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View Full Version : NIBBLING - AFFECTION, NOT DOMINANCE



Lady'sman
09-20-2000, 07:49 PM
My Lady was not dominant: Thor was. But she frequently nibbled on him, and occasionally on me. (My shirt sleeve - but it hurts like the dickens when she accidently gets some skin!)

It's rather rare behavior among dogs, but is a grooming technique, not unlike that seen in some other social animals, like apes and chimps. The grooming indicates care and affection in all cases.

Beware of Animal Behaviorists: some are accurate in their evaluation of behavior, others obviously are not. If your experience with your animal disagrees with what their books, etc., state, the chances are they are wrong. Not always, but frequently enough that consulting several opinions on a specific behavior is adviseable.

Sudilar
09-20-2000, 10:15 PM
My Shiloh not only nibbles on Killian (the dominent one) but also cleans his ears and face for him. Is this a motherly action? She is not his mother. She is almost 3 and he is 6 1/2.
Su

teena
09-21-2000, 09:08 AM
Both of my dogs (male & female) groom each other all the time! They clean each other's faces every morning - it is hilarious to watch. Also, my male dog tries to groom my husband. He thinks he's a mama dog.

carrie
10-09-2000, 07:46 PM
Hi,
To see face grooming just look at pups. They learn the behaviour to get food but as they grow in a pack situation it is a very important social skill.
Nibbling with the front teeth is very painful to human skin and can hurt for some time, but it is affectionate. If only we had nice thick fur to cushion it!!