, if you grabbed your dog’s paws too suddenly… 

You might’ve scared your fur baby away. Or, Fido got hurt from that. 

Either way, canine limbs can be sensitive. 

Warning: You should avoid sudden movements around your dog. Especially when you touch their paws. That’s because they might bite you when you catch Fido off guard.

Related topic: Do Dogs Have Arms? 5 Things You Need To Know 

#4: Their paws are sensitive 

According to the AKC, Fido’s paws are made with:

  • Fats.
  • Bones.
  • Tendons.
  • Thick skin.
  • Ligaments.
  • Blood supplies.

And these are the same things inside your hands too.

But what makes a dog’s paws so tough? 

Basically, it’s because canines are so active. 

I mean, pups move around a lot. They run, jump, and play. Plus, they even walk on rough terrains too. 

The more a pooch walks outside…

The tougher their paws could be. 

But since their pads have no other protection, like fur…

A dog’s paw is still highly sensitive. Especially when it comes to weather conditions. 

For example: 

During winter, Fido’s paw could have frostbite. And they start getting cold around 45 F° (7.2 C°). Now, that can be painful for your pup.  

Meanwhile, when summer comes…

The heat on the surface could burn your dog’s paws too 

Especially when the temperature’s at 85°F (29°C).

Plus, it’s easy to cut their pads by accident. Like when you’re trying to trim Fido’s nails. 

If this occurs…

Your furry pal’s paws might end up bleeding. 

But wait, there’s more. 

Did you know that eating spicy food can burn your dog’s paw too? 

To give you an idea: 

Cayenne peppers could make Fido’s paws feel like they’re on fire. 

So, with all these risks… 

Dogs are very protective of their feet. 

And that’s why they don’t like it when you (or anyone) touches their paws.

Reading tip: 11 Essential Tips To Protect Your Dog’s Paws From Heat

#5: Fido might have an injury

Fido Might Have An Injury

Sometimes, dogs are fine with you touching their paws.

But if they suddenly don’t want you to do that…

Then, Fido might have an injury. And it could be anywhere near your pup’s feet. 

Here’s an idea:

If you can’t find any wounds on their paws…

Then the injury might be somewhere on your dog’s legs. 

Now, Fido could’ve gotten it from an accident. 

Like when running too fast. Or when stepping on sharp items.

Sometimes, your furry pal might limp after getting their shots as well. Especially when they got injected near their legs. 

In other cases… 

An overgrown nail might cause pain in your pup’s paws too.

That’s why vets tell fur parents to: 

Trim Fido’s nails at least once every 3 to 4 weeks. 

Other than that…

Experts say that dogs can also have issues, such as: 

  • Osteoarthritis. 
  • Luxating patella.
  • Ligament disease.
  • Hip & elbow dysplasia.
  • Intervertebral disk disease.

Now, these concerns could cause limping in Fidos. 

But how could you tell if your pup is really in pain? 

I mean, some dogs like faking their injuries.

So to be sure, you have to watch out for signs of stress, like: 

Warning: If you notice these signs in your dog, talk to the vet. With their help, you can get medicine to heal Fido’s pain. 

Need help treating an injured dog? 

You can learn some home remedy tips here: 

You might also like: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Walks Slowly (Dangers & 9 Tips)

#6: Some dogs might think you’re attacking them 

Remember what I said in reason #1?

Even dogs don’t touch each other’s paws. To them, their feet are off-limits too. 

In that case…

By touching your pup’s paws, they might think you’re out to hurt them.

After all, paw-touching isn’t common in Fidos. 

You know, just like how kissing isn’t natural for them either. 

Now, your furry pal might tolerate this for a while. 

But if you suddenly grab a new dog’s paws…

You might recall what I said in reason #3: 

And it’s the risk of getting bitten by a pooch. 

Now, that could get not only you in trouble…

But the poor Fido might get punished as well. 

So, for everyone’s peace of mind:

It’s best to leave a dog’s paw alone. Especially if they’re not your fur babies. 

Read next: 5 Reasons Why Dogs Bite Your Hands + 5 Tips To Stop It 

#7: Due to past trauma

Some dogs are anxious. Or they’re full of fear. 

And that’s because they might have some past trauma. 

Now, this is common in rescue dogs

You see, these poor Fidos tend to be scared of everything.

So, if you recently adopted a new pooch (or a rescue pup)…

That could explain why they don’t like having their paws touched. 

Not only are they not used to your touch yet… 

But these types of Fidos might have a lot of trauma. And that could happen if the dog was: 

  • Hit.
  • Abused.
  • Starved.
  • Yelled at.
  • Abandoned.

There could be more reasons… 

But overall, the poor pup has no good experience with humans. 

And that’s why it’s up to you. 

With this, you have the chance to get a scared dog to trust you again

In time, a traumatized Fido might give you their paws on their own.