What does it mean when a dog licks and nibbles you? Get Your Pet Thinking

Nibbling, Mouthing, and Biting Are Not the Same

To ensure we’re on the same page, let’s quickly break down nibbling, mouthing, and biting … because they’re not the same.

  • Nibbling: Often called Corn Cobbing, is gentle chewing with the front teeth (AKA incisors). To stress once more, this does not include the whole mouth … just the front teeth.
  • Mouthing: From the time our dogs are just wee pups, they begin to explore the world with their mouths. As they explore and play, they wrap their mouth around anything and everything — including your hands. While mouthing includes the whole mouth, your dog’s bite inhibition will kick in and they typically won’t apply pressure.
  • Biting: This is a full-mouth chomp and is often the result of fear or frustration. Dogs can bite to protect themselves, their humans, their puppies, their food, or one of their favorite toys. Before biting, dogs typically give some warning signs. They include tail between legs, lowered head, ears down, exposing teeth, and growling. It’s their way of saying, “Back off or I’ll bite you.” You can read more about dog bites HERE.
  • Why does my dog sit on me?

    Your dog’s sitting on you is also a way of marking you as his own. … To your dog,his is not only a means of establishing control, but also a way of protecting you while you are out in the world. Your dog may also simply be trying to show you that he or she loves you.

    Why Is My Dog Cobbing Me?

    A dog will usually cob you to show love and affection. It is essentially a soothing, gentle way of grooming you, not unlike licking. They may also be gathering information about you through the pheromones on your skin that the organ on the roof their mouth can detect.

    Cobbing is also something a dog may do to get your attention, much like nudging your arm.

    Why Does My Dog Nibble on Me? 3 Main Reasons Why your Dog Nibble on You Explained.

    Dogs are one of the best companions a human being can have. They are friendly, loyal, and can understand our emotions. Dogs are a human’s best friend.

    That being said, dogs can also have some other quite odd behaviors that can be endearing at best and gross at worst.

    Many people don’t realize that most dog behaviors we think are “odd” are the way dogs naturally communicate with other dogs and with us.

    One of these odd behaviors is licking and nibbling ears. If your dog has ever nibbled your ear, you have probably thought, “eww gross,” or “that tickles.” Immediately after, you might have asked yourself the question, why does my dog nibble my ear?

    The good news is that dogs exhibit this reasonably typical behavior. Dogs do this as a way of demonstrating their love and affection to other dogs and humans. This behavior indicates that the dog is comfortable around you and accepts you.

    Submissive dogs or dogs lower on the pecking order often do nibbling on ears. Understanding this behavior is a great way to better understand your dog and its personality.

    Keep reading to find out why your dog nibbles your ear and what this tells you about your furry friend.

    As I mentioned, dogs nibble your ears as a sign of affection and love. Whether you enjoy the nibbles or hate them, there is much to learn about your dog’s behavior. One thing is sure.

    Dogs have scent glands on their faces that release pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that communicate information about the dog’s emotional state, health, and more. When a dog nibbles your ear, they leave its scent on you as a way of claiming you as its own.

    This behavior is widespread among dogs that live in close quarters with other dogs, such as at a kennel or in a multi-dog household. Nibbling ears is the dog’s way of establishing dominance over the other dog and claiming them as their own.

    The nibbling behavior can also be a sign of submission on the part of the dog. A dog that licks and nibbles your ear is telling you that it sees you as the alpha dog or leader of the pack.

    This behavior is most common in puppies and young dogs. As they grow older, dogs typically outgrow this behavior and lick your face instead as a sign of affection.

    However, some dogs will continue to nibble on your ear as a sign of affection even as they grow into older and fully grown dogs.

    Many dog owners confuse mouthing and nibbling. These behaviors are both common in dogs, but there is a distinct difference.

    Unlike nibbling, mouthing is a grabbing action that dogs do with their mouth. However, mouthing does not involve the use of teeth.

    Puppies and young dogs often do mouthing to explore their environment. It is also an expected behavior in dogs that are teething.

    Mouthing is not generally considered a sign of affection the way nibbling is. Mouthing can often be a sign that the dog is feeling playful or wants to play, and it can also be a sign of excitement or frustration.

    Mouthing often starts as a fun and playful action when a dog is a puppy. However, as your dog gets older, this behavior can become dangerous.

    If your dog is mouthing you, it is essential to redirect the behavior positively. Allowing your dog to mouth can encourage your dog to bite in the future.

    One of the most common reasons why dogs nibble is playing. If a puppy has ever nibbled on you, this is likely why. Puppies are full of energy and often use their mouths to play with their owners.

    As puppies grow into adult dogs, they typically outgrow this playful nibbling behavior. However, some dogs will continue to nibble during play, even as adults.

    This might seem odd, but dogs like the taste of our skin. Your dog might like the taste if you have sweated recently and there is salt on your skin (e.g. a dog that enjoys licking legs after exercise). Your dog may be nibbling because they like the taste of your ear.

    Believe it or not, dogs can get stressed just like humans. When a dog feels stressed, they may nibble on their skin or their owners’ skin. This behavior is often referred to as “stress licking.”

    If your dog is nibbling on your ear and you can’t seem to stop them, it may be a sign that they are feeling stressed. Try to identify any potential sources of stress in your dog’s life and address it.

    Another reason why dogs nibble is that they want your attention. Since your dog cannot communicate with you, nibbling could be their way of expressing, “Hey, I need this.”

    If you notice that your dog only nibbles your ear when they want something, this is likely why.

    Another reason why your dog nibbles your ear is that they smell something. Dogs have a great sense of smell. It is much stronger than our sense of smell.

    Your dog may be exploring the scent if you are wearing lotion, sunscreen, cologne, or perfume.

    The best reason why a dog is nibbling on your ear is love! If your dog is nibbling gently and not using its teeth, it is likely a sign of affection. Dogs often show their love by licking or nibbling on their owner’s ear.