You’re watching TV and suddenly your dog starts nibbling you. It was cute when he was a baby. Now your skin gets sore.
You’re thinking if you should stop the habit. We get you.
Why does my dog nibble on me?
Dogs nibble on us to show affection. It’s also a form of play in animals. Or it might be that they want to explore you. Nibbling during puppyhood might be because of teething. But if it continues to adulthood, it might lead to biting. Your dog may just end up hurting you or someone else.
But to understand this and take action, you need details. If you’ve got minutes to spare, jump right in!
Why Do Dogs Nibble On Us?
It’s not surprising that dogs eat everything. Our pets have curious natures. Dogs like to explore their surroundings with their nose and mouth. Especially if they are little puppies.
They learn about the world by nibbling on people, toys, and other dogs. That’s how dogs try to understand everything.
Usually, gentle nibbling isn’t harmful. But when your dog gets older and the habit persists, it can change to biting.
It may lead them to not being able to differentiate between a nibble and bite.
When dogs play, they bite each other. If one bites too hard, the other yelps in pain and stops playing. The biter will too.
This teaches them ‘bite inhibition’. Which teaches dogs how much pressure will not hurt others.
Dogs can gain this knowledge from socializing with other dogs and people. If your dog gets to socialize, you might have nothing to worry about.
When to Stop Your Dog
Your dog is an adult and still nibbles you and ends up hurting you too. It happens if your dog doesn’t have much opportunity to socialize.
It’s best to take initiative when your dog’s a pup. If your dog starts nibbling, don’t let him continue. Even if your dog huffs at you.
Have a collection of chewy toys for him to chew on.
You should also make initiatives for him to play with other dogs. This will help him understand that biting has repercussions.
If you let him make a habit, he won’t understand how much human skin can handle it. He might end up biting someone else.
Dogs have to be taught that this is not acceptable behavior. It’ll help you to prevent future accidents.
5 Ways to Get Rid of The Nibbling Habit
We know, nibbling looks adorable. It’s hard to say no to our doe-eyed babies. But it’s important for the safety of all.
The earlier you put a stop, the better.
Here are 5 ways you can help your dog stop nibbling.
Solution 1: Chewy Toys
Chewy toys are the best substitute for your dogs to nibble. Whenever your dog tries to bite your hand, change it with a toy. Especially if they’re under 6 months old.
This will help your dog satisfy his teething needs. Give them treats and praise when they choose the toy. You should teach this to your pups early on so they learn early on.
Here are some of our favorite chewy toy sets for your dog:
Not only will your dog be learning, but he’ll have a great time at it. Make time for playing with your pup.
Whenever he tries to nibble any of your limbs, give him a chew stick. He will know that he has better things to chew.
Solution 2: Let them Know It Hurts
If your dog chews on your body, even if it’s gentle, say “ouch!”. Or make whimpering sounds like you’re in pain.
This will help him understand that he hurt you. Dogs learn this quicker with playmates.
Solution 3: Give Them the Cold Shoulder
Do this as soon as they bite you. Move away from them and ignore them for a while.
Or give him a timeout. Place him in his crate or another room without toys. This should teach him what he did is wrong.
If you’re not strong in disciplining, your dog may never learn.
There are many benefits of socializing dogs. Animals that learn to be around others and different stimuli behave the best.
Take your dog to the park. Have him play with other ‘vaccinated’ dogs. Have him interact with other people.
Let him see nature and whatever environment you live in. Exposing dogs to surrounding stimuli can help them learn.
You’ll have a dog that’s smart and mature. And won’t cower at anything new.
Solution 5: Training Programs
This is the last resort. If you’re unable to teach your dog alone, seek help.
There are various dog training establishments and schools. Try to find the best for your dog. Give every effort needed.
Do not abuse your dogs. Or use any physical punishments. This may lead them to bite you harder.
It might also make them afraid of you.
Treat your pet like you would treat your babies. Do not scare pets when you can’t handle them. In the worst situation, leash them and keep them separate from others. Then seek professional help.
Some general precautions should be taken while playing or teaching your dog. They are mentioned below:
- Do not wave your fingers or toes in their face. This can encourage them to bite your limbs.
- Do not discourage them from playtime. Try to build a strong relationship with him. The goal is for him to play gently. Not quitting playing.
- Do not slap or hit your dogs anywhere. These can make them defensive and bite harder. Also, they’ll fear you. Unless you want real aggression, lose this idea immediately.
Here we’ve come to the end of our discussion. We have tried to discuss all the possible reasons, solutions and precautions as well.
Question: Do I have to use food to train my dog?
Answer: No, you don’t always have to use food to train your dog. But it’s the easiest way. Food will help you to get stronger conditioned behavior out of them.
Question: Is crate training cruel?
Answer: No, crate training isn’t cruel. Your dog’s crate will be used by himself when it is unlocked too. It should be kept in a safe place in the house. It’s like how you would ground your child.
Question: How long should I train my dog each session?
Answer: You can train your dog for around 15 minutes in each session. The longer it gets, the more interest your dog loses. If your dog is a puppy or very young, he might get distracted.
That’s all we have on why my dog nibbles on me.
You can get a small spearmint mouth spray. If your dog’s biting you and won’t stop while moving your hand, spray on his mouth. He’ll hate both the taste and spray.
Until next time!