Dog Biting Ankles: Why They Do It + How to Stop!

Dog biting ankles? It’s not frustrating, it’s painful too! Fortunately, this article is here to help you understand this behavior and find effective solutions. We’ll explore the reasons why dogs bite ankles (whether it’s during walks, play, or other activities), and which breeds are prone to biting at ankles.

We’ll cover not only why your dog bites your ankles but also how to discipline, and how to stop your dog from biting ankles once and for all by using commands and also addressing the root cause. Finally, we’ll fill you in on the specific considerations when you have a puppy biting your ankles. Keep reading!

Dog Biting Ankles

Dog Biting Ankles

A dog biting ankles is typically a behavior influenced by natural instincts, such as herding or chasing, or it can be a playful action that has not been corrected. This behavior is common in certain breeds with strong herding instincts and can also occur in puppies as they explore their environment and learn boundaries.

Why Does My Dog Bite My Ankles?

Your dog bites your ankles due to reasons like herding instincts, especially in certain breeds predisposed to this behavior, or as a playful gesture. It can also be a sign of attention-seeking or a response to movement, as quick movements of the feet can trigger a dog’s chase instinct.

Dog Bites Ankles: How to Discipline

If your dog bites ankles, discipline should involve consistent and positive training methods. It’s important to avoid physical punishment as it can make the problem even worse. Instead, redirect their behavior to appropriate activities or toys, and use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior.

How to Stop a Dog From Biting Ankles

To stop your dog from biting ankles, teaching the ‘leave it’ command can be particularly effective:

  1. Start with a treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it, then close your hand around the treat. Say ‘leave it.’
  2. Wait until your dog stops sniffing and nibbling at your hand. As soon as they back away, praise them and give them the treat.
  3. Practice this command regularly, increasing the difficulty gradually by placing the treat on the ground and covering it with your hand.

This command teaches impulse control and helps redirect your dog’s focus away from biting. It, along with consistency and positive reinforcement will help curb the behavior, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (impulse control, attention-seeking, overexcitement, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present.

And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog biting ankles and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about why your dog bites your ankles ever again!

Why Do Dogs Bite Ankles?

Why Do Dogs Bite Ankles?

Dogs bite ankles due to a variety of reasons, including natural instincts, playfulness, