What Does It Mean When Dog Covers Eyes With Paws

We’ve all seen our dogs cover their eyes or face at times. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious what they want, and other times we have no clue what they want. The main reason is that one behavior may have more than one meaning to a dog. It all depends on the context in which they perform the behavior. It can mean something good and bad on different occasions.

One way to make to stop your dog from hiding their eyes if they are stressed is through the use of chewy toys.  I suggest the nearly indestructible assortment of rope toys by Pacific Pub Products, click here for current pricing on Amazon.

So, what does it mean when a dog covers eyes with paws? Dogs cover their eyes with their paws to hide out of fear, show emotion toward you, and submissiveness. It’s simple body language that they use to communicate with us and other dogs. If they cover their eyes during a storm it’s because they’re scared. If they do it when you find it cute, it’s because they want your approval.

As you’ll realize if you spend enough time around dogs, it’s that every gesture and behavior that they do usually have more than one meaning, depending on the context. Every action must be interpreted using the context. If your dog is scared of storms, for instance, try to make him feel protected.

Now, if you want to know how to do this, it’s simple. All you have to do is to read this article till the end. In it, you’ll find out how to know what you’re dog is trying to say and what to do about it. If you want to improve your communication skills with your dog, just keep reading.

He Might Be Trying To Hide Out Of Fear

Dogs usually cover their eyes with their paws out of fear. It can be the fear of storms, fireworks, or even of humans. To them, they feel like they’re hiding, which makes them feel safer. This is why it’s so important to analyze the context. For instance, if your dog covers his eyes with his paws during the celebrations of the 4th of July, you know the culprit.

Now, the best thing that you can do is to try and make your dog feel safer. A natural response that they have in situations like this, it’s to go to their crate and cover their eyes. It’s like when children hide under the blanket during a stormy night. The best that you can do is to get them a bed that feels like a safe haven. Also, do your best to assure them that everything is alright.

So, make sure to pet your dog and try to calm him down. Also, get him a bed that makes him feel safe. A place he knows he can stay until the storm is over. The BarkBox Memory Foam Dog Cuddler is an excellent dog bed. Click here to make your dog feel safer by buying this cuddler on Amazon.

It Can Be Submissiveness

Now, if your dog covers his eye with his paws while you’re telling him off, then he’s likely trying to show submission to you. Every time that you confront your dog about something that he did, he has two choices; confront you back or show submission. When dogs cover their faces, they’re trying to show that they’re submissive and don’t want confrontation.

This is important because it’s the behavior that you want. You don’t want a dog that may attack you when you’re showing him that he did something wrong. You must be able to teach your dog what it’s acceptable behavior and what’s not. This is important for their growth and to a healthy relationship between the two of you.

So, if the context presents any sort of confrontation between you and your dog, or even between your dog and another dog, it means that he’s showing submission. It’s their way to communicate that they don’t want any trouble or fight.

If You Think It’s Cute He’ll Do It To Get Your Attention

Dogs are quite smart creatures. They’ve also been around long enough to know how to manipulate us. Not in a bad way though. This means that they perform gestures that they know will get out attention and approval. As their leader, it’s one of the things that they want the most from you. So, when you smile and make it clear that you love it when your dog covers his eyes, he’ll do it again to get your attention.

Every time that you present a positive response to something that your dog did, he’s more likely to do it again. The reason is that as the leader of the pack, he wants your attention and approval. This is exactly what he understands when you laugh at the things that he did. He wants more of that response, so he does what he can to get it.

So, next time that your dog covers his eyes with his paws when you’re doing something else, he’s probably trying to get your attention. When this is the case, there’s nothing wrong with the behavior. Just be careful to make sure that he doesn’t misinterpret when it comes to other things.

After A Meal It’s Basic Grooming

Sometimes, you may think that your dog is trying to cover his eyes, but he’s actually putting his paws on his face. If after that, he begins to lick or nip his paws, he’s likely performing basic grooming. The best indicator is to notice if he’s doing that after a meal. Dogs are not like cats, but they do some grooming on their own as well.

They may be trying to clean their mouth or their paws. You should also pay attention if the behavior happens in the morning and they try to cover only the eyes. Your dog may have something bothering his eyes like eye gound. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to help him remove it to make sure he doesn’t scratch his eyes.

So, understand this as a clear sign that your dog needs grooming. The best way to help is to get a grooming kit for dogs and get to work. Excess of anything can be terrible for your pet quality of life. The Bousnic Dog Grooming Clippers Kit is the best grooming kit for dogs. Grab yours here (Amazon link).

If He Also Licks His Paws It May Be Something More Serious

If your dog also licks his paws after covering his face, then it can be something more serious. This type of behavior may indicate a problem with their paws. In this case, it’s usually allergies or an infection caused by fungus. When you give your dog a bath, you may not always dry him as well as you should. Certain areas of his body, like his paws, are more likely to develop an infection caused by fungus.

Now, the best that you can do is make sure that you prevent this. Once your dog develops something like this is hard to treat and will take some time to cure. The best thing that you can do is to prevent it by making sure he’s properly dried. Now, the only way to make sure of it it’s to use a hairdryer. The ones made for pets ensure that they’re dry without burning their skin.

So, consider using a pet hairdryer every time you give your dog a bath. It’s not only an easier way to do it but also the most efficient one. The YaeCCC Portable Dog Cat Pet Grooming Dryer is an excellent pet hairdryer. Take a look here (link to Amazon).

It Can Be Both Instinctual And Learned Behavior

By instinct, dogs want the attention of humans. They crave that. They also want the attention of their leaders, which in this case, it’s you. They’re also pretty smart when it comes to learning behaviors that will ensure that they get your attention. That’s why covering their eyes with their paws can be both.

Now, you can even teach your dog to do this on command. The reason to do it is that it’s a great way to form a bond with your dog by training him. With training, you teach your dog to respect you while also spending a lot of time together.

So, if you want to train your dog to do this, encourage him every time he does it. Give him a treat when he does what you want. In this case, covering his eyes. It’s also a good idea to associate it with a sound. If you’re looking for the right dog treat, the PURINA Beggin’ Dog Training Treats is the best one for training. View the reviews and pricing on Amazon.

He May Want To Play

Finally, dogs also cover their eye to signal to you that they want to play. This is directly related to wanting your attention. They cover their eyes to show you that they want to play a game with you.

The best response here is to get the toys and start playing with your dog every time you have the chance. Dogs that play with their owners are happier and lie longer.

So, make sure to have the perfect toy pack for your dog. Let him pick what he wants to play with and spend a few minutes with him. The SHARLOVY Dog Chew Toys is an amazing toy pack. Click to view the pack on Amazon.

My top 5 Anti-stress products for your dog to make them happier and more confident:


  1. Vet Classics Stress Calming Chews (click here)
  2. Vita Pet Life Calming Chews – Hemp Oil Infused (click here)
  3. Sazon Classic Toy Chew for Aggressive Dogs (click here)
  4. PureOptima Calming Treats 120 Soft Chews (click here)
  5. Farm Dog Natural Stress and Anxiety Formula

Final Thoughts

So, this is what means when your dog covers his eyes with his paws. This is important to know, so you can have better communication with your dog. Now you know what he’s trying to tell you.


As a kid, J. Cesar has always dreamed of becoming Dr. Dolittle. When he isn't writing, you can find him supporting his favorite football team or eating ice cream with his best dog-friend by his side. Linkedin Profile, My Website

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