Why Does My Dog Push Me Away with His Paws? (7 Common Reasons)

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
dog pushing owner away

Whether you’re a dog owner or not, you’ve probably experienced being pushed away by a dog at some point. It’s an instinctual behavior that dogs use to communicate a variety of different things. If you’re wondering why your dog pushes you away with his paws, there are a few possible reasons.

In this article, we’ll explore seven of the most common reasons why dogs push people away. We’ll also offer some tips on when you should be concerned and what you can do if the reasons behind your dog’s pushing behavior start to cause problems.

1. He Might Be Feeling Aggressive and Protective of Their Territory

A dog’s natural instinct is to protect its territory from intruders. This instinct can often manifest itself in territorial behaviors such as barking, growling, and even biting.

While these behaviors may be unwanted, they are usually harmless and can be easily redirected with proper training.

However, in some cases, a dog may become so protective of its territory that it will push its owner away.

This behavior is usually seen in dogs who haven’t been properly trained and lack exposure to other people and animals. While this behavior may seem aggressive, it is actually just a dog’s natural way of trying to protect themselves.

With patience and positive reinforcement, most dogs can be taught to control their territorial instincts and live peacefully with their owners.

2. He Could Feel Overwhelmed or Anxious in New Situations

Just like humans, dogs can get anxious about a variety of things including other dogs, loud noises, and unfamiliar environments.

When a dog is feeling anxious, he might start to exhibit some behaviors that are frustrating to his owners such as barking, chewing, or pacing. In some cases, an anxious dog might even start to push their owner away.

This may seem like an act of aggression, but it’s actually a sign that the dog is feeling uncomfortable and wants to be left alone.

It is important to remember that dogs are not doing this to be disobedient or difficult. They are simply trying to cope with their anxiety in the best way they know how.

By remaining calm and patient, owners can help their dogs to feel more comfortable and may even be able to prevent future episodes of anxiety-induced pushing.

3. Your Dog Could Be Trying To Tell You That He Doesn’t Like What You’re Doing

Dogs communicate their needs and wants through a variety of different behaviors, including pushing.

One example of when a dog might push his owner away is when we’re petting him too hard. It’s natural to want to give our furry friends a good scratch, but sometimes we can get a little too enthusiastic.

Our dogs usually put up with it because they love us, but sometimes they need a break.

If your dog starts pushing you away while you’re petting him, try going a little lighter on the pressure. He’ll probably be much more receptive to your affection then.

4. He Might Be Seeking Attention

Dogs are social creatures that naturally crave attention and affection from their owners. Sometimes, in an attempt to get our attention, they might start to push us away with their paws.

This is especially common in puppies who are feeling playful and wants to engage in some rough-and-tumble playtime.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of this type of behavior, it’s important to remain calm and be attuned to your dog’s body language so that you can provide the attention he needs at the moment.

5. It Could Be a Reflexive Behavior Due to a Lack of Socialization

A dog that lacks socialization may push his owner away because he is afraid of people. He may have had a bad experience with people in the past, or he may have never been around people before.

Either way, he will likely be fearful of them. This fear can manifest itself in many ways, including aggression, barking, and hiding. A lack of socialization can also make it difficult for a dog to learn to trust and bond with his owner.

As a result, he may view pushing his owner away as a way to protect himself from harm. While it may seem Like an unwanted behavior, it is important to remember that a dog’s fear is often rooted in a lack of understanding.

6. He Could Be Trying To Asset Dominance Over You

In the wild, dogs live in packs led by a dominant alpha male. While our domesticated dogs may not live in the same way, they still have some of those instinctual behaviors ingrained in them.

One of those behaviors is the need to assert dominance over their pack members, which includes their owners. A dog may try to push his owner away in an attempt to show that he is the alpha.

This is usually seen in dogs who are aggressive or dominant by nature. It is important to remain calm and assertive when dealing with a dog with this behavior.

Do not allow him to push you around or he will think that he is in charge.

7. He Could Be Experiencing Pain

Sometimes, a dog may start to push his owner away because he is in pain and does not want to be touched. This is most likely to happen if the dog has an injury or is suffering from a health condition that causes him discomfort.

If you notice your dog pushing you away and he also seems to be behaving differently in other ways, such as being more lethargic than usual, it’s important to take him to the vet so that he can be checked out.

Pushing away from his owner may be his way of telling you that something is wrong and he needs help.

Should You Worry If Your Dog Starts Pushing You Away?

In most cases, a dog that starts pushing his owner away does not cause concern. However, there are some instances when it may be indicative of a more serious problem.

If your dog starts pushing you away and he also seems to be exhibiting other strange behaviors, such as aggression or lethargy, you should start to worry and ask for help from a professional.

What You Can Do If Your Dog Starts Pushing You Away

There are a few things you can do if your dog starts pushing you away and you’re worried about it.

1. Find The Real Reason

The first step in dealing with this behavior is to take a step back and try to understand what might be causing this behavior.

Is your dog feeling sick or anxious? Has something changed in his environment, such as a new pet or baby in the home? Or is he simply trying to communicate that he needs some space?

Once you have a better understanding of the reason for your dog’s behavior, you can take steps to address the problem.

2. Learn How To Deal With Anxiety in Dogs

If your dog is pushing you away because he is anxious, there are a few things you can do to help him feel more comfortable.

One of the most important things to do when treating anxiety in dogs is to find out what is causing the anxiety. There are many possible causes of anxiety, including separation from a beloved owner, exposure to loud noises, and a history of abuse or neglect.

Once the cause of the anxiety is determined, it will be much easier to develop an effective treatment plan. In some cases, the best course of action may be to avoid situations that trigger the anxiety.

For example, if a dog is anxious around other dogs, it may be best to keep him away from parks or dog beaches. If a dog is afraid of loud noises, he may need to be kept inside during thunderstorms or firework displays.

Regardless of the cause, it is important to provide a safe space in your home where your dog can go to relax. This could be a crate or a quiet room where he can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

You should also make sure that he is getting plenty of exercises. A tired dog is a happy dog, and exercise can help to release some of that built-up energy and calm an anxious mind.

And lastly, you can try using dog calming aids such as calming coats or t-shirts to help your furry friend relax.

3. Learn How To Deal With Overly Territorial Dogs

It’s no secret that dogs can be territorial creatures. Whether it’s their food bowl, their favorite toy, or even just a spot on the couch, dogs can be possessive of the things they consider to be theirs.

This can often lead to behavioral problems, such as growling, snapping, or even biting. If not properly trained and managed, an overly territorial dog can be a serious liability.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help deal with an overly territorial dog. First and foremost, it’s important to have a clear and consistent behavior plan in place. This plan should include obedience training so that the dog understands who is in charge.

In addition, the plan should include positive reinforcement for desired behaviors, such as staying calm when someone enters the house. By consistently following this plan, owners can help to reduce their dog’s territorial behaviors.

4. Learn How To Deal With a Dog Who Isn’t Properly Socialized

Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized can be a challenge to deal with. They may be fearful of new people and environments, and they may exhibit defensive or even aggressive behaviors.

However, there are some things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable in new situations.

First, seek out professional help from a trainer or behaviorist who can assess the situation and create a customized plan for your dog.

Second, gradually introduce your dog to other dogs and people in a safe and controlled environment.

And third, provide plenty of positive reinforcement for desired behaviors, such as staying calm around new people or dogs. Give them treats and praise for calm behavior, and avoid scolding them for being scared.

5. Take Your Dog To The Vet

If you’ve ruled out all of the potential behavioral causes for your dog’s pushing behavior, it’s time to take him to the vet. There are a number of physical causes of pushing behavior, including pain, and neurological problems.

A trip to the vet will help to rule out any potential physical causes, and they will be able to provide you with information on how to best deal with the pushing behavior.


There are a number of different reasons why your dog might push you away. It’s important to pay attention to his body language and behavior so that you can try to figure out what he’s trying to tell you. If you’re concerned about your dog’s health, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.