Why your dog nibbles on you! (Reasons + Solutions)

why your dog chews on you

Dogs express themselves with a wide variety of behaviors. With our dogs, I have noticed that our dogs nibble on me from time to time. I now wanted to know why my dog nibbles on me, so I researched.

Dogs also nibble on each other. The most likely reason why your dog nibbles on you is a sign of affection or care. It is usually mutual grooming that makes dogs feel good. Your dog probably wants to groom your “fur”; he wants you to be well and strengthen the bond.

Reasons why your dog nibbles on you

Dogs communicate through body language or even by using their mouths.

They show their affection or aversion with a wide variety of behaviors. It is usually considered a positive thing when your dog turns his back on you or nibbles you with his incisors.

You probably did a lot of things right when you were raising your dog.

Nibbling is grooming

When dogs nibble on themselves or other dogs with their incisors, this is sometimes nothing more than grooming.

Grooming in dogs is divided into

  • Self-grooming (own fur care) and
  • bond-promoting grooming with other dogs or humans.


Dogs usually groom their fur when they feel comfortable. Often it is when they are satiated in their dog bed or on the couch.

Grooming their fur also has the aspect of making the dog feel good.

With our Broholmer bitch you can observe this well when she nibbles around in her fur with her incisors and licks herself.

With some dogs, however, it is sometimes so strong and intense that they lick themselves sore. If that’s the case, you should stop him at some point.

Grooming to strengthen the bond

Dogs also groom each other. This is somewhat comparable to monkeys ridding each other’s fur of lice or anything else.

Dogs, for example, clean each other’s ears (not all of them).

Malou, our Cane Corso, always has clean ears because Sansa (Broholmer) always cleans her ears. Sansa’s ears are always dirty because Malou doesn’t do it.

Besides ear care, you can also observe mutual coat care. Dogs nibble each other’s fur. They want to make the other one feel comfortable and build a bond. This is a natural behavior.

The dog accepts humans and cats in the “family” pack and treats them as conspecifics. Therefore, it is not unusual if your dog also nibbles on you to maintain “your fur” and to give you a feeling of well-being.

So you can consider it positive when your dog nibbles on you. He wants contact; he wants you to be comfortable and bond more.

Showing affection/ranking

Besides mutual grooming, careful nibbling on you or other dogs can signify affection.

Often it is also a careful ranking. Then lower-ranking dogs nibble on higher-ranking dogs or you, as the pack leader.

Reasons why your dog nibbles everything

Besides the careful nibbling of other dogs or humans, some dogs chew or nibble everything. Furniture, shoes are lying around, etc. This can also have different reasons:

Dog nibbles out of boredom

If your dog has too little exercise and activity, it can be that he nibbles or even chews everything in front of his snout.

The solution is simple: exercise your dog more and keep him busy. For this reason, it is essential to learn about the breed beforehand and not just look at the appearance.

Dog nibbles due to stress

Is your dog stressed because he must stay alone for 8 hours daily? Separation anxiety can cause extreme stress and be why your dog nibbles everything.

Why does a puppy chew everything

?Anyone who has had a puppy will have noticed that they chew on everything.

Currently, we have a Broholmer puppy that we have to keep everything safe from. If a shoe is lying around, it doesn’t take long for her to grab and chew on it.

Broholmer puppy Arya chews on everything
Arya with a bone

Lack of attention

Puppies quickly realize that if they chew on something, they will get attention fast. So it may be that your puppy is bored and is trying to “educate” you by nibbling on your shoes.

Boredom / Too few exercises

Boredom and under-demand are similar to lack of attention. Puppies need activities too—short walks, their first training sessions, etc.

If you just let your puppy run alongside, they will quickly get bored and look for something to do. This often ends up in them chewing on something.


From about the 12th week, puppies are in change of teeth. They lose milk teeth, and new teeth grow in. During this time, the gums itch; it is somehow unpleasant and gnawing and nibbling on objects should somehow provide relief.

Get your puppy a suitable chew toy* so he can satisfy his urge and leave your shoes or table alone.

You know this from small children who constantly have something in their mouth, even if it is their fingers when the teeth come.


Maybe your puppy is just hungry and therefore chews on everything. The feeding recommendations on the packaging are only rough guidelines. If your puppy needs more than it says, he needs more.

Make sure that your puppy gains enough weight each week and adjust the amount of food if necessary.


One of the ways puppies explore the world is with their teeth. They explore everything possible with their teeth.

Recommendation to keep puppy from nibbling

Offer your puppy an excellent alternative to nibble and chew. There are countless varieties of chewable*.

In addition to satisfying the natural urge to chew, chewable also serve as dental care and employment and are recommended either way.

Conclusion: Why your dog chews on you!

When your dog chews on you, it is often a sign of affection or grooming. Dogs groom each other, and so they may want to groom you too

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*Advertising /Affiliate link – @ Chalabala-depositphotos.com (Contributed image)


I am Marco and I have the pleasure of living with 3 large Mastiff-type dog breeds. I would like to share my dog-related experiences on this blog

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