Wolf Park Ethogram: Pawing
What? To extend or wave the paw, using it to touch another or stroke the air in front of another.
Why? Pawing can be seen in many different contexts. These include but are not limited to greetings, courtship, eating and general deference/submission. However, it has also been seen to be used in an exaggerated, obnoxious fashion.
Both Kanti and Bicho raising their paw at each other.
It also seems to be a form of play or a way to pester another wolf into play.
Timber putting her paw on Wotan. He was very patient with her.
One of our past wolves Dharma is a great example of this. She would often get Wotan in trouble from his brother Wolfgang, who was also her mate. It almost seemed like she enjoyed pestering Wotan, while Wotan did not appreciate it at all:
Dharma puts her foot on Wotan. Ordinarily “giving paw” is a submissive or friendly gesture, but it can also be used obnoxiously. Imagine shaking someone’s hand REALLY HARD, or giving them a lot of hearty back slaps. (explanation courtesy of Monty Sloan)
More pawing and application of feet. Wotan displays an agonistic pucker but doesn’t move. Movement often encouraged her more.