Paw Preference and Personality in Dogs

by | Jun 9, 2020 | Uncategorised | 2 comments

Did you know that dogs, as humans, have a certain paw preference? Do you want to know if your dog is left- or right-pawed? And do you want to know, if the paw preference is linked to your dog’s “personality”?

In humans about 90% of the population are right-handed. There are many myths about handedness, for example that handedness is linked to differences in individual traits like creativity, imagination, daydreaming and intuition as well as intelligence and personality.  However, as with every myth there is also some truth and therefore there are indeed some hints that there is a connection between handedness and individual differences in certain personality traits.

This seems also be true for dogs: In dogs, individuals who are rather ambidextrous (without a paw preference) react more strongly and with increased stress to potentially threatening sounds (thunderstorms or fireworks) compared to left- and right-pawed dogs. Further, there is also evidence of a connection between paw use and personality traits such as aggressiveness or sociability.

In our study we want to further investigate a possible correlation between paw preference and personality in dogs. Such a correlation can help to better assess the personality of dogs and thus help in the process of finding new owners for rescue dogs, selecting service and sport dogs, or improve everyday handling therefore increasing the well-being of your dog.

For this purpose, we have developed an online questionnaire to investigate a potential correlation between paw preference, impulsiveness, frustration and anxiety in dogs. The questionnaire includes a personality test and instructions (including video tutorials) for 4 small tests to determine the paw use of your dog. Those tests you conduct with your dog at home using some easy household items or dog toys.

Follow this link to the survey:

Participation in our project is highly appreciated and please spread the word.



If you have any questions please contact Tim Simon or Dr. Anjuli Barber

Note: This project has been approved by the University of Lincoln Ethic Committee and are in line with current GDPR guidelines. Still, if you have any general or ethical concerns regarding this study or any doubts regarding compliance with GDPR concerning this study, feel free to get into contact with or