Why Does My Dog Nibble On Me? (2022) 15 Reasons I PETSHORT


Forming a bond together with your dog is probably the most rewarding experiences that comes with unforgettable moments and happiness. But like all relationships, not every single day is blissful, especially when your dog displays frustrating habits. 

For instance, when your canine follows its tail for long periods and barks at sounds only it will probably hear, you get a kick out of it. Nevertheless, there might be habits your dog has that could cause issues or injure other members of the family in your house, like when it likes to nibble or nip at you with its teeth. Why does my dog nibble on me?

In case you want your dog to stop its odd nibbling habit that sometimes hurts you, the goal must be to work out why it’s nibbling on you in the primary place. Whether it’s gnawing, biting, or mouthing issues, there may be all the time a reason which can take some effort to work out. 

Before starting this guide, the very first thing to recollect is that it’s a typical problem, and there may be all the time an answer with proper troubleshooting. The strategy you select will hinge on why your dog is nibbling, which I’ll assist you learn the best way to discover. 

Why Does My Dog Nibble on Me? 15 Reasons

1. Dog Has PTSD

In case you adopted a dog out of your local rescue that had an abusive former owner, there’s a likelihood it’s going to display symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Other sources of doggy PTSD could possibly be accidents, abandonment, starvation, or being left without water. 

Doggy PTSD may cause them to quite a few behavioral issues like being hyper, defecating contained in the home, and being confrontationally aggressive. The one technique to soothe their symptoms is commonly by nibbling or gnawing on you. This habit gives your dog solace, but sometimes it will probably result in biting, which turns this behavior right into a problem if it escalates. 

dog nibbles on owner

2. Weak Impulse Control

Your dog’s inability to manage itself could possibly be an enormous reason the biting and gnawing behavior doesn’t stop. This behavior becomes an addictive habit, and it’s hard on your pet to stop nibbling in your hand or arms each time it sees you.

The excellent news is you’ll be able to train it to stop nibbling and control its impulses. This training is practical and effective whether your dog is a newborn puppy or an adult. Speak sternly to your dog or let loose a yelp each time it attempts to nibble on any a part of your body.

It really works because by letting out a yelp or speaking sternly, you’re signaling to your dog that it caused you to feel pain and that it mustn’t repeat this behavior. After all, this method won’t work the primary time because it’s going to take some repetition on your pup to catch on and let go of an old habit. 

black and white dog with human hand

3. Playfulness

How often do you get home after an extended day within the office, and your dog welcomes you at your front door with a bone in its mouth? Or does your canine walk as much as you when you find yourself sitting somewhere, holding its favorite toy in its mouth while dropping it at your feet? 

If the reply is yes to either of the above questions and your dog starts nibbling to get your attention, it means it desires to play with you. It’s a habit most dogs need to signal they need to fiddle and rejoice.

This behavior has nothing to do with aggressiveness or negative emotions. As a substitute, it means it desires to go outside in your yard or a park to play. 


There may be one body language indicator to look out for to be certain they need to play or only need to cuddle. It could appear to be strange instructions but have a look at the posterior a part of their body until you see the tail. In case you see the tail wagging in every direction or they begin to shake their butt, they will probably want to play with you. 

4. Enjoys the Way You Taste

In case your skin is salty after a hot day within the sun, your dog will like how your body tastes. It should often alternate from nibbling to licking, and it mustn’t be an issue so long as you don’t feel any pain. 

5. Fear

It’s pretty standard for a dog to nibble at you or offer you a tiny bite mark if it’s frightened of you, which happens in the event that they don’t know you. It’s also common in the event that they were in an abusive family before you brought them into your house.

If you may have this experience, there may be an answer, but it’s going to not be easy and can take time. The very best advice I can offer you is to seek the advice of a dog trainer and remember to have loads of patience since it’s price it ultimately!


6. Aggression

Nibbling can turn into problematic when it indicates aggressive behavior and worsens if ignored. For instance, when a dog nips at your arms, it could mean it’s being malicious and providing you with a warning. 

So step one is checking out why it’s behaving this manner before you’ll be able to solve the issue. It’s imperative that you simply do that as soon as possible and hire an authority if you need to. 

7. It’s A Puppy

In case you just adopted a puppy from an area pet store, it’s normal for it to nibble, bite, or gnaw at you until it’s properly trained. They exhibit this behavior after they start teething but additionally do it as a technique to discover their recent surroundings using their taste buds. 

boy with puppy socialization checklist

This practice is a crucial step your puppy must take, so it has firm impulse control during maturity. From 1 to six months old, use this time to coach them in mouthing habits. The strategy you employ to take care of mouthing when your dog is a puppy will mold its behavior into maturity and turn into everlasting.

