As a dog lover and a dog owner myself, I have seen my dog nibble on me or on my other dogs or other objects. I have seen them do that often. Maybe you have as well. If you have a dog or love to be around them, you may have also noticed that they do nibble on their favorite person or on objects. 

This is actually called Dog Cobbing. This is very different from biting. Dog cobbing is something they do out of affection and is very soft. Biting is something they do when they feel threatened or attacked. This is one of the ways they communicate.

Why do they nibble?

Dog cobbing or Dog nibbling is the gentle biting kind of thing they do with their teeth. They generally try to peel their upper and lower lips back, and with their front teeth, they softly nibble on you. Many people call it cute nibble you, and if you have a pitbull, it is often called “pibble nibble.”

This action is called cobbing because the sight resembles a human nibbling on a corn cob. Let’s figure out what they are telling us when they are cobbing us.

Stimulating milk

Stimulating milk

It has been found that when newborn puppies cob on their mother’s teat, it increases the production of milk. This action of dogs which is an essential part of their development and childhood, becomes an act of affection when they grow up.

Display of affection

We, humans, have our own ways of showing our love and affection. We hug each other and kiss each other to show love. Cobble is the same thing for dogs. They show their love in this way. They cobble at their favorite parent or partner. Even mother dogs cobb their puppies.

Display of dog affection

Do not be worried when they do this to you or your other pets. They only do this to someone they are absolutely comfortable with. It is a symbol of a positive relationship. They do this when they are lying on you or next to you or when they are relaxed.

When they are in a playful mood

Dogs are cheerful creatures. They love to play. It doesn’t matter if they are adults or puppies. This is a very important part of their life.

When the dog is in a playful mood

Dogs tend to socialize through cobbing. They start cobbing when they want to play. Maybe they are craving your attention and want to play with you. And their way of letting you know is cobbing at you.

Asking for attention

If you feel a gentle nibble on your arm or leg while you are doing something on your own and not paying attention to your furry friend, then that can be a reminder for you to give them some attention. 

Asking for attention

They are not biting you, this is just some playful, loving action. Just pay some attention to them, and return their love with a gentle rub or a good ear scratch.

To scratch their body

If they have an itch, they tend to scratch themselves with their teeth. They use a chomping motion for scratching. This is different from the other kinds of cobbing, which they gently do. This can be stronger than the other times.

To scratch their body

Be careful when you see your dog cobbing at themselves. They may be trying to remove some kind of insect or parasite from their body, or it may happen that something is stuck in their fur. If they have something on their body, just remove that, and they will be okay, but if this becomes frequent, then you may need to deworm them.

To relieve anxiety or stress

As humans, we tend to bite our lower lip when we are stressed, I know I do. dogs cobb themselves. this is their way of calming themselves down. As puppies, they gently nibble on their mother’s tits to soothe themselves. it becomes their instinct from their childhood. This helps them to relieve stress.

To relieve anxiety or stress

You don’t have to worry about it if you see your dog nibbling itself once in a while. But this becomes frequent they can seriously hurt themselves. They can break their skin and injure themselves, which can also cause infections. If this is a regular habit for your dog, just give them some soft, playful objects so they can keep themselves occupied.

Is this a healthy habit?

Is this a healthy habit

Nibbling and cobbing are not always bad. But you have to keep a check that this is not becoming something chronic. A chronic behavior like this can harm themselves, or they can harm someone else or some other pets unknowingly. It can help the dog stay calm and composed and be a childhood instinct. If they injure themselves or harm others, that is a matter of concern and needs help.

But cobbing that is induced by petting is mainly a response, as they enjoy the gentle strokes. They will nibble on you in a rhythm, using their front teeth, and would want you to continue the petting. Or there can be another reason that they are nibbling on you. If you have overstimulated them or have gotten them excited while patting them, they might nibble on you to express their emotions.

See Also: How Long Can A Dog Have Worms Before It becomes fatal? Everything you need to know

How to stop them if they are injuring themselves?

Now that you know what is a cobbing dog, let’s get to the things you can do to stop their cobbing. The basic work that you need to do as a dog parent is to determine the reason they are cobbing or nibbling. Then, you can move to the process of rectifying the situation and helping them. 

How to stop the dog if they are injuring themselves

They might have a skin problem and itching to get them some relief. If that is the case, then you need to check for worms. And if needed, deworm them. If they are doing it out of stress and anxiety, then give them some time or figure out a way to keep them out of it.

Is your baby dog is teething? Then give him frozen treats and chew toys to keep them from harming themselves. Keep plenty of chew toys around them so that they do not get bored and one or the other is always around, so they won’t harm themselves.

If you find your dog nibbling on you or other objects, which might be inappropriate, try to redirect their attention towards something else or towards another chew toy. It is important that you give them the toy before their nibbling becomes excessive or becomes a habit. It is important to train them that they should not nibble on someone; they have their toys for that.

Just as we do for kids, reward them when they have done something good, we have to do that for our pets as well. Reward them when they are showing good behavior; it will encourage them to abide by their training even more. 

If they are not nibbling on inappropriate toys, or their partner or parents, and playing with their chew toys, reward them. Praise them with treats and affection and reinforce positive behavior consistently.

Challenges while addressing nibbling behavior

The common challenge that every dog owner experiences while addressing the nibbling behavior is consistency in training their dog. It is important that you train them consistently and continuously to get them rid of inappropriate behavior. 

It is important that the whole family follows the same rules. If one parent forbids them to nibble while the other parent encourages them, your dog will get confused and will not know what to do. Every family member should follow the same rules and the same training technique.

There is one more thing that dog parents face; that is when the cobbing turns into aggressive behavior. If their cobbing gets intense day by day, it is better that you take them to a professional trainer to guide them and manage their behavioral issues. 

Wrapping up!

It is not a very difficult job to keep your dog from harming themselves. Dog cobbing is mainly out of love and affection. Enjoy it and give them company. But from one parent to another, just keep an eye on them. They don’t ask for much. If you see any self-harming behavior, take care of them.

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subhasree nag
Subhasree is a content writer who is passionate about traveling, writing, and reading books. In her leisure time, she is seen listening to music and watching web series. Writing along with music and dance are ways in which she expresses herself.

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    1 Comment

    1. Thank you for writing such an informative post and interesting article.

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