Why Your Dog Likes to Mouth Your Hands

Dog Mouthing
Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian when in doubt.

Do you have a dog that likes to mouth your hands? It might seem like a cute behavior but it isn’t something that you want to encourage long-term. Dogs don’t always know what the right level of pressure is when it comes to mouthing so there is always a potential for an accident if you don’t curb the behavior.

Dog is Inviting You to Play

One of the most common reasons for dogs that like to mouth your hands is due to wanting attention. By mouthing your hands, your dog is wanting your attention to do something fun like initiating a play session. Some people may view the mouthing as an act of aggression but that is often a misinterpretation. When dogs are young, they learn how to play by mouthing their parents and littermates.

Your Dog is Teething

For puppies, they go through a phase when their baby teeth get replaced with adult teeth. This phase can be quite uncomfortable for the puppy and they may start to gnaw or chew more frequently in order to relieve the pain. Discomfort from teething can start when your puppy is about 3 months old.

In this situation, it’s important to teach your dog at an early age that mouthing your hands or other parts of the body is not the correct behavior. Instead of mouthing your hands, you need to redirect your dog’s mouthing to something appropriate like a bone or chew toy. Training your dog early will prevent further chewing problems down the road.

Dog is Bored or Stressed

Dogs may also start to mouth your hands if they are bored or stressed. They might, for example, not be getting enough time outside or not getting enough exercise. Please make sure your dog is getting plenty of attention throughout the day. They are social animals and require a certain amount of interaction to stay happy and healthy. Boredom will lead to unwanted behaviors like this.