Why Does My Dog Nibble On My Neck?

By Coty Perry

Dogs often show affection toward their owners by nibbling or licking their necks. When he softly nibbles on your neck or ears, he is trying to create an intimate relationship with the first member of his pack – you. 

Another common reason dogs nibble their owner’s necks is because they want to play. If he is in a playful mood, he might nibble on your neck in an attempt to get attention for playtime. Nibbling to play is usually a puppy behavior, but some adult dogs still use chewing to get your attention.

You can distract your dog from nibbling by purchasing a chew toy to direct his attention. A chew toy like the Nylabone Power Chew Ring can help him fight the urge to nibble on your neck and can provide him with something fun for him to do.

Why Does My Dog Nibble On My Neck?

Dogs may nibble on your neck for multiple reasons, especially when they are puppies. Nibbling is an instinctive behavior for puppies because that is how they learn to socialize and play. If a puppy does not have siblings around, you will be the receiver of the nibbling. 

Many adult dogs continue to nibble on their owner’s necks to receive attention and show their love for their owner. However, there are other reasons dogs chew on their owner’s necks.

Anxiety or Stress

If your pup is stressed or anxious, he might nibble on your neck. Dogs that experience separation anxiety are more likely to nibble on your neck to show you they missed you.

If your dog is scared of loud noises, other people, or animals, he might nibble your neck to be close because he is stressed. If he chews on your neck due to anxiety or stress, try to do what you can to remove your dog from the situation so he can calm down.

Not Enough Training

Dogs with insufficient training do not know how to behave appropriately, so that they will act however they feel. If your puppy displays frequent neck nibbling, it is wise to train him not to nibble. 

Teach your dog while he is young not to nibble so he does not make a habit as an adult dog. While it is okay for your dog to show affection by nibbling sometimes, it can be a bit much for your dog to chew your neck frequently.

Asserting Dominance

Dogs might assert dominance by nibbling on your neck. Your dog might see himself as the owner of you (and your neck) and chew on it to assert his dominance. 

If this is the reason your dob nibbles on your neck, you will notice him growl or bark when you move your neck away from him. It is essential not to allow your dog to show this behavior, as you could end up seriously injured if he bites you. 

Final Thoughts

Your dog most likely nibbles on your neck to show his love and affection for you. Some other reasons he might nibble on your neck include he wants to play, feels he is dominant, doesn’t have proper training, and experiences anxiety or stress. 

To minimize your dog’s nibbling behavior, consider purchasing a chew toy to distract him from nibbling.

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.