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13 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Nibbles On Your Other Dog

Why Does My Dog Nibble On My Other Dog

Your dog just finished eating.

But why did they start nibbling on your couch again?

Oh no! 

They’re heading for your other dog.


Now, you may be wondering what triggers your dog to nibble on your other dog (or your neighbor’s dog, or any other dog for that matter).

Read on to learn:

  • Whether you should worry about it or not.
  • 3 questions about this odd behavior answered.
  • 13 possible reasons why your dog nibbles on your other dog.
  • And so much more…

Why does my dog nibble on my other dog?

Your dog nibbles on your other dog because they want something. Nibbling is their way of inviting them to play. Sometimes they also do it to calm your other dog down. Grooming, showing affection, and submission are also possible reasons but consider also being in pain and feeling afraid as factors.

13 reasons why your dog nibbles on your other dog

#1: They want some playtime

“Come with me lil’ sib ‘coz I have something to show you!”

Your dog nibbles on your other dog because they want to play.

It’s their way of asking the other pooch to have fun with them.

Don’t worry, they’re nibbling them in a gentle manner.

Your other dog won’t get bruises.

Sometimes, you might even notice the other pup, nibbling in return.

It is their way of responding to their sibling’s invitation to play.

Although, your presence is still important during this time.

Because sometimes one of them gets carried away.

The result…

One of your dogs bites aggressively. 

Your other dog ends up getting hurt.

Note: If this happens, check your dogs for possible injuries, and don’t let them stay together in one room for a while.

#2: Their way of calming your other dog

Your dog’s act of nibbling your other dog is also their way of calming the other down.

An ultimate doggy love.

According to Psychology Today, dogs can actually recognize and sense what the other dog is feeling. 

Especially if they’re living under one roof.

If they notice their fur sibling being frail, they’ll try to cheer them up by acting all weird. 

Maybe they’ll offer them some toys. 

Or they’ll run around the lonely dog and pretend they’re having fun. 

And yes, they’ll also try to nibble on them. 

#3: Their way of giving a warning

Canines can sense danger in their surroundings.

They can definitely recognize a bad and dangerous person from afar.

The same goes when they sense an enemy dog from a distance.

If your other dog is a new addition to the family, your nib-loving dog might not accept them immediately. 

Using their top-notch investigative skills, they’ll most likely observe the newbie first.

After a few days…

You’ll see the other dog already nibbling their new sibling.

“Oh great! They’re already friends.”

Oops! Not too fast yet.

Your dog could be doing this because they’re giving the other dog a warning. 

Since they don’t know the other dog that well yet. 

They’re also trying to tell them that they’re watching their every move.

Canines will trust their fellow dogs if they already see that they can be their friend.

And living under one roof will then make them feel at ease with the newcomer. 

#4: They are afraid

Take a closer look at your dog. 

Are there times that they looked afraid or frantic?

If your dog spent their younger years without you, you might need to dig a bit about their past.

Research shows that many animals, including dogs, have short-term memories. 

Dogs associate bad experiences with certain things, places, or even animals. 

So if your dog nibbles on your other dog, they may have done something that triggered a bad experience.

For example, your dog may have experienced being bullied before. 

Maybe they used to live in a neighborhood where dogs are aggressive and harsh to other canines.

Pull them out from that hurtful past by training them the right way.

Continue reading: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Suddenly Afraid Of You + 3 Tips

#5: Their way of showing affection

“I nibble you!”

Yes, that can be one of your dog’s love languages – nibbling.

This is just like saying “I love you” to their hoomans.

Canines show their affection in many ways and nibbling can be one of these.

For example, your pooch is nibbling your other pooch while chilling under the sun or watching their favorite animal show.

Then they could be telling the other dog that they appreciate their presence. 

Yes, dogs are already happy with their hooman. 

But having a fellow dog as their other buddy brings a different level of joy.

Don’t be too bothered because if your dog’s nibbling doesn’t hurt your other dog, then it’s most likely good for the two of them.

Check out also: Why is my dog so affectionate in the morning?

#6: They’re trying to be submissive

Your dog is trying to be submissive to your other dog by nibbling on them.

“Oh! Isn’t it the opposite?”

Well, it’s not all the time that your dog acts like a boss whenever they’re nibbling on your other dog.

Sometimes this behavior is their way of showing their submissiveness.

When the other dog is being aggressive, your dog nibbles on them to tell them that they’re not a threat. 

In fact, they can be their friend. 

#7: They want some grooming

“Why does my fur baby keep on nibbling on my other fur baby’s neck and ears?”

Well, that may be their way of grooming the other dog.

Canines are already good at grooming. 

But being the dog that they are, they don’t have the capability of reaching all parts of their body. 

So, your dog brushes off and nibbles that neck and licks those ears of your other dog to help them out.

Don’t be surprised if you see your other dog returning the favor. 

It could be their way of saying “Thank you!” Next! (to be nibbled)

You might also be interested in: 13 reasons why your dog grooms you

#8: They are in pain

“Mommy/ daddy, I feel sick”

Is your dog still a pup? 

They could be nibbling on your other dog because they’re teething and they’re experiencing unexplainable pain.

