When a dog nibbles, it is actually to show you their love by a bit of dog mouthing affection or to play a game. Canines, especially young pups, tend to relieve their irritated gums by nibbling on people and toys. This behavior needs to get treated as early as possible, as, in older pooches, it could lead to unwanted biting. Know reasons why does my dog nibble on me and to overcome it, our pet experts come up with a complete guide.
Why Do Dogs Nibble?
Dogs generally nibble on humans as a way of grooming you. Grooming is typically a behavior in pups and a way to show affection towards you. They might also nip on other dogs as a way to play with them or to show dog mouthing affection. Your pup may also start nibbling during its teething phase. Teething is slightly painful for puppies, so they start chewing or biting on you, furniture, or their toys, a way to distract them from their pain.
It would be good for you to buy a teething toy for puppy, or else they will go for your clothes or furniture to nip on. Nibbling is more prominent in puppies as they are at the age of exploring the world surrounding them. While this behaviour isn’t usually annoying, this could lead to those gentle nibbles turning into bites if your dog somehow gets overly excited.
Resons Why Does My Dog Nibble On Me?
There can be numerous reasons why do dogs nibble on you. Some of them are:
- Playing: You might have seen dogs playfully nipping or nibbling at each other without causing harm. It is usually their way of playing and exploring around.
- Aggression: Developing aggressive behavior can also factor in some dogs’ nibbling on people.
- Investigating: Canines have great smelling power, and they use their snouts to examine and explore things around them. They might start nibbling on some confronting objects to investigate it.
- Teething: The teething phase in dogs is as similar as in humans. Sometimes pups might feel pain while teething, and to relieve the pain, they start nibbling on objects present around them.
- Anxiety: When dogs feel nervous and anxious, they start nipping or nibbling on things to cope with their emotions.
- Excitement: Dog mouthing affection is a way of showing affection towards someone your pet loves. They start nibbling when they meet that person or when they get excited to play with them.
Difference Between Mouthing, Biting & Nibbling
While nibbling is a way to chew or bite gently. This behavior generally takes place when a puppy starts its teething phase. And if this behavior does not get corrected in time, your pup can develop a habit of biting, which would be dangerous for you.
Whereas mouthing is considered something when your dog nibbles on things using their whole mouth and teeth but doesn’t apply any unnecessary pressure on the part they are nibbling. They start mouthing when they are excited to play games with you or when they want to show their affection towards you. You might feel their nibbling on you but not chomping with teeth. To avoid their mouthing behavior, you should start by giving them a toy whenever your doggo seems to get too excited. The toy will help them go through their overly ambitious mouthing.
Have you ever think why does my dog bite me when excited? Biting is neither close to nibbling nor mouthing. Your dog biting on things is highly dangerous for people around it. Sometimes their play gets too carried away that they start biting on you. Sometimes their aggression can be a cause of biting. That’s why your canine should be fixed during early nibbling age so that it doesn’t transform into biting behavior later on.
Playful mouthing is utterly different from aggressive biting. An aggressive canine’s body will look stiff, and it would be baring teeth or growling or may wrinkle their snout. Aggressive bites are usually more painful than those mouthing and nibbling during play. You can consult and take advice from your veterinarian for further training them.
How To Prevent A Dog From Nibbling?
#1 Chew Toys
The best way to train your dog not to nibble on you is to give them something that they can gnaw on. You can arrange a substitute chew toy to nip for them. This way, you can stop them from chewing your fingers or other body parts.
#2 Avoid Stress
Sometimes your canine might be suffering from anxiety, and nibbling can be a way for stress release. When the owner is not around the dogs, they might feel bored or neglected, and they might also feel separation anxiety that leads them to nibble or chew on something to relieve the emotion. You can leave some piece of clothing or anything that contains your smell. This way, your dog will not get anxious and stop nibbling.
#3 Ignore Them
Try to show them that you don’t actually like their nibbling behavior either by ignoring them for some time or faking pain after their nibbling. Then your pooch may consider twice or might gently nibble the next time.
#4 Never Punish
Do not physically punish or yell at your canine as it might affect their aggression. Try to understand your pooch’s nibbling behavior. Is it because of stress or because of the affection towards you? Whatever it is, never punish your dog for this reason.
#5 Rewards & Compliments
Praise or reward them whenever they stop nibbling or lick around instead of nibbling. Repeat this until your dog finds out that the reward is good and not nipping and will eventually stop.
#6 Consulting an Animal Behaviourist
It is better to understand your pup’s behavior. They can help you get your perception towards your pooch more clearly, and tell many ways to stop your dog from nibbling.
Nibbling seems cute if it is not done regularly by you doggo. But, unfortunately, it becomes bothersome at some point, so it’s necessary to train your pup not to nibble before it might start to get converted into biting, which is more terrible.