Why doesn’t my dog ​​like to have his paws touched?

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Knowing your dog’s body language is essential for a good coexistence. Petting your pet is very nice, but surely you have ever wondered “why does my dog ​​not like it to touch its paws?”

As with humans, dogs prefer to be petted and pampered in certain areas of the body, while others find it annoying. What is this about? We’ll tell you then!

Index of contents

  • 1 How do you know if your dog feels uncomfortable touching his paws?
  • 2 My dog ​​won’t let me touch his paws
    • 2.1 Canine body language
    • 2.2 Discomfort
    • 2.3 Wounds
    • 2.4 Psychological traumas
  • 3 What can you do?

How do you know if your dog feels uncomfortable touching his paws?

For some owners, it is evident that their dog does not like to touch its paws. How do you think yours feels? It may show signs of discomfort that you haven’t noticed:

  • Lower your ears.
  • Hide the leg or press it on your hand.
  • He begins to lick the area nervously.
  • Begins to stare at you, even if you are lying down.

My dog ​​won’t let me touch his paws

There are several reasons that make a dog uncomfortable if they touch its paws. Faced with this, you can withdraw them immediately, but also be nervous or aggressive.

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These are the main reasons:

Canine body language

On many occasions, we tend to interpret the reactions of dogs by comparing them with those of humans. However, dogs have other body language with signs that mean different things.

In this sense, have you ever seen a dog touching the paws of another? No so for them it is not a natural gesture. This is one of the reasons for the discomfort they demonstrate.


The paws have a large number of nerve endings ; For this reason, they are a very sensitive area in dogs. Doing so causes them to feel similar to tickling, and they are very uncomfortable for your dog.


An injured dog will prevent you from touching the area that bothers it. During walks, a splinter may become embedded in the legs or injure a nail. In the face of pain, the dog will not want you to touch its paws.

If you suspect that your dog may be injured, ask for someone else’s help to reassure or distract him as you examine the area.

Psychological traumas

It is common for rescued dogs to be more suspicious and fearful, that could be the reason that causes discomfort when you try to caress their paws. This is because in the street or with previous owners they have suffered abuse and mistreatment that generate trauma.


What can you do?

In principle, avoid touching your dog’s paws when petting it, there’s no reason for you to bother him if you already noticed that he doesn’t like it.

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Despite this, there are situations when you need to examine your dog’s paws. For example, when a wound occurs, to check if you have fleas or ticks between your fingers or when you should do something as simple as cutting your nails.

It is best to accustom the dog from puppy to receiving pats on its paws, these are a crucial part when petting it to relax. However, if your pet is already an adult and you should check its paws, follow these tips:

  • Try to make him feel comfortable and safe. Lay him on his bed next to a toy that he likes.
  • He begins by stroking her head, her back and calmly descends towards her thighs.
  • Talk to him at all times. Use a soft, slow tone of voice.
  • Gently approach the legs and watch their reaction.
  • Stroke the paws for a few seconds and then move on to other areas of the body. Repeat this, leaving your hands on the legs for longer each time.
  • Offer him an edible treat when he lets you touch his paws. In this way, you will interpret it as something positive.
  • Be very patient, you may have to try for several days before your dog feels comfortable.
  • If necessary, ask someone else to help distract the dog while checking the paws. If you must cut his nails, teach him to rest easy with the contact on the legs before taking him to the dog groomer; otherwise, it will react violently to staff.