It’s best to hunt advice from a veterinarian first because there are lots of incorrect ways to do it that you simply don’t need to try. 

8. Investigating

Since dogs don’t have access to the web as we do, the one method canines have to research and research what they need to know is through the use of their sense of taste and smell. Their nose and mouth are great tools for learning about unfamiliar environments. 

Another excuse your dog might want to research is for those who’re wearing an unfamiliar scent that it’s not used to. For instance, you may have purchased a brand new shampoo or gone to your neighbor’s house and played with their golden retriever. Your dog will instinctually sense the unique smell and wish to nibble on you to know it. 

shiny dog nose in focus

9. Showing Possession

Another excuse your dog may be nibbling on you is to indicate other dogs you belong to them. It’s not often an aggressive nibble and is completed softly to let you realize it won’t hurt you. It’s common for some dog breeds to be possessive of their parents and never need to lose their attention.

It’s best to only worry if the possessiveness becomes aggressive and your dog starts acting violently toward others. That’s when you need to put your foot down and train it to simply accept other animals and other people near you. 

10. Comfort

Nibbling is a behavior dogs perform since they were puppies and convey the habit into maturity. It’s a coping mechanism to assist them calm down when faced with a stressful situation. Children have an identical habit because after they feel nervous, they suck their thumbs. 

puppy-sleeping-on-other-dogs-head why does my puppy sleep on my head

Nibbling is reassuring to dogs since it reminds them of how their mother soothed them after they drank its milk, and after adopting them into your house, you replace the mother, which is why they nibble on you. 

11. Teething 

Dogs experience teething after they are puppies, like human babies do after they’re infants. The teething phase will likely be temporary until the teeth finish growing, but some dogs bring the habit into maturity. It’s normal, and this behavior helps them feel relaxed and comforted. 

In rare cases, nibbling is analogous to the behavior of dogs experiencing oral or dental problems, so regular checkups with a vet will discover this issue. 

dog's mouth

12. Anxiety

Depending in your dog’s breed, some are more at risk of being skittish and scared around strangers they never met before. This anxiety causes them to nibble and chew in your finger or hang to calm their nerves. It’s one other coping mechanism dogs use that you could discover quickly for those who know the signs it’s worthwhile to look out for.

The bottom line is to review your pet’s body language and see the way it differs after they feel anxious or nervous. 

13. Oral Problems

Toothaches are never a great experience, and it’s challenging on your dog to inform you in the event that they have one. Unfortunately, the one way for them to let you realize is by nibbling on you or chewing your fingers softly to point it’s going through pain.

As well as, oral issues like cavities, rotting teeth, and periodontal diseases cause extreme pain and leave your dog sleepless at night. In case you don’t take care of this issue as soon as you discover out, the issue could worsen or turn into fatal. Subsequently, it’s best to take your pet to the vet as soon as you see any symptoms for advice and treatment. 

close up of dog's mouth

14. Excitement

It’s common for certain dog breeds, like labradors and pugs, to begin gnawing and nibbling on you after they can’t control their excitement. This is very true for those who are the person closest to them because they’re sincerely pleased to see you. 

So long as the nibbling doesn’t injure anyone, it’s a harmless habit your dog has when it feels thrilled to see people it loves, and there may be nothing to fret about. 

15. Showing Love

Most times, this might be why your dog is nibbling on you since dogs are very affectionate animals for those who’re a sort master. Chewing in your fingers is your dog’s way of claiming it loves you, and that’s why we love them too. 

dachsund licks a person's face

How To Stop Your Dog From Nibbling on You

  • Be Strict: There may be a technique to be firm together with your dog without making it abusive. Say “no” with a severe tone each time it attempts to nibble on you.
  • Time Outs: This punishment works for dogs in addition to it really works on kids. When your dog nibbles, put it in a corner with no attention or affection. In case you repeatedly implement this punishment, it’s going to stop after a couple of times. Remember to extend the length of the trip by 10 minutes each time it misbehaves. 
  • Positive Reinforcement: This method is very effective and essential. When your dog starts to behave and not nibbles on you, shower it with love and cuddles while complimenting it. With positive reinforcement, it learns its lesson through conditioning, so it doesn’t revert to old habits in the long run. 

puppy licks woman why does my puppy lick me so muchpuppy licks woman

Summing It Up

Your relationship together with your dog is consistently evolving, and you’re learning from one another. The bottom line is all the time to search out the reason for every problem so you’ll be able to know the best way to take care of it as quickly as possible.

Also, attending to know your canine more every single day will teach you what it’s worthwhile to do when it misbehaves in your house by nibbling in your finger or if it has a foul habit you need to work on eliminating. Lastly, you need to solve every problem together with your dog firmly while still remembering to indicate it plenty of affection and cuddles to make your bond stronger!

dog licks woman's face why does my dog nibble on me

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