7 Most Common Reasons Why Your Dog Could Start Nibbling On You

7 Most Common Reasons Why Your Dog Could Start Nibbling On You

Author WDF Staff


Every dog owner knows that younger dogs, especially puppies, will explore the world with their mouths. They use their mouths to test different things and to see how they will react. If you notice your dog starts to nibble on you, most probably, you will not understand why this is happening.

Is this normal dog behavior, or does it something bothering your dog? To better understand dog nibble and its meaning, we bring you the 7 reasons why your dog could start nibbling on you.

Why does my dog nibble on me?

Dogs are curious creatures and like to explore the world. While exploring, they will use their mouths to test different things. These things can be different objects, animals, and even humans. So don't be surprised if your younger dog starts to nibble on you. You must understand why he does it and understand if you need to fix this dog's behavior.

WORLD DOG FINDER TIP: Dog nibble is most common in puppies and younger dogs, and if your adult dog starts to do it, there could be some problem that is bothering him.

Here are the 7 most common reasons why your dog could start nibbling on you.

1. Exploring

The first and the most obvious reason if your dog starts to nibble on you is that he is exploring, especially if you own a younger dog. He will try to explore your texture and your smell because this is how dogs gather all sorts of information about the environment.

dog nibble

2. Showing affection

Although it may not seems this way, nibbling can indicate that your dog is showing you affection. If we talk about gentle nibbling that happens slowly, your dog will try to tell you that he is happy and satisfied. We will agree that this is not the best method to show affection, but we cannot get mad at our dogs for it.

3. Teething

In most cases, puppies will nibble on you because they are teething. The same things as it happen with human babies. It also happens with puppies. Their teeth are growing, and they feel discomfort and will want to ease their displeasure.

RELATED: When do Puppies Stop Teething?

The best thing you can do in this situation is to give your puppy a chew toy that will help him eliminate the discomfort caused by teething. If you don't know how to choose the best chew toy for your puppy, this article can help - 3 Best Chew Toys for Puppies (Review)

4. Playing

Dogs are playful creatures, especially younger ones and puppies. They will take every chance they get to start playing with you, and if you notice your dog starts to nibble on you, maybe he is inviting you to play.

Every dog is different, and not all will use nibble while playing, but don't be surprised if they do. They could nibble on you or other dogs and pets during play.

dog nibble

RELATED: When Do Puppy Teeth Fall Out & When To Worry

5. Seeking attention

If your dog is lonely and wants company, he may start to nibble on you to get your attention. This is especially true if you own a high-energy dog breed. These dogs need constant physical and mental stimulation to be happy, and if you don't provide them with enough, you can expect your dog to become bored, and this is where most of the behavior issues arise.

RELATED: How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need in a Day

6. Wanting space

In some minor cases, there has been a situation where dogs started to nibble their owners because they wanted some space. This can happen if you don't allow your dog to have a calm and quiet place where he can rest.

Usually, this will happen in a full house with a lot of people and kids, where the dog will not be able to have a time out. Always make sure that your dog is relaxed and provide him with the opportunity to go to some quiet place where he can rest.

7. Anxiety or stress

Different health issues can bother your dog, resulting in your dog nibbling on you. The most common health reason for nibbling is stress or anxiety. Did something change in your dog routine recently? Did you get a new pet? Did you move to a new place?

These could all be the reasons why your dog is feeling stressed. If your dog is alone most of his day, he may have developed separation anxiety, which is a serious problem you will have to address properly.

If you don't know how to solve these problems, we advise you to seek help from your vet.

RELATED: Can I Keep a Puppy’s Breath Fresh?

Should you stop this dog behavior?

Although there are many different reasons why your dog can start nibbling on you, we advise you to stop this behavior as soon as it happens. At first, this may seem like a cute and fun thing your dog does, but as he ages and if he continues to nibble on you, you will not be so happy.

Your dog needs to understand that this is not what he can do. In the beginning, when your dog starts to nibble on you, you must stop it and redirect your dog's attention to some toy. You should teach your dog that nibbling on you is not allowed but that he can nibble his toys.

It is also important that you reward good behavior from the dog because most dogs will learn best if the treats are included.

If nibble happens because of teething, you should get your dog a chew toy to ease his discomfort, and in case your dog is feeling stressed or anxious, you will have to find what is bothering your dog to help him.

WORLD DOG FINDER TIP: The best thing you can do when the dog nibble on you is to act like he hurt you and say, "Ouch." That way, you can let your dog know this is unacceptable behavior.

World Dog Finder team

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