Researchers Reveal Dogs Can Be Right or Left-Pawed

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Is your pooch a lefty or a righty? Find out with the help of this simple test.

Dogs are not called “man’s best friend” for nothing. Scientists have discovered numerous ways in which our pets are alike to their owners, from their appearance to gut flora and even their very DNA. Now, we can add one more thing to the list we share with our four-legged companions: laterality. According to, not only that our furry besties do favor one paw over the other when performing tasks, but you can easily find out which club your pooch belongs to- lefties or righties.

If you haven’t been paying attention to which paw your pupper uses to open the pet door or grab their favorite toy, not to worry. To test their preferences, simply bribe them with something they like- same as you’d do in any other situation. The best way might be to place some yummy treats inside a puzzle toy and watch to see which paw they’re using to claw those nom-noms out. Additionally, you can opt for a Kong toy filled with peanut butter, a tried-and-true classic that doesn’t fail to motivate any canine. And that’s it! It might sound too obvious, but it’s all in the observation. Simply put your pooch in a situation where they’ll be compelled to use their paws and reveal their preference.

And, if you’re wondering why this is important, science has the answer for this, too. When you look at research results from various lateralized brain function studies, there are many peculiar possibilities to consider. For instance, one study theorizes that left-pawed dogs might be more susceptible to stress and anxiety. Their right-handed furry fellows, on the other hand, might have a better immune system according to another study. It seems that there are no coincidences when it comes to your pet’s preferred paw!

Potentially, being able to determine which paw your pet favors could tell experts which hemisphere of their brain is the dominant one. In turn, this information could help them tailor their training for best results or predict which role they’ll be suited for, like service dogs or police K9s. Pretty paw-esome, you’ll agree!

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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