“I have a 4-week-old beagle puppy, and I am facing many issues with his biting behavior.”
“I have no clue why he is doing this thing. I knew puppies have teeth and nips, but I think the situation is going out of control.”
Many dog parents have to deal with such situations when their puppies are teething. If your dog is not trained, they will continue to do the same thing as they grow up.
So, what you can you do? You can read this article to solve your problems.
We have elaborated on all possible reasons why dogs try to do this, how to get rid of such problems, how to know it is playful mouthing or aggressive biting, and many more.
Are you ready?
The reasons why your dog nibbles your nose
We have come up with eleven possible reasons for nose-biting behavior in dogs. You can go through and know your dog’s reason now.
He is asking for more attention.
Whenever you are too busy doing household work or watching a movie, your dog will try to get your attention by biting your nose. It is his way of communication.
He will either bark at you or bite on you to seek attention. And, they know when they bite your nose, you will immediately react to his action.
As a result, your cute furry friend will act in this manner if he believes you are not paying attention to them.
He is thrilled
Whenever your dog is overstimulated, he will tame to eat your nose. This is because it makes him happy, and so he shares his happiness with you in the form of biting your nose.
Have you ever noticed that when you come home from a long office hour, your dog jumps and nibbles at your nose?
This reveals that he is pleased to see you after a long time apart, that he wishes to be with you, and that he loves you.
Maybe due to improper training
Lack of proper training can encourage dogs to bite your nose. You never taught them that biting your nose is not good behavior. Thus, he tends to bite whenever he wants.
Is he teething?
A puppy’s teeth will start to develop when he reaches two months old. This period is called teething.
So, when your puppy starts growing new teeth, they start exploring this world with the help of their mouth. Teething is painful. You will see their gums will become sore.
They experience pain in the same way we do when teething, and to get rid of itching and pain, they start chewing and nibbling everything.
Thus, they tend to bite your precious nose.
So, be a responsible parent and try to assist them in alleviating their suffering.
What can you do about that? You can get them feasible rubber chewing toys or puppy teething rings. Frozen chunks of carrots will also help to reduce their pain.
It is an instinct.
Dogs are accustomed to exploring the world through their noses and mouths. It is their natural instinct to do so. They may end up biting your nose as a result of their exploration.
It is prevalent if your dog is young. Don’t worry. He is not biting because of any issues; he is just trying to interact with you.
However, it is important that you help eliminate this behavior. And teach different ways to interact with you.
You are responsible for this.
Dogs love attention. They want their master to always take care of them and spend time with them.
Sometimes we tend to encourage our puppies and dogs to behave in the wrong manner just by paying attention to them.
Have you showered extra attention when they bite your nose?
Well, you may react in such a way that they feel you do like his nose-biting action. As a result, they will tend to repeat.
So, unintentionally you just motivated your dog to behave in this way.
We know this was not your intention, but you have to understand that your every action and reflex is important for your dog. And, his behavior will undoubtedly depend on your reaction.
He is bored and wants to play.
When playing with other puppies, have you noticed them biting at each other’s necks? This is their behavior to initiate play.
And, when your pup comes near you to bite your nose, he is trying to tell you that he is bored. He is asking you; please play with me, my master.
The behavior is quite apparent in them when they are young, and if they do not learn the proper behavior, they will exhibit the same behavior as adults.
As a result, his cute little nibbles will turn into powerful bites in the future and can hurt you.
They like your salty nose.
We know dogs biting on your nose seems gross. But your skin contains a combination of oil and salt. You may not be able to taste the flavor. But your dog likes its taste.
When your dog bites your nose, they will either try to investigate something on your face or just lick your nose to taste the flavor.
They are grooming you.
A mother licks or nibbles at her puppy’s fur as part of her grooming process. Eventually, the puppies will imitate the mother’s behavior.
So, when your dog comes to nibble your nose, he is simply trying to groom you. It shows their affection.
Trying to tell you
Sometimes canines nibbling your nose also indicates that they are trying to tell you something.
It can also mean that they don’t like what you are doing. If you notice, they look angry while doing this.
During this time, you must take a step back. If he becomes agitated, he may growl and can also attack you.
So, it is better to stop doing whatever you are doing.
This is likely to happen when you take a selfie with your dog, and they bite your nose because you got too close.
This indicates that they are uncomfortable with your behavior and do not want you to continue in this manner.
In canines language, it is called muzzle grabbing.
Are you wondering what that means?
Well, rather than resolving a disagreement, muzzle-grabbing behavior serves to reaffirm a relationship.
A more confident dog will muzzle-grasp a less confident one, so asserting its social standing. The muzzle hold will not be resisted by the latter.