According to MSD Vets, your lil’ pup will go through this phase for 7 months because that’s the time they’ll finally grow all their permanent teeth. 

The teething occurs from 3 weeks up to 5 months of their age.

They will definitely snack on your other dog.

Especially while they’re within this age range.

There are squishy, nibble-proof toys that you can buy to preoccupy your lil’ pup. Buy them as soon as possible, before your other dog starts complaining.

Warning: Your pup’s teeth are sharper than your adult dog’s teeth. Be extra vigilant every time you notice them being all nibbly. Make them feel that you don’t approve of their actions even if they’re still young, so they won’t take that habit when they grow up.

Further reading: 7 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Chews On Blankets

#9: It’s in their nature

It's In Your Dog's Nature To Nibble On Your Other Dog

“They’re born this way?”


Some dogs, including yours, probably nibble because it’s in their nature.

They’re not doing it with the intention of harming the other dog.

They’re doing it because in their subconscious they were born having to do this to live and survive. 

Nibbling is also a canine’s way to bond with their hooman and fellow dogs. 

And that may be what your dog intends to do.

#10: They want attention

“Notice me! I’m here!”

This time they’re nibbling because they want them to be noticed. 

Canines sometimes have different levels and ideas of fun. 

This is commonly applicable between a male and female dog.

They think they can get the opposite sex’s attention by nibbling gently on their ear or face.

This is normal unless aggressive behavior is involved.

If that happens, don’t let your dog come near your other dog for a day. That forced distance will make them think that what they did is unacceptable.

Reading tip: Why does my dog sit on my lap?

#11: They think it’s fine

Was there an instance that you gave your pooch a treat when they nibbed on the other dog?

Maybe when it was your first time seeing them nibble.

You thought they were hungry, so you gave them a treat or food. 

And yes, they definitely interpreted that simple act of kindness in the wrong way.

Giving them treats while doing things you don’t prefer them to do will encourage them to repeat it again thinking you’re okay with it. 

When they do things you don’t want them to do, and you give them treats just to stop, they would think you’re okay with it. 

They would even think you’re encouraging them.

Nibbling your other dog is one of these things.

You can train them to listen to your commands.

Give them treats whenever they’re not nibbling your other dog. 

You can also use “No” and “Quit” to start off. 

Note: Remember to be firm when you start to teach them these commands. Don’t forget to be clear as well so they’ll be able to grasp your instructions in a clear manner. Be kind to your dogs and be consistent, so you’ll be able to use these commands in no time.

#12: They’re building trust

“I want to trust you.”

Somehow this is also the same as being submissive.

The only difference is your dog may be doing this bit by bit and continuously to accustom themselves to your other dog. 

They are doing it not to gain the other dog’s trust.

But because they want to wholeheartedly trust your other dog.

They are getting a feel of the other dog by observing how they react towards the unwelcomed behavior.

#13: They are jealous

Did you just get a new furbaby to join the family?

Your eldest pooch will most likely feel jealous.

They’ll wonder and have thoughts such as:

  • “You new?”
  • “I’m the boss.”
  • “I got here first.”
  • “Am I not enough?”
  • “Did I do something wrong?”
  • “Mom/Dad, enlighten me please.”

Jealous dogs can act cute until they become competitive at some point. 

If you notice them nibbling on your new furbaby, then maybe you have not given them enough attention lately. 

Maybe you’re too busy with the new one?

Did you forget to do your daily afternoon walks?

Or did you miss their mealtime?

To stop them from nibbling on the newcomer, you must give them the same amount of attention.

Don’t leave the other dog behind or they’ll be upset.

Dogs resemble us in this sense. They have feelings and emotions, maybe even more intense than other animals. So always be gentle and affectionate to them. 

People also ask:

Why does my dog nibble on my other dog’s neck?

Your dog nibbles on your other dog’s neck because they want to play. 

Since your dogs are living with each other, their neck-nibbling behavior is just one of their play tactics. 

According to VetStreet, there are ways for you to tell the difference between play and aggression. 

As a fur parent, you must be prepared to be an intervenor as well, in case things escalate unexpectedly.

If that happens, stop your other dog from causing further damage. 

Nibbling becomes unacceptable if the other dog does the following:

  • Snarls – “Back-off!”
  • Freezes – “Stop!”
  • Stares intensely – “I’m about to snap.”

Why does my dog nibble on my other dog’s ear?

Dogs nibble on your other dog’s ear because they are helping them groom themselves. 

Dogs are ultimate self-groomers but there are areas that are out of reach, like your dog’s ear. That is when your other dog’s nibbling comes to the rescue. 

Their ways of grooming can be:

  • Licking.
  • Nibbling.
  • Brushing out.

These acts are usually done by your dog one after the other. 

Why does my dog nibble on my other dog’s face?

Your dog nibbles on your other dog’s face because they’re fond of them. Nibbling is one of the many behaviors dogs have to show their affection, either to their human or to another canine. 

For example, your dogs are peacefully lying on the floor. Then, one of them starts nibbling on the other. It could be because they’ve appreciated their sibling sitting beside them doing the same activity.