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Discussion Starter #1
Yet another new behavior I saw from Wally the other day.

He sometimes lifts his paw up a little off the ground. I checked it and it's not hurt. Put pressure on it - felt for any bumps or for things stuck in it - nothing. He walks normally otherwise. So I don't think he injured it. The last time he had a hurt paw, he walked 3-legged and it was the silliest thing I ever saw...

Anyway - sometimes he'll sit and look at me with a paw lifted up - maybe a centimeter off the ground. He'll do it while standing if he's sniffing around then sees something, a paw will come up and he's looking at whatever. Usually his tail is up as well.

What is this meaning? I'm assuming it's meaning two different things. Could it be him sitting and lifting a paw is him offering me a "shake" (now that he knows it)? Or is it something else? What about when he's standing and sniffing, then looks up at something and does it?

And what's with these new behaviors out of the blue? :D
 

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Paw lifting can be a calming signal. Same with looking away, sniffing the ground, lip licking, shake-offs. The context would cast some light on that.

Sometimes if my tone and posture is too overpowering Elsa will exhale through her nose and lick her lips. That's her way of telling me to tone it down. She's always right.
 

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My female does that, and it is always the right paw, tucked all the way up. She does this evrytime we are going to go out for a walk, and she has to wait until I get my snow boots on and coat. I think she is saying, look how nice I am, please take me for a long walk:p
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
maybe he's part pointer :D
Heh he does look like a pointer when he's doing it :)

Paw lifting can be a calming signal. Same with looking away, sniffing the ground, lip licking, shake-offs. The context would cast some light on that.

Sometimes if my tone and posture is too overpowering Elsa will exhale through her nose and lick her lips. That's her way of telling me to tone it down. She's always right.
True - hard to imagine what he's calming/doing the signal in response to when he's doing it while we're just sitting - maybe he thinks I'm mad at him since I'm not paying attention to him or he wants to solicit my attention and show he has peaceful intentions.

Out and about - definitely could be it.

If it is a calming signal - I wonder why he never displayed this one until now. He's done all the others - nose-licking, yawning, shaking, sniffing, turning away, etc (he does sometimes like take a deep breath and exhale though his nose - wonder if that was a calming signal too - must be)

My female does that, and it is always the right paw, tucked all the way up. She does this evrytime we are going to go out for a walk, and she has to wait until I get my snow boots on and coat. I think she is saying, look how nice I am, please take me for a long walk:p
I was reading up on it and this one was that showed up as a possible meaning. The dog is trying to solicit care/attention/'saying' "I need you to help me", supposedly a left-over from when a pup.

Google showed me another forum where a similar question was asked and the posters there said it was a prey behavior - part of stalking/watching/getting ready to move

Another said it was a submissive gesture.
 

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It can also be, "Please, can I have it now"? Especially with treats.....it's the preliminary move to pawing/scratching for the food....now restained with training.
 

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When a pointing bird dog does it, it is a case of stalkus interuptus. The dog stops, in mid stride, when he gets on a gamebird. Paw lifting could be an indicator of inner conflict--i.e., caught between stay and flee (or just go do something more interesting).

Most likely, it is that the dog has figured out which behaviors get a response from you. Dogs can be master manipulators. When my dog cocks his head, my wife immediately forgets why she was PO'd at him, and/or scrambles to find something good to shovel into the bottomless pit we call "his stomach".
 
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