Why Does My Dog Slap Me in the Face? 

Sneezing, yawning, a wagging tail, high-pitched barks, and eye contact are ways your dog communicates with you. And if you ignore your dog while within his physical reach, he may use body language like pawing, or slapping you, to call your attention. Perhaps you may have even encouraged this behavior by teaching your fur baby to shake you and other people. Don’t get it twisted; it is adorable and indicates your pet is well trained.

But regardless of the reason your pet is slapping you in the face, you probably find it uncomfortable, especially if he has long claws. Even though the slaps are always painless, you need to know what it is so that you can curb the unwanted behavior, so keep reading this article. It turns out your dog slapping you in the face is relatively common, and we have enjoyed different stories or narrations from other dog owners.

By the end of this article, we are certain you will know more about your dog’s body language. Want to know why your dog slaps you in the face and how to get him to stop? Then please, stick around.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog is Slapping You in The Face

Is your dog slapping you in the face for what you believe is no reason? Check out the major scenarios where your fur baby may slap you in the face: 

You have just employed negative reinforcement

No one likes to be scolded, least of all dogs who are sensitive to their owner’s emotions. Yes, some pets know when their favorite humans are going through it, but they can especially sense when you are mad at them. So, after using negative reinforcement, perhaps through your tone, Fido will try to apologize, although he sometimes does this by putting his paws on his face.

And he may do this by putting his paw carefully on you. Although the care may not be apparent because our pets cannot help the amount of energy they have, they cannot exactly control the amount of force that strikes you. We are not excusing the bad behavior, but this is how dogs apologize sometimes. 

They are communicating

Often, when your pet is slapping you in the face, he is trying to tell you something. Look at the other methods he uses to communicate his needs and interpret them contextually to understand your pet. The next point further buttresses this; attention seeking becomes more urgent the more your pet feels ignored, which may cause him to hit you to get what he wants. 

They are attention-seeking

Imagine your dog making those cute eyes at you, but you have a series of pressing tasks you must get to, and therefore ignore him. He will seek ways to let you know that he wants attention physically, and that may be by tapping at or slapping you with his paw. Sometimes, the little yips, eye contact, and numerous inviting play bows may not be enough to get your attention, so your pooch may not hesitate to get physical. Give your pet enough attention or occupy him with toys to prevent boredom.

Don’t stop petting, please

Your pet can use his body language to ask you not to stop your actions, especially if it is patting him on the head or rubbing his belly. It is no secret that dogs are such suckers for physical touch. If your pet hasn’t had enough, he will put his paw on you to alert you if you stop, but the force you’re construing as a slap may not have been intentional. Again, we are not apologizing for or justifying bad pooch behavior, but this is one way your dog can say don’t stop, please. 

They need or want food

Body language is perhaps the bridge that connects aids and connects man and pet dog. You cannot understand the yips and barks but can instead interpret them contextually. With his body language, you can decipher what your pet needs, so see pawing as one of those communication techniques and consider what he may want you to provide. If you are eating some snacks or something that smells good, your dog may slap you in the face to get in on some; alternatively, he may be hungry. 

They are reminding you of something

Are you forgetting your dog’s daily walk around this time? It is getting late, and you haven’t picked up the leash yet. Congratulations, you just read your dog’s mind if they slap you in the face around a time you and he are supposed to spend together. It could also be when you are missing playtime.

Dogs are creatures of routine; they don’t need to own a watch to remember what you’re supposed to be doing with them. So, even when you get busy, they will remember and remind you. If the slaps disrupt your routine, we suggest you keep reading to find out how to control them. 

They want to show you affection

Have you been going through a downer lately? Chances are your pet senses it and wants to be there for you. Typically, some dogs can read the emotions of their owners through the tone of voice; your facial expressions can also tell them how you feel, making them excellent support animals. 

How can your pet comfort you in this trying period? Well, he can paw at you, not minding if it hits your face because that is what is within his range. Pet dogs can be emphatic creatures who will do their best to comfort you when you’re down. But it is okay if you don’t enjoy this behavior, and we will show you how to discourage it. 

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Slapping Me? 

The best way to stop your dog from slapping you is to discourage the behavior with stern actions and facial expressions. Stop whatever you do that encourages him to hit you with his paws, including responding to him when he does. He needs to understand that the behavior is disruptive or uncomfortable, and you do not appreciate it. You see, pets are chronic repeaters, and what you encourage is what they will get accustomed to. 

You can use that to your advantage by ignoring your dog when he slaps you in the face or any unwelcome part, for that matter. If he is trying to call your attention, there are other ways he can communicate without hitting you, and you can train him to try them. When he is good, don’t forget to give him a treat to encourage him. And this is one of the pet training techniques that does not go both ways.

If your pet doesn’t stop slapping you in the face, you shouldn’t resort to shouting at them because this can cause anxiety in dogs; ultimately, it will worsen matters. As a concerned pet owner, see to it that your dog’s emotional and physical needs are met so that he will not feel the need to communicate by hitting you with his paws.  


Essentially, there are many reasons your dog slaps you in the face, most of which are harmless. If the behavior does not sit right with you, you can curb it through positive reinforcement. However, you need to know what’s causing it to tackle the issue properly. 


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of bulldogpapa.com. Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!