Dogs exhibit a variety of behaviors that, while unusual to us humans, reveal a lot about the dog’s emotional state. Dogs must rely on alternative means of communication because they cannot speak in the same manner as humans, and we must use alternative means of comprehension when interacting with our canine companions.

We frequently observe dogs hiding their faces with their paws, which is a common habit. It’s possible that your dog is merely scratching its face, or that it’s doing so out of worry, fear, submission, or to shield its face. Additionally, it might be a taught habit: Your dog may cover its face again if it notices that you have responded positively to how adorable it is by saying something.

Continue reading to learn more about this behavior, its possible reasons, and several additional customs shared by dogs.

The Six Reasons Why Dogs Cover Their Faces with Paws

  1. Scratching

Your dog’s face may only be itching. Fleas, a blade of grass, or any other object can irritate an animal, and dogs will scratch themselves to relieve their discomfort or irritation in the same way as people do. If your dog is covering their face while scratching as opposed to covering it for an extended amount of time, it should be pretty clear. It is more common for dogs who are prone to tears to want to scratch their faces, so if you notice your dog scratching more frequently than usual, it may be time to check for fleas or mites.

  1. Anxiety

Some dogs are more prone to anxiety than others, and it can have many different causes. An unexpected and inexplicable noise or action may be causing your dog anxiety. It might be anxiousness brought on by a shift in routine or environment. Drooling, panting, destructive behavior, and excessive barking are some other symptoms of anxiousness. Try to identify the source of the anxiety and eliminate it, or do some action to divert your dog’s attention from the source.

  1. Fear

Anxiety and fear can both be triggered by many of the same things. Your dog could become frightened by the noise and bustle during a storm or other severe weather. If you have brought a new dog into the house, one of the dogs may be afraid of the other. This might have alarmed your dog even if you or other family members had been shouting or arguing. Your dog is attempting to ignore the source of their fear by covering their eyes.

  1. Submission

Covering one’s face could be a sign of submissiveness directed at you, another person, or a domestic animal. Rolling onto their backs, stretching out, and flattening their ears are additional indications of submission. Urination can also be one of the unwanted indicators of submission.

  1. Adaptive Behavior

When a dog covers its eyes, it can appear cute, and if you think it’s cute, you’ve probably previously thought it’s cute. If your dog is aware of this favorable response. They may be expecting for the same favorable response by covering their faces once more. Alternatively, if your dog has previously displayed these behaviors in response to fear or anxiety and you have comforted them, given them treats, or provided them with another enjoyable experience, they may be acting anxiously in an effort to obtain more rewards or enjoy more attention.

  1. Protection

Although your pet doesn’t need to worry about being attacked when it sleeps, dogs are particularly vulnerable when they are dozing off. This may occur more frequently in rescue dogs who had a challenging childhood and in dogs who have previously been the targets of attacks.

Do I need to stop my dog from covering its face?

Unless it is causing the dog problems, there is typically no reason to prevent your dog from covering its face with its paws. You should try to identify the root of the issue if your dog is scratching its face rather than merely covering its eyes with its paws. You might choose to overlook the issue if your dog is attention-seeking in order to get them to break the habit.

What Motivates Dogs to Cover Their Face with Blankets?

Dogs used to sleep and rest in dens or other small enclosed areas in the wild. They are reproducing this native behaviour and assuring their safety and protection while they are most vulnerable by burrowing under blankets while sleeping. Due to their breeding for burrowing, some breeds, like Dachshunds, are particularly prone to this kind of behavior. There is no reason to prevent a dog from covering themselves in blankets unless it is affecting their ability to breathe.

Why Do Dogs Rest Their Heads on You?

A dog resting its head on you typically does so out of affection or because the dog is trying to get your attention. It can be subtly reminding you that dinner or a walk is calling. Your dog can simply be alerting you to its presence or it might just want its head scratched.

Why does my dog stare at me?

Another sign of love from your dog is when they fixate on you. Oxytocin is known to be released when a dog looks at you and you look back. The production of this hormone, also referred to as the “love hormone,” can contribute to the formation of a very solid relationship between you two.

Why Do Dogs Turn Around Before Laying Down?

Dogs frequently circle before resting down. It’s not usually a taught activity, therefore it comes naturally or inherently from the dog’s time spent living in the wild. Before lying down, your dog can thoroughly survey its surroundings by turning in circles, which also enables them to assume the safest position possible.


Dogs exhibit a variety of behaviors, many of which have multiple potential causes or explanations and some of which can be challenging to understand. When evaluating the source of any such activity, consider the context and utilize this to determine whether your dog is experiencing anxiety, fear, pain, joy, or contentment.

Your dog can be hiding its face because it wants your approval or it might be terrified of strange sounds it might hear in the distance. It normally isn’t necessary to prevent your dog from hiding its face in this manner as long as it isn’t resulting in harm or any other potential issues.