Handedness in Dogs

March 25th, 2010  |  Published in What's New in Behavior  |  1 Comment

Dogs-like people-are handed, that is they prefer to use one paw or the other. You can test your dog to see if he or she is right pawed or left pawed. Observe the paw used to overturn a can under which a treat has been hidden or which paw he uses to hold a toy. Also see which paw is used when the dog is told to “Shake“ or “Give paw”.

Female dogs usually have a greater preference for using their right paw on all tasks. Males dogs are more apt to use their left paw. Ambidextrous dogs sometimes have behavior problems. Let me know which paw your dog prefers to use.


  1. Penny Wallace says:

    March 29th, 2010 at 8:37 am (#)

    I swim dogs and that is when you can tell if they are right handed or left handed or as you would say right or left paw. I have not seen a great difference in male or female as far as right and left. This is an individual call just like people.