If your dog has been nibbling on blankets, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog nibble on blankets? Likely reasons why your dog nibbles blankets are that it likes the feeling or that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.
There are a number of possible reasons why your dog nibbles on blankets and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
7 Reasons Why Dogs Nibble on Blankets
If your dog seems to be nibbling on your blankets frequently, you fo course are wondering why. Here are seven of the most common reasons.
Your dog is in pain.
Pain is usually a short-term issue. Puppies who are teething will chew on everything and anything to numb the pain in their mouths. This pain can be eased by offering frozen chew toys or a wet facecloth to chew on.
Some dogs also suffer from allergies and nibble on blankets as a way to relieve their suffering. Similarly, an injury can also cause your dog to seek comfort through blanket nibbling.
Figuring out the source of pain and relieving it will often stop your dog’s nibbling behavior.
A common reason dogs suck or nibble on blankets is that they were prematurely weaned from their mothers. Puppies should remain with their mothers for at least eight weeks after birth, but this doesn’t always happen for a variety of reasons. It’s not always an owner’s fault that this happens; occasionally, it’s completely out of anyone’s control.
That said, there are certain behavioral problems that can arise in puppies who were prematurely weaned. They’re not harmful to your dog, and with a little extra effort on your part, you can do the teaching that your puppy’s mother couldn’t.
In the case of blanket nibbling, puppies instinctively suckle their mother, so when mom’s not there, they find something else to suckle on. A soft blanket is often the next best thing.
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.
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