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Our dogs can do some things we humans find strange or weird like chewing on their owners’ hair. After all, you probably have not heard of many other dog owners experiencing the same situation!
Most of the time, dogs do things for certain reasons. While their behavior seems unusual to us, our dogs use their body language and actions to communicate with us and other animals.
But what does it mean when your dog bites your hair? What are they trying to tell you?
Your dog might bite, grab, chew, or nibble on your hair because they’re being playful, they might also be seeking attention because they’re bored. They could be showing affection by grooming you, or they like how your hair tastes. You might be encouraging this behavior and if it’s a puppy then they might be teething.
So, let’s dive deeper into the 7 possible reasons why your dog might bite your hair and if the behavior is something to worry about.
Why Does My Dog Chew My Hair?
There can be many different reasons why your dog might chew your hair and we will be taking a closer look at the 7 main reasons why your dog would do so. However, your dog might not do something because of only one reason. It could be a combination of these reasons.
When your dog does something, it’s important to consider their environment and context. This can help you to better understand what is going on in your dog’s mind and find a more accurate explanation as to why they are doing what they are doing!
Reason 1: Your Dog Is Feeling Bored
Dogs can feel bored just like we do!
Imagine being left alone in a house for hours while everyone is at work or school and there’s nothing to do but wait for your owner. It can get boring for sure! It can be super exciting when you get home and then spend some time with them.
Your hair could be like a toy to your dog and if not given a good variety of toys of different textures, they might choose to play with and bite your hair instead. People with longer hair might experience this more than someone with short hair that is harder to reach and doesn’t bounce as playfully around your dog.
Some signs that your dog is bored most of the time include destroying things and going through the trash suddenly. They could even destroy their own bed! If you notice that your pup is doing a combination of these things, they are most likely feeling bored throughout the day.
Reason 2: Your Dog Is Playing
Most dogs love playing! Sometimes they like playing with you or other dogs along with some toys. However, sometimes they might not notice the difference between a dog toy and something that is actually attached to your head!
Your dog might bite your hair because they are playing with it!
Especially for puppies, they might be interested in the way your hair moves or feels. Some dogs also have more energy than others and require more ways to release their energy. If they aren’t given the proper outlet for their energy, dogs might start to do things that we might not want such as destroying furniture and even rolling on the carpet.
Your dog might also want to play because they miss you! Some dog owners are away for hours either at work or doing some chores. Dogs might want to play with you when you’re home, and they would play with anything close to you, including your hair!
Check out this video of a dog that might have some energy to play with their owner:
Reason 3: Your Dog Likes The Taste Of Your Hair
In the same way that dogs might chew on their owners’ hair because of the texture, your dog might bite your hair because they like the taste of it!
Your dog could bite or chew your hair after you take a shower because they like the taste of the products you use such as your shampoo and perhaps the fact that it’s wet. This case is similar to some dogs liking the taste of lotion.
If you notice that your dog only chews or bites your hair after you wash your hair, it is likely that they simply just like the taste of your shampoo. After all, there are so many scents that smell really good to us that we might even want to eat them! It’s important however to not let your dog consume such products in any way since they can cause allergies and even upset their stomach.
Reason 4: Your Dog Is Grooming You
Dogs often groom each other by licking each other. They may also choose to do a little bit of nibbling as well. This mutual grooming is also called allogrooming. They might do this with other dogs that they consider to have close relationships with and trust.
Your dog probably trusts you the most since you are the one who provides them with a lot of love and care. Because of this, they might want to groom you by what seems to be them biting or chewing your hair.
There are different reasons why your dog could be grooming you. Some of those reasons include feeling happier and more relaxed when they groom you.
Reason 5: Your Dog Wants Your Attention
Our dogs love spending time with us! If they could, they would tell us that they don’t want us to ever leave them. After a long day apart, it’s not unusual for your dog to want your attention. They’re just like human babies!
There are different ways for our dogs to get our attention. One of those ways of getting our dogs include biting our hair! After all, who wouldn’t pay attention to a pup chewing on their hair?
How do you know if your dog is looking for more attention? Your dog might hit you with their paw or rub against you. Those are just a few ways for dogs to gain their owners’ attention. Dogs might also do a combination of other behaviors in order to gain your attention if you don’t seem to spend a lot of time with them.
Watch this video of a cute Rottweiler that wants attention from their owner:
Reason 6: You’re Encouraging The Behavior
While we might not realize it, we influence our dogs’ behaviors more than we think. Attention can be more than just spending some extra time with our dogs. Our dogs might see attention as a form of reward as well.
Rewarding your dog for doing something is using positive reinforcement. Many dog trainers use positive reinforcement as their method for training. An example would be how dogs are trained to learn the “sit” command by giving the dog a treat after they sit.
You might be wondering how you could be encouraging your dog to nibble on your hair when you don’t give them treats when they do it. However, treats aren’t the only reward. When you give attention to your dog after they chew your hair, they might see that extra attention as a reward and a motivator to keep doing it.
If you suspect that your dog is chewing your hair because you’re encouraging them unintentionally and you want to stop the behavior, try to not give your dog attention when they do it. You might also want to leave and ignore them for a few seconds or minutes to show that you won’t give them attention when they chew your hair.
Reason 7: Your Puppy Is Teething
It can be really exciting when you adopt a cute, little puppy! Everything they do seems cute. That is until they start teething and chewing on everything they can get their teeth on!
Teething is when little puppies start to lose their teeth and grow their adult teeth. Interestingly, different breeds and sizes of dogs lose their teeth at different times. You might also see some little teeth on the ground when they begin to lose teeth.
During this time in a puppy’s life, teething can be uncomfortable so they’ll start nibbling on almost everything in order to scratch their itching gums, including your hair!
If you want your puppy to stop nibbling your hair because of teething, try providing your little pup with different teething toys. They have different textures like rubber and tougher plushies so that your pup can choose different things to chew! The different options can keep your puppy’s mind off chewing things you don’t want to be chewed on.
Watch this short video of a puppy biting their human’s hair:
Should You Worry About Your Dog Chewing Your Hair?
While it might not seem like it, biting is a way for your dog to communicate with you and with others. Even when biting your hair, there could be many different meanings behind the action, indicating whether our dogs want something or feel something.
Generally, your dog biting your hair is not something to worry about. Every dog is different so some dogs might normally bite their owner’s hair while others never do it. There are different reasons for each dog as well.
However, if your dog is not a puppy and suddenly begins to bite your hair along with showing other unusual behaviors, it is best to speak to or visit your veterinarian. It’s better to be safe than to wait too long in case your dog could be telling you that they are not feeling well.
Knowing your dog’s behaviors can let you know when they are showing their usual behaviors and recognize when something doesn’t seem right. This can be a way for you to know when it’s time to ask for help from a professional.
It’s also completely normal to want to alter this behavior just because you’re not comfortable with it. You just have to be patient while you try to redirect this behavior from your hair to something more chewable!
Those were the 7 reasons why your dog bites or chews your hair!
Our pups can’t communicate with us using words so it is up to us to try and understand the meanings behind their behaviors and actions. That way, we can get to understand our dogs more and why they do what they do. The more we learn about our own dogs’ normal behaviors, we’ll know when we can help them in times of need.
Noting the context and setting of your dog is important since they can do things for more than one reason throughout their entire lives. Our dogs have so many different reasons why they do things and figuring out the reasons why they do those things can help us have happier and healthier relationships with our dogs!