© Giampaolo Urso
Pawlifts are one of those canine communication behaviors that can have several different meanings depending on context. I liken this cross over of behavioral signals to some of the more confusing aspects of the English language.
Consider “there,” “their,” and “they’re,” as just one example of how a word that sounds exactly the same in each of its spellings, but has totally different meanings.
Pawlifts can be seen as part of appeasement offerings, friendly greetings, and may also appear when a dog is very tense and issuing distance increasing warnings or threats. The context is very important, as is the posture of the dog, and are other simultaneous signals from the dog.
© Barbara Handelman