Although the expression of love is one of the emotions that dogs make by pawing you, it is not always the case. Your dog can also express his hunger, or insecurity by pawing you. He can even place his paw on you when wants your attention. So to be able to read his signs and talk to him, you need to observe a few things.
Rebecca Forrest advises observing the body language of the dog and the situations where he paws you as it will properly assist in decoding his emotions. Suppose you are just rubbing his belly and sitting on the couch, he might show his affection that way. But if your dog has flat ears, he is yawning, or smacking his lips, there is a chance he is having anxiety. Forrest also advises not to feed the dog every time he paws you around food, because this will disturb his health and he might become overweight.