Dogs want and like to nibble almost everything and they will do it occasionally. But, why does my dog nibble on my puppy? It is dangerous and should I be scared? This is one of the rarest and the most interesting variations of the question here. Below we will explain why your dog does this and what you should do about it.
Why does my dog nibble on my puppy?
Nibbling is their instinctive behavior
Why does my dog nibble on my puppy or anything else? The first thing you need to know is that this is their instinctive behavior. Dogs start to nibble one another at an early age. This is done as fun, to play, and also to decrease the discomfort caused by growing teeth. Yes, puppies do have teething issues just like babies. It lasts shorter in dogs and they can withstand the discomfort easier but it is still an annoying issue that causes pain and can be complicated to sort out. As the result, they will nibble and one another.
If a puppy is alone, and you are the only one in proximity, he will nibble you. The best thing you can do in this case scenario is to get him toys for teething. These are not the same as the ones for babies, obviously but they are effective and there are a lot of them on the market.
As you can see puppies start to nibble at an early age but this isn’t something that will stop or end completely. As a matter of fact, most dogs will nibble you or other pets the entire life. There are many reasons why dogs like to nibble their owners and we will touch on one or two reasons later on.
Dogs will nibble a puppy as a sign of affection
Nibbling is common and nothing to worry about. When your dog nibbles your puppy, it is a sign of affection and he likes the puppy and he wants to play with him or to make him more comfortable. He will nibble him around the ears or on the neck. There is nothing to worry about and usually, you can see your dog showing gentle moves and being happy.
Of course in some rare cases, it may look different. If you notice any signs of aggression you should act. This is extremely rare and usually, a dog will move, growl or bark. He will not nibble your puppy.
An interesting fact is that there is no puppy present, your dog will nibble you. The situation is the same. He will nibble you around the neck and ears and he will enjoy it. Yes, he is showing his affection once again and there is no need to worry about it.
It is also possible that he nibbles you in order to tell you ‘’I want to play’’. If this is the case, you should do the obvious thing and you two should play. All dogs need your attention and they want to play with you. This affects all dog breeds and all dogs in general. There is nothing to worry about.
It is worth noting that you should consider when and how long your dog has been doing this. For instance, if your dog did this for years he probably learned that this will give him a reward and he is doing this for this reason only. You can also see that if one dog does this to another dog when he is aggressive the reason is submission. This obviously doesn’t affect nibbling between a dog and a puppy in the way we are discussing but can affect in the opposite way.
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What you should do if your dog nibbles your puppy?
As you may know by now, there is no need to do anything. This is normal behavior and your dog won’t injure your puppy. You can let them play and enjoy each other attention. But, if you still want to eliminate this behavior, you can. There are 3 main things you can do and each one is different so you need to pick the one that works best in your case.
1. Do not encourage this behavior
The first thing you can do is to discourage this behavior. For instance, you can reward your dog every time when he stops nibbling the puppy or when you give him a command and he obeys it. On the other hand, when he nibbles your puppy, do not encourage him to do this. He will continue and he will start doing it all the time.
2. Have a special place for a puppy
It is a good thing to have a special place, a room, or anything similar where your puppy can go and escape from nibbling. This actually works for other dogs as well. A puppy can go there if he doesn’t like nibbling. On the other hand, he may stay and enjoy. Each puppy is different.
3. Redirect the focus of your dog
As you can see, a dog will nibble your puppy and if you don’t do anything about it, he will continue. But, you can give him a toy or a bone and he will stop. In simple terms, you will redirect his focus and you will discourage the initial behavior. This is a simple and effective method that works well with most dogs and in most cases.
It is worth noting that you can use and you should use all three methods at the same time. When combined, the success rate is the highest and this issue will be resolved in a matter of days or weeks. Yes, some dogs are stubborn so they will need a lot of time to change their behavior.
The final word
Why does my dog nibble on my puppy sometimes? There are no a lot of reasons why this may happen. Usually, it is a sign of affection and there is no need to worry about it. But, if you want to change this behavior, you can and now you know how.
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