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Jack's mama
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Jack does this thing where he always has to have his paw on us. He doesn't do it when standing or sitting but if we are laying with him on the floor, or he is on the floor, he presses his foot up against us. If I push it off, he just continues to paw and push at me. I don't think he's doing it for attention. It almost seems like he's using us to brace himself. Very weird and somewhat annoying with those scratchy pads :) Can anyone shine any light on this? I have heard it could be dominance but he is very submissive. :gotme:
 

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i lub alda mi prens
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My first golden did this. See if Jack wants to be scratched lower. It might also be his way of givin you luvins as well :)
 

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Mom to Bailey & Burgundy
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I have no idea why he does that - but I'm curious to know what others think, as Bailey is the exact same way!
 

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I think it's a sign of affection... Molly does this when we're petting her and she's sitting. It's sweet but we're trying to discourage her of this habit. She can hurt with her claws sometimes.. So we simply stop petting her and look aways when she starts doing it. When all her paws are on the ground then we pet her again!
 

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Nancy
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Maggie always did this and we tried to discourage it. When my parents or inlaws visited it was a problem since those toenails could lay open an arm of an elderly person with thin skin. Usually we put her in the gated laundry room when they were here since it was a problem. We never did break her of that.
 

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My boy does it too, it's as if it's an obsession for him. Whether he's sitting, standing, cuddling, he'll always throw his paw up and rest it on your arm, face, shoulder, etc. His pads are rough and he always does it so if someone isn't bracing themselves they will get scratched/clawed. I have lots of scratches on my arms and chest and I've gotten hit in the eye more times than I can count. Even if he's on his back, he'll throw his paws up in the air and hit you in the face! We've tried discouraging it and praising him when all of his paws are on the floor, but it hasn't worked and I'm open to try anything. If a child were petting him and he pawed them, he could knock them over :( A trainer I went to said it was a sign of submission, but other people say it's just a golden trait and there's nothing that can be done.
 

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Steelers and Pens Fanatic
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My boy does it too, it's as if it's an obsession for him. Whether he's sitting, standing, cuddling, he'll always throw his paw up and rest it on your arm, face, shoulder, etc. His pads are rough and he always does it so if someone isn't bracing themselves they will get scratched/clawed. I have lots of scratches on my arms and chest and I've gotten hit in the eye more times than I can count. Even if he's on his back, he'll throw his paws up in the air and hit you in the face! We've tried discouraging it and praising him when all of his paws are on the floor, but it hasn't worked and I'm open to try anything. If a child were petting him and he pawed them, he could knock them over :( A trainer I went to said it was a sign of submission, but other people say it's just a golden trait and there's nothing that can be done.
I could have written this EXACT paragragh! (except Lucy is a girl of course). My hubby always seems to be the one who gets it in the eye.
 

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I wish it was just a paw.

Gilmour climbs up on the back of the couch and puts his head on my shoulder.
 

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Loving goldens since '95
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I find it hilarious that so many different dogs have the same mannerisms! Molson is just starting to get into the habit of the paw. 3 of our 4 former goldens all did it, too. If we stopped paying attention to them, we'd get the "uhhh, HELLO! I didn't say you could stop petting me!" paw-tap on our leg/arm/hand.
 

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Brady has also gone as far as if four of us are sitting on the couch, he will stretch out on our laps, he will stretch out to make sure that he is touching every single one of us.
 

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Mom to Bailey & Burgundy
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Brady has also gone as far as if four of us are sitting on the couch, he will stretch out on our laps, he will stretch out to make sure that he is touching every single one of us.
LOL - now THAT is cute! :)
 

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Chloe does this because she wants a leg massage. Once I start massaging, she literally goes into a trance. It's her favorite thing in the world!

L.
 

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I hear trainers who practice dominance/submission training call it either, about 50% of the time for each. I think that's kind of funny, since I think it has nothing to do with hierarchy, but rather with getting petted.

It's incredibly common in people focused dogs like Goldens, but we find it inconvenient. It's the kind of innocent behavior that can hurt or intimidate children or people who aren't used to dogs, and we try to make our pups ambassadors for the breed. We positively train it away with methods like the one used by EvilNessCroft. There's no need to teach your dog that it's unpleasant, just that it doesn't work. You just remove it from his habits; no need to convince him that it's "bad."

Show your dog that the undesired behavior backfires by stopping your petting. Turn into a statue. When he finally gives up, come back to life and start petting again. Just as an FYI - if you start to use this technique, the dog will become very insistent with the paw for a while. It used to work, so he'll try even harder with it. In behavioral science, this is known as "extinction behavior" or "extinction flare." It's that increase of the undesired behavior that happens right before elimination. It's a sign that you're doing it right, but humans often see it as a sign that the technique isn't working.

If you change techniques at that point, you'll teach the dog that the paw does work, but that he's not trying hard enough, and you'll be in for a far more significant flare the next time.

One other note. You may see the dog try something else, like putting his head in your lap or nosing your hand. If it's an OK alternative, show him it works. If it's undesired, wait him out until he shows the behavior you want (like a calm sit). Reward what you want, freeze for what you don't want. Allow extinction flares without getting riled up or caving in.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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well said Brian....
This has little-to nothing to do with dominance or submission..
It gets them the attention/contact/interaction they desire...
If you teach your dog how to 'shake' or 'give paw' before you teach other means of interaction ....you will see them refer back to the behavior they first learned as a way to interact and get attention...

I dont teach them to use their feet on people for that specific reason...until the dogs are well over 18 months old and know a good 1/2 dozen other effective ways to get my attention and interact...
 

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I dont teach them to use their feet on people for that specific reason...until the dogs are well over 18 months old and know a good 1/2 dozen other effective ways to get my attention and interact...
Yeah - "give paw" is so easy to teach, and I always forget that they use it as a go-to behavior when they're trying to figure out what to do. If you teach it early, you end up having to spend time teaching when it's appropriate. No harm done, but it's worth knowing.

It's so nice when you convince them that a polite sit is the best go-to behavior when they're confused. Comet, when confronted with a screaming, happy six year old for the first time, plonked his butt on the ground and looked at me like "what on earth is that, boss?"
 

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Didge's Mommy!
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Yeah, my Rusty is a huge paw dog... he always does it when he's laying down at my feet or sitting...he wants me to rub his paw...I will hold and rub his paw while watching TV or whatever forever it seems.... I enjoy it as much as he does I think... I find it relaxing to pet his soft paws... "except for the scratchy pads"..
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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Now if the parents could only convince the kid of the same go-to behavior!
That is wonderful! Good Boy Comet! ...Ive not been so sucessful getting that kind of auto-sit :)....but I do manage to get all four feet on the ground with a vigorus shimmyshake!


Yeah - "give paw" is so easy to teach, and I always forget that they use it as a go-to behavior when they're trying to figure out what to do. If you teach it early, you end up having to spend time teaching when it's appropriate. No harm done, but it's worth knowing.

It's so nice when you convince them that a polite sit is the best go-to behavior when they're confused. Comet, when confronted with a screaming, happy six year old for the first time, plonked his butt on the ground and looked at me like "what on earth is that, boss?"
 

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Fergus Roy's dad
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With Fergus if his nose doesn't get him the petting he wants or if we stop too soon he resorts to the paw.

Dave
 

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All THREE of mine do the "Paw"! I too think it must be a Golden thing, but I try to discourage it also. With their nails, it can really hurt,:doh::no: and really dangerous around your face and eyes.
 
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