Because of the way we tend to focus in on the eyes and face when we look at someone - dogs and cats included - there's a tendency to put the head of our subject in the middle of the shot when we take a photograph. This means that very often, the feet get cut off and there is a mile of sky above their heads. When creating photographic references, it is important to make sure you get all the information you need - paws included! Sometimes a cropped view can be interesting, but you need to be sure it's what you want. Giving the subject a bit more space gives you the freedom to choose.
So, don't just look at the head of your subject. Look at how the whole body, paws and tail fit within the viewfinder - add a little extra space by stepping back or zooming out if you need to. In the first photo, we have an awkward cropped view. If we wanted to draw the tail, we couldn't! In the second photo, there is plenty of space and all of the puppy's body is in the shot. We are then free to adjust the cropping later if we wish.