Dominance. Hunger. Thirst. Signs of Affection. Do all of these motives be the reason your dog has a tendency to nibble?
Dogs have a variety of reasons for chewing on their owners’ paws, for example, the display of dominance, to inform them that they’re thirsty or thirsty, or to show love. Mouthing and nipping is a behavior that dogs will typically cling to since it is a reflection of their ancient habits of the wolf pack’s structure and is a way to assert dominance and show affection. Be aware, if not available to nibble, the scent you leave on your socks or shoes could be a scent that your dog can’t ignore!
If you’re looking for an absolute response to the forever-running question “why does my dog bite me and bite me?’, then this is the most important article you’ll ever look at.
It’s just one of the numerous potentially irritating behavior patterns that dogs may develop. Although you might think that nibbling is cute (after all, it’s how your dog displays affection and is able to explore new textures and tastes) but the reality is that your dog’s behavior might be engaging in nibbling that could result in more problematic behavior in the future.
Before we dive into the rules and regulations of nibbling, we need to give you a heads-up…
Knowing why your dog eats is just a tiny part to the overall puzzle. However, learning to keep your dog’s chewing in the bud (no no pun meant) can be accomplished by first teaching your dog to manage their feelings.
Pups Nibble…That’s What They Do
It’s not necessarily negative. Dogs are all prone to nibbling as puppies. It’s normal and the way of communication they use. However, they must be kept under control or it may become a problem as the puppy grows into an animal!
The Importance of Socialization
This is why it’s crucial to get your dog socialized from the beginning of their early puppy days. Interacting with littermates can assist a puppy in learning to relate biting to discomfort. Through the interaction with littermates will a puppy learn to control bites or to alter the bite from one that is painful to one that attracts the attention it wants from its intended target (hence the nibble). If a littermate is dominant, it will result in the pup increasing the force of its bite. If the puppy does not learn in the beginning the fundamentals of bite inhibition, you could be in for issues in the future. Angel, our dog Angel is a rescue dog from a shelter and the dog was a snapper. He would bite our hands repeatedly until we decided to enroll him in an exercise class. In the class, he yelled at an German Shepherd, who bit him , and cured him of his regular biting and snapping. It was proof for me that bite control can really work!
Some Nibbling Should Be Corrected
It is possible to think that the act of nibbling is something to be ignored by puppies but that’s not the reality. Although you may not believe it, but your dog is trying to prove its superiority over you your owner by chomping at the table. Similar to you are the head of the pack of wolves Your dog is trying to find you as its leader (dogs remain in the hierarchy of a pack). If you allow the chewing, your pet could continue to increase the amount of its bite and display its authority. Incorrecting this behavior could make your dog more prone to nibbling or, even more threateningly, your dog may bite you when it matures! This is certainly a pattern you shouldn’t continue to engage in!
Something to nibble on
The best method to train your dog to not nibble at your bodily parts to offer her something she can bite on. As you play with your pet when she is nibbling on you, you can substitute with a chew toy for her to chew instead of you, suggests The Animal Humane Society.
While you play with your pup, do not let her chew your hands. Instead, offer her suitable chew toys to play with and then encourage her to chew on them for doing so. This will teach her from an early age that eating on your own isn’t appropriate, however playing with toys is.
Avoid punishing nibbling behaviors
If you want to teach your dog that eating isn’t ok the best method to teach them is to not reprimand or ignore the behavior. Do not be angry with your dog, or make physical contact with your pet. This can easily escalate playful behavior to fully aggressive behavior.
In the event that you’re wondering “but my dog nipped someone,” then it might be time to speak with an animal behaviorist in order to assist in preventing this kind of behavior.
Set the Rules and Think Like a Dog!
Remember that you decide the rules and it’s not the dog! It is your responsibility to establish limits and boundaries for your dog to be regular. Beginning with each nibble , you should say, “No!” Then make a loud yell as if you were a puppy who was being bit. Retract your attention and avoid your dog for around 30 minutes. Make sure your dog is calm before resuming your playtime. It is important that everyone involved with your puppy follows the same pattern in case they are bitten. This is the way his mom and the other pups would react to help teach the puppy the right way to behave So being constant is essential until your puppy is aware of that distinction!
Send in the Toys!
Another option to reduce the niggling is through the introduction of new toys in time of play. So, your dog will get a good outlet from toys instead of your hand. A lot of attention and praise should be paid to your dog whenever he’s eating his toys to create a positive connection of his behavior with that toy (which rather than your hand, becomes the object of desire).
Before you take any other action I highly suggest taking a look at this Dog Calming Code from Dan Abdelnoor on The Online Dog Trainer. (see the video below)
I’m sure that if you take the time to watch the video, note down your thoughts and apply the method of training Dan offers in this extraordinary course, you’ll amazed by how fast your dog’s obnoxious, unwelcome eating habit will soon be an era out of your life.