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Is Your Small Breed Dog Left Or Right Handed?

cute dog on a book

Choosing between the Left or Right Paw

Similar to humans, where only about 10 percent of the population is left-handed, dogs also display variations in paw preference.

The question arises: Do our furry companions lean towards their left or right paw?

Understanding Paw Preference in Dogs

Much like humans, small breed dogs exhibit individual differences, but since they can't communicate through words, determining whether they favour their left or right paw isn't straightforward.

Unlike humans, though, there isn't a formal test to determine paw dominance in dogs.

Experts suggest that dogs have a relatively equal likelihood of being left or right-pawed. Interestingly, while some dogs might show a preference for one paw, many remain ambidextrous and display no clear inclination.

Fun Home Tests for Paw Preference

While scientific methods are lacking, there are enjoyable home-based tests that can provide insights into your dog's paw preference.

The Kong Test

One method involves filling an enrichment toy like a Kong toy with food and observing your dog's behaviour.

Pay attention to how many times they use each paw to hold the Kong while eating.

This observation can offer a glimpse into their paw preference.

The First-Stepping Test

Another playful method is the first-stepping test.

As the name suggests, this entails observing which paw your dog places down first when preparing to move.

The paw they lead with during their first step can indicate their paw preference. Research indicates that this test often reveals a preference for the right paw. Conducting these tests at home can provide you with entertaining insights into whether your dog is a "lefty" or a "righty." In conclusion, just as with humans, paw preference varies among dogs.

While there might not be a definitive scientific test, these playful home tests can shed light on whether your furry friend leans more towards their left or right paw.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

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Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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