It is a kind of discipline behavior that dogs teach each other when they cross their line.
They are trying to help you.
According to research, dogs can understand human emotions. Even though you may not express how you feel, they can still get how you feel.
Sometimes, when you feel low after coming late from the office because of your boss. They can figure out that you are not feeling good.
In order to cheer you sometimes, they will softly bite your nose. It is not rude behavior. They are trying to console you and tell you that they are always there for you.
Aww, isn’t it cute your dogs love it so much?
Well, when dogs are young, this type of practice is acceptable. However, you must train them to quit behaving in this manner, or you risk severely injuring your nose when they grow into adult dogs.
If you want to save your nose from your dog, check the next section on how to prohibit nose-biting behavior.
How to stop this?
Let us help your dog to eliminate bad behavior and encourage them to grasp good habits.
As discussed earlier, sometimes, we unintentionally encourage our dog to build awful behavior because we pay attention.
So, one way to get rid of a nose-biting habit is to ignore it. When you ignore them, they will stop doing this.
Redirect his energy
Another thing that can help you get rid of that behavior is redirecting their energy.
You have to shift your focus. When they come close to nibbling your nose, simply give a toy to divert attention.
Positive reinforcement always works.
Whenever your dog comes to lick your nose, simply get away from him. Then again, come back to him. If he still licks your nose, do the same. If it is possible, try to shift to the next room.
And when he stops biting you, please give him a treat and compliment him right away. It will teach your dog that biting your nose is an undesirable behavior that he should avoid.
If nothing works, you can seek assistance from a dog trainer.
When dogs are pups, learning behavior is simple since they are open to altering and adapting to nature. Therefore, it’s better if you start their training when they’re still young.
Also, trainers know all the appropriate methods to train your dog. It will help them learn the correct behavior, which will last forever.
Socialize him with other dogs
If you don’t have other pets at home, you can take your dog to other dogs. It helps to become polite and gentle.
Note: Ensure that the other dogs are all vaccinated and well behaved.
You can also enroll them in daycare. As a result, your dog will be less inclined to play roughly with you.
Shower your love and spend some quality time with them
As you know already, dogs can also bite your nose because of a lack of attention and boredom. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior because of it, try to spend quality time with your dog.
You can go for a walk together, play together or buy interesting toys and have fun.
Don’t use negative reinforcement tactics.
Scolding, beating, or not giving food for wrong behavior will not work for your dog. It may make them aggressive and stubborn. Therefore, always avoid negative reinforcement.
Instead of verbally attacking your dog for biting your nose, make it clear that biting your nose hurts you. You can say “it hurts” or make sounds like “ouch.”
Pretend to cry a little to show your dog that you are upset. It will help and send the message that he should not repeat this behavior.
How can I know if my dog is being aggressive when biting my nose?
To understand that your dog is not doing playful mouthing and biting you aggressively, you have to concentrate on their body posture.
Your dog’s body language is essential; it helps you determine whether he is scared, angry, happy, or bored.
Thus, when he bites your nose, make sure to observe his body language.
If you see his body is stiff, his ears are pinned, or if you witness his muzzle wrinkled, he is making a short lip and a hard eye, it is a true sign of aggression.
What to do if my dog bit my nose badly?
Sorry if your dog biting your nose turns out to be an unfortunate event.
The best solution is to meet your doctor if the wound is deep. However, if it is a regular scratch, you can also take home treatment. Follow the listed below steps for that.
Step 1: Do not panic. Try to be calm.
Step 2: Wash the wound with warm water and mild soap.
Step 3: Try to control bleeding with the help of a clean cloth.
Step 4: If you have any antibiotic cream, make sure to apply it after cleaning the surface well.
Step 5: Apply a sterile bandage.
Step 6: Keep changing the bandage, and in case the wound turns into swelling, redness, or pus, then immediately talk to your doctor.
When you go to the doctor, he will also clean the wound, remove the pus, apply antibiotic cream, and prescribe you antibiotic pills for infection.
He will also ask a list of questions such as
- When did your dog have his last vaccination shot?
- Was the dog provoked, or was it unprovoked at the time of the bite?
- Do you have any health conditions? (If you suffer from diabetes or a liver problem, you may experience severe health effects from infection)
Well, that’s a wrap!
The act of a dog biting its master’s nose can convey a lot of meaning. Like it can mean he wants your attention, trying to tell you something, he is going through a teething phase, or he wants you to play with you.
Biting nose behavior can lead to severe accidents if you don’t teach them to control the force of mouthing.
Therefore, you must redirect their energy, try to get professional help, and use chewing toys as positive reinforcement techniques.
If you know any other exciting method to get rid of this behavior, we would love to hear it from you as well.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.