When two dogs are playing through each other, it can be difficult to figure out whether you have to action in and sheight what looks to be aggressive habits. This is specifically true if you uncover that the 2 dogs are biting at each other’s encounters and also mouths when playing.

You are watching: Why do dogs nibble on each other

With the face being a very sensitive location, you might be worried that a dog’s eyes, mouth, and muzzle might involved damage – particularly if you are worried that the face-biting is done as a type of aggression. The great news is, you most likely don’t need to problem.

Why execute dogs bite each other’s faces? Face-biting is a reasonably normal behavior in dogs and also is normally suggests a authorize of play. However, you need to additionally be conscious that challenge and also mouth-biting in dogs deserve to, in some instances, be a mode of aggression so watch for tell-tale indicators both before and also throughout play.

The vital in understanding why your dog might be biting one more dog’s mouth or face (or vice versa) is being able to pick up on subtle behavioural cues and also body language that could show just how the dog is feeling.

Today I wanted to assist burned some light on what it suggests once a dog puts its mouth around other dog’s face. It consists of my view on whether you have to make a difference between a tiny mouthing or nibbling and also grabbing or shaking of the confront and also mouth area.

It provides valuable insight into the reasons why dogs bite each other’s deals with (according to what I’ve researched and also found).

Is it normal for dogs to bite each other’s faces?

If you come throughout dogs biting each other’s encounters, you can assume that it is for among 2 reasons; playtime or aggression. It is entirely normal for dogs to bite at each other’s mouths like this, and offering it is playful, you have to not worry.

Whilst it might be challenging to understand also the distinction at first appearance, an knowledge of your dog’s body language will be able to aid you tell the distinction and decide whether or not it is necessary for you to intervene on the face biting and also mouth grabbing.

What playtime confront biting looks like

The major method that dogs communicate with each various other is with play fighting. This is an important part of any dog maturing because it teaches them just how to use bite inhibition, respect borders and helps them to understand once aggression is and isn’t proper.

This is why more socialised dogs are simpler to train, bereason they efficiently learn their very own ‘social’ abilities from communicating with one another. Actions prefer chasing, wrestling, growling and also face-biting are all part of this harmless play.

What it means as soon as a dog puts its mouth about various other dog’s challenge is usually simply down to play.

It is basic to watch as soon as a dog is biting an additional dog’s face as part of playtime by examining their body language. If both dogs appear to be smiling, leaning right into the activity, bowing to the other dog and appear to be ‘frolicking’ and also ‘bouncing’, you can assume that any confront and mouth-biting is nothing more than harmmuch less steed – or ‘dogplay’!

What aggressive confront biting looks like

There are many type of factors why your dog can be acting aggressively in the direction of one more dog. Several of the many common ones include feeling afraid, feeling territorial, being overprotective over you or an additional human/dog or having actually misdirected aggression.

You deserve to tell face-biting in between dogs is aggression-based by considering some of the complying with signs: the dog is continuously being installed, the dog is being bodily hosted down and also the dog seems to be acquiring bitten about.

Handy Hint: If it’s a actual dog fight happening, below are tips on how you deserve to break it up safely without hurting yourself.

Additional to this, the dog being bitten might begin exhibiting aversion strategies such as yelping, lying dvery own, running to hide behind you or looking away from the various other dog.

Many type of owners explain aggressive mouth and confront biting as a dog grabbing the other dog and shaking them.

If you suspect a dog is being attacked, it is vital to intervene instantly to prevent the threat of dogs gaining injured. Do not step in between them though; many type of owners use the wheelbarrowhead method wbelow you grab your dog’s rear legs and also pull them backwards.

Aggression and also mouth biting might be a result of:

FearPainPossessivenessPrey drive

As owners it’s our responsibility to make certain points don’t gain to this allude prior to it’s as well late, by searching for the indicators where play turns to aggression.

The warning indicators to look out for to signal points are just about to rotate nasty include:

Deep growling and snarling starts.Teeth and gums are on display.Hackles are increased on their backs.Sharp yelps of pain are heard.Staring through flattened ears.

If you see these signs of aggression and blood is noticeable on the face or various other locations of the dog, then you must look to separate both dogs instantly and work on correcting the actions.

How bite inhibition plays into dog challenge biting behavior

If you were wondering why a dog biting one more dog’s face throughout playtime isn’t a cause for worry, the answer is simple: it’s all about your dog’s intelligent ability to regulate the pressure of their mouth.

Undoubtedly, the habitual biting behaviour in dogs is something that is rooted in them from a young age. A crucial ability that a puppy will pick up within their first 12 weeks (through the help of their mom and littermates) is something dubbed ‘bite inhibition’.

Bite inhibition, essentially, describes a dog’s capability to control the force of their mouthing.

Similar to babies, puppies tend to check out the human being with their mouths. They’ll often engage in playfighting via their littermates, and also it is via these formative, early on days of playtime that they will learn bite inhibition.

They will certainly have the ability to watch from various other dogs’ reaction how much biting is as well much, and also from there they will learn exactly how to adjust the force of their confront biting in contexts like playtime accordingly. They will certainly likewise carry out this via their humale owners, including play nose biting.

By discovering an instinctive skill favor bite inhibition, puppies are able to do points prefer carry items in their mouth without breaking them and also play with human beings or other dogs without resulting in them any kind of damage through biting, specifically the face and head location.

They’ll learn to understand also just how to readjust the pressure in which they usage their mouth depending upon the conmessage they’re in. For instance, your dog will not lug a tennis ball in their mouth through the same force they use to chew a bone.

Consequently, if your dog is biting another dog’s confront as component of playtime, there is no should concern around the other dog getting hurt.

This is because your dog will certainly be utilising their skills in bite inhibition to ensure that also if they’re biting the other dog’s challenge, they are not biting it hard sufficient to break the skin or damage them.

Handy Hint: Did you know that many type of world believe the bite force of a Chihuahua to be even more than that of a Rottweiler, however just just how true is this?

How to sheight your dog from biting various other dogs’ deals with and also mouths

If your dog is being uncharacteristically aggressive, it is vital to take them to the vets automatically. Sometimes, a dog could start acting out or being more aggressive than usual as an outcome of an underlying wellness issue.

You can also attempt functioning via a dog trainer in order to curb some of your dog’s aggressive behaviour fads to aid them act more socially roughly various other dogs.

As a short-lived solution, it is worth trying to separate your dog from other dogs where possible and to have them wear a muzzle in public in order to prevent any harm coming to an additional dog’s means if your dog chooses to assault them.


The level of roughreal estate, growling and face nibbling associated have the right to be both puzzling and also concerning for a dog owner, as these behaviours are indicative of both a significant strike and harmless play.

Tbelow are many reasons why dogs bite each other’s encounters. For the many component, it is nopoint more than a little bit of playtime for the dogs connected. However before, it is important to be vigilant and to continue to be attuned to your dog’s body language simply in situation points turn nasty.

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