Since dogs don’t have thumbs, they often discover the civilization making use of their mouths. While many type of dogs learn that world don’t like having actually their wrists nibbled or their clothing pulled on, some dogs continue mouthing people throughout their resides.

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When your dog mouths you, is he being affectionate or aggressive — or somepoint else entirely?

Let’s explore what dog moupoint implies.

Why Does My Dog Mouth Me?

Just like a lot of “why does my dog…” concerns, we can’t really be 100% sure why your dog mouths you. But we can make some great guesses based upon the scenarios roughly your dog’s behavior.

In various other words, we could be able to figure out why your dog mouths you if we look at what happens best prior to and also appropriate after your dog mouths you.

Either somepoint in the environment reasons your dog to mouth you, or somepoint that happens after your dog mouths you rewards his actions — or both.

When human being say their dog is mouthing them, they mainly intend that their dog is putting his mouth and teeth on their body with incredibly bit (or no) press. Moupoint mostly doesn’t hurt and mostly isn’t considered aggressive.

There are generally two different “types” of dog mouthing:

Type 1:Play Mouthing

This form of moupoint is the most prevalent. When a dog greets someone, is excited around playtime, or is amped up around somepoint else, he might mouth at your hands, wrists, or clothing.

Usually, these dogs will certainly jump and also wag their tails. You can feel their canines or molars when they mouth you.

This mouthing is somewhat comparable to the common “jaw wrestling” play style that many kind of dogs reap. Mouthing in this case may be considered a tension release or a game. This is even more widespread in dogs that are conveniently excited and don’t seem to understand what to do with that excitement.

Play moupoint deserve to gain out of hand also as soon as a dog does it incessantly or rises press as he gets even more excited.

When I operated at Denver Dumb Friends League, an animal shelter, we often struggled via young dogs that acquired very excited around their daily walk and mouthed the volunteers. Sometimes, these playful pups accidentally damaged skin on their handlers. Not good!

Type 2:Grooming Nibbles

Far less common is the “grooming nibble.” Some dogs will attempt to groom other animals, their playthings, or even you by gently nibbling via their incisors. This is mostly taken into consideration to be an affectionate actions that a dog does in the direction of someone that he trusts.

You won’t feel a dog’s molars or canines as soon as he’s doing a grooming nibble. These dogs are generally tranquil, not jumping and also wagging their tails prefer the excited play-mouthers.

Most dogs mouth you bereason they’re simply also excited about somepoint. They don’t have actually great manners or great impulse regulate. They recognize that mouthing you gets attention, so they save it up.

As I sassist above, the majority of dogs autumn into the initially category of play moupoint. While this actions is completely normal and is generally not aggressive, it have the right to still be fairly annoying! Let’s look at exactly how to address it.

Should I Let My Dog Mouth Me?

The answer to this question is really as much as you. If your dog just mouths you gently and at certain times, you might not mind this habits. It deserve to be quite endearing for some owners.

However before, if your dog is significant and slobbery and also mouths you all the time, I bet you aren’t a fan of this behavior!

Let’s be clear here: moupoint is not a prominence habits. Dominance is pertained to a dog’s accessibility to a source in a offered situation. Mouthing you has bit or nothing to execute via acquiring a resource, so supremacy is a pretty irpertinent subject right here.

If your dog is not moupoint you in a playful means, however is actually fixated on placing his mouth on you or is placing hard push on you, he can not be play moupoint. He can be giving you a warning bite — and also simply bereason it doesn’t break skin doesn’t intend “he didn’t expect it.”


If you think that your dog could be actually warning you that he’s uncomfortable rather than playing with you in a rude method, it’s time to get aid. You deserve to read all around aggressive dogs below, and it’s best to get assist from a certified dog actions consultant if you’re truly worried.

I’d Like My Dog to Sheight Mouthing Me – How Do I Teach Him That?

While some moderate moupoint can not bvarious other some of you, for others, dog mouthing can be a genuine problem. It can be painful, gross, or even scary — particularly for guests or kids.

Teaching your dog not to do something deserve to be a little bit tricky if we don’t want to streatment, startle, or hurt our dogs, since there’s no way to suppush habits without being a little bit unpleasant for our dogs.

Instead, a lot of trainers choose to focus on teaching a dog to carry out something else instead, and also making that new habits even more rewarding to execute than the original undesirable habits.

My favorite solution for dog moupoint is to teach the dog to greet someone and also play through civilization while holding a squeaky toy.

You deserve to do this by ssuggest giving the dog a toy prior to he starts to mouth human being, then playing via the toy (some tugging is a good start) to remind your dog that he must chomp the toy, not you!


This works wonders for most dogs. They quickly learn that the squeaky toy is much even more fun than people’s arms.

You may additionally want to check out our post on puppy play biting, which overlaps somewhat through moupoint affection, via puppies exhibiting also much less moupoint control than adult dogs!

Common Mistakes When Correcting Dog Moupoint Behavior:

Moving also a lot. Make sure that you relocate the toy even more than you relocate your hands and also feet. Dogs are normally attracted to what moves, so if you flail your arms trying to protect against the dog, your arms come to be interesting.Ignoring the dog once he’s being good. Too regularly, we scold our dogs for being poor and overlook them once they’re excellent. If you capture your dog playing or saying hello politely, reward that good behavior! Otherwise, it’s likely to disappear. If your dog gets a reaction from you for biting your arms and also is ignored as soon as he’s got a toy, he’s going to go for your arms rather.Scolding, hitting, or scaring the dog for mouthing. Many type of dogs that reap play-mouthing actually choose the attention that they gain from it. Scolding your dog regularly works as attention that they favor, also if you’re trying to be stern. If you are stern or scary sufficient, you’re actually likely to either scare your dog or make your dog bite harder. Avoid confrontational training methods once trying to stop your dog from mouthing you.

What if my dog is already mouthing me? And what if he doesn’t like toys? The squeaky toy strategy functions well if your dog hasn’t began mouthing you yet as a preventative measure.

But what if you’re not rapid sufficient to gain a toy to your dog, he starts moupoint at your arm, and also you don’t desire to reward your pup for biting (even if it’s playful) by giving him a toy?

In this instance, you’ve gained two primary options:


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If your dog is mouthing you or someone else, they can (and also should) leave. You deserve to ssuggest stand also up if the dog is little and also won’t pursue your shoes. But if the dog is significant or persistent, go to one more room and cshed the door for 10-15 seconds. This removes whatever reward your dog was acquiring from mouthing you, teaching him that moupoint you doesn’t acquire him anypoint fun. When you come back, come all set with treats so you have the right to scatter them on the ground to distract your dog.

As constantly, attempt to be calm and also consistent. If something isn’t working, don’t store repeating it — attempt to add somepoint else that makes it much easier for your dog. Don’t simply overlook your dog, either. That’s likely to make you a straightforward target!

Treat scatters (ssuggest tossing treats on the floor) are an excellent way to aid calm a dog dvery own and reduce moupoint. It’s ideal to perform this before the dog starts mouthing youso that he doesn’t learn to mouth you to “ask for” treats!

Does your dog mouth you? Do you choose it or wish it would stop? Share your dog’s mouthing stories in the comments!