Why do dogs bite down on blankets? A Complete Guide

Clubs Offering:

  • Puppies separated from their mothers too soon may suck on blankets for comfort.
  • Adult dogs of any breed can enjoy sucking on a blanket or soft toy.
  • Unless the behavior becomes extremely compulsive, it’s not at all destructive.
  • Whenever I get ready to go out, my Portuguese Water Dog runs to our bedroom, grabs his blanket, and carries it downstairs – where he proceeds to quietly knead and suck on it.

    Is this a behavior that dog owners need to be concerned about?

    Puppies are born with an instinct to suckle at their mother’s teats. All things being equal, they are provided with this opportunity and will nurse to their little heart’s content until, at some later stage of development, the mother, in her wisdom, begins to rebuff their attempts.

    Even when the milk supply has virtually dried up, some pups will try for an occasional comfort suckle if they become unnerved by surrounding events. This is an activity that makes puppies feel safe, secure, warm, and comforted.

    Animal behaviorists believe that some dogs that go on to suck on blankets and other objects as adults were deprived of the opportunity to experience enough comfort suckling when they were puppies. The mother dog may not have welcomed them to continue nursing, may have been unwell, or the pup may have been separated from the litter very early and fed from a bottle by a human.

    6 Reasons Dogs Nibble on Blankets

    Biting, nipping, and nibbling comes naturally to dogs. If you watch a litter of puppies play with each other, you’ll notice that they nibble and bite one another in play. If they bite down too hard during play, the other puppy will yelp to let them know it hurt. This is also the way young puppies learn the concept of bite inhibition, which is an important life skill.

    Some dogs outgrow their chewing behavior in puppyhood, while others chew their whole lives. Hunting dogs like dachshunds, pointers, and spaniels are more likely to nibble blankets well into adulthood due to their natural hunting instincts. Large dogs are more prone to destructive chewing than small dogs, but this isn’t because small dogs don’t chew. Owners simply notice the chewing of large dogs more because they can do more damage.

    Any dog who nibbles can develop a chewing habit. It’s a self-rewarding behavior. Once your dog learns that chewing on blankets is fun, he will keep doing it.

    It can also be a calming and soothing activity that helps them calm down. In fact, many owners harness this quality to teach their dogs to settle, particularly with high-energy breeds like border collies or German shepherds who have difficulty finding an “off switch.” The catch is that your dog has to know what is acceptable to chew on and what isn’t. Otherwise, you may find him nibbling your arm in an effort to calm down.

    Why do dogs bite on blankets?

    The majority of dogs who exhibit this behavior were prematurely weaned from their mothers. Since their biological instinct to suckle has been rejected, your pup may have developed the habit to chew and suckle on other objects, including their blankets and bedding.

    Why Does My Dog Suck On Blankets (10 Reasons Explained)

    Many of us rely on coping mechanisms that bring us comfort during times of distress. Some of these habits will even become a part of our standard routine, as they seem to offer us security and joy as we unwind from the day. Our dogs can adopt these same habits as well, and blanket sucking is a common comfort-seeking behavior they turn to.

    If your dog is always sucking on a blanket during their free time, you may wonder what the underlying cause of this behavior could be. We want to help you better understand your blanket-loving canine friend, so let’s break down the most common causes of this behavior below.