Why does my corgi not like paw touched?

Why Does My Corgi Hate Having Its Paws Touched? (3 Reasons)

So, your corgi hates having its paws touched and probably bites or growls when you try to do so.

Don’t worry. This is common among all dog breeds.

You’ll learn:

  • Why dogs don’t like you touching their paws
  • What to do about a corgi who growls, bites, or flinches
  • How to get your dog used to paw touching
  • And more!

You should have all the basics down by the end of this page.

Sound good? Let’s explore this strange behavior.

Last updated: 3/7/20.

Why does my corgi hate when I touch his paws?

This is a very common behavior with dogs in general and is NOT limited to just corgis.

So don’t only assume this is a drawback limited to just corgis.

The easiest explanation would be because of socialization (or lack thereof).

During the period of 8-16 weeks, the corgi puppy learns to “accept” certain behaviors as well as sights, sounds, scents, etc.

If the puppy had its paws constantly touched (like multiple times on a daily basis), it wouldn’t have a problem with it as an adult.

Socialization

Paw touching is just like any other behavior during socialization. If not practiced, the corgi will learn to refuse and hate it.

Your corgi may end up growling, flinching, or even biting when you touch its paws.

This is due to either never being exposed to it during those critical socialization weeks, or some kind of trauma or phobia that messed up the corgi’s mentality.

Because the paw touching is foreign to the dog, it’ll react negatively. There’s no exact reason other than trauma or no socialization.

Some breeders will tell you to touch each paw periodically and play with each toe. This will help get the corgi used to getting its pawed touched.

Why does my dog growl when I touch her paws?

A corgi in the field with no paws touched.
A corgi will hate paw touches by default.

Your corgi isn’t used to the sensation of having the paws touched because it likely never was accustomed to it during socialization between weeks 8-16.

There could also be some other underlying trauma or phobia from previous owners if the dog was adopted, or something on the breeder’s end.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason behind the paw fussiness, and often, it’s very difficult to “fix.”

These behaviors are ingrained into your corgi’s behaviors from a young age.

The main reasons are socialization, previous trauma, or natural refusal.

Attempting to get your corgi “used” to paw touching is often futile and just stresses the dog.

Some other corgis may just not have the personality to bear having its paws touched even with plenty of socialization, training, and positive reinforcement.

  • Perhaps a nail clipping did her wrong and now she has a trauma.
  • Or maybe she had her paws stepped on by children as a puppy.
  • Or if she was an adopted corgi, there are many variables to her history that are unknown related to the feet.

There are countless reasons. Some corgis will be okay with it only to suddenly hate it. This has been reported by owners also.

By default, dogs dislike anyone messing with their feet.

So it’s “normal” behavior. If your corgi hates it, this is to be expected. Only one in a million will actually allow it by nature.

Corgi bites when paws touched

A corgi startled after paw touching.
Some corgis can be aggressive when you come after its paw pads.

This is a common behavior with many dog breeds and not exclusive to corgis.

Your corgi may bite, flinch, or even growl when you touch its paws.

Some dogs are extremely sensitive over their paws and may never get used to it. It’s just something that’s widely dependent on how the puppy was raised.

Even with proper conditional training, some corgis will NEVER be calm. So this is just something you have to be wary of.

Can dogs have sensitive paws?

Yes, some dogs can have sensitive paws to the touch and will show this by reacting accordingly.

Some dogs can be very sensitive about their feet in the first place exactly because they have sensitive paws to begin with.

You should be extra careful when attempting to trim nails or use clippers while grooming. One slip up could lead to an accident.

Dog paws have many sensory and nerve endings to let the dog know about the environment and any genetic defect in the pads can lead to sensitivity,

The ends are usually well covered with leathery pads to prevent this, but this doesn’t always develop the same way for all breeds.

Some dogs may also change throughout the course of their lifetime.

Breeds that are heavier can end up with more worn pads over time. They’re used to do everything from sensory input, running, digging, walking, and more.

Thus, they’re very important to the survival of your corgi and by nature, he’ll be protective over them. Even a small nick in the pad will cause extreme pain for the dog.

This is why most dogs will rarely trust anyone touching the pads unless done at an early age.

If you notice the change is sudden or your dog suddenly refuses to be touched there, consult a vet for a professional opinion.

How do I teach my dog to let me touch his paws?

If your corgi puppy is older than 16 weeks, it’ll be very unlikely that it’ll ever get used to having its paws touched.

There is no method or “course” to follow.

Other than to constantly make it a habit of touching them quickly every other hour, that’s about it.

This means pretending to “check” for something on your corgi’s feet. Do this before every exercise, bathe, training session, or walk.

Do it randomly. Do it often.

Stick to it even if your corgi refuses, but disengage if it looks like he’ll bite or nip.

It’s a hard thing to do because you need to balance stressing out your corgi and teaching it that it can just growl at you and you’ll back off.

For example, if you touch the front paws and your corgi growls and you stop, this tells the dog that all it needs to do is growl and you’ll stop.

But if you touch the paws and ignore the growling, biting, and flinching, you may end up severely stressing out your dog and making the problem worse.

You’ll just strengthen the existing fear and make the situation go nowhere.

As you can see, there’s no clear-cut solution and every corgi is different.

Tips on desensitizing a corgi to having his paws touched

Corgi outdoors.
There are a few things you can do to desensitize the pads.

Here are a few tips and tricks to get your dog accustomed to paw touching.

  • Just constantly touch your corgi’s feet. That’s all there is to it. See how he reacts and assess.
  • Consider signing up with a professional trainer
  • Teach your dog to shake hands and hold its paw longer than usual
  • Offer treats after a quick paw touch
  • Don’t force the touching if your corgi reacts more negatively than before. This only makes the situation tenser.
  • Acknowledge that not all dogs can be trained to do this
  • Never use negative reinforcement, especially for something so trivial

Drawbacks with a corgi afraid of paw touching

The good part is that not many activities require you to actually annoy your dog and touch its paws.

However, there are a few drawbacks of having a corgi afraid of touching:

  • Getting its nails trimmed will be difficult
  • Putting on dog socks or shoes can be a hassle
  • Putting on dog clothing can also be a struggle
  • Vet checks can be difficult
  • Checking paws for dirt, bugs, or other things
  • Washing the paws after a walk, rain, or mud
  • Trimming hair around the feet

Most dogs are sensitive about their front paws and this is not a corgi only thing.

Further reading

Here are some references you may find useful:

You can’t force your corgi to get “used” to paw touching

A happy corgi.
A happy corgi with both paws untouched.

Now you know the basics behind your corgi’s reactions to paw touching.

Hopefully, this article clears up some of the reasons why corgis hate their paws to be touched.

If you have any questions or suggestions, post a comment below.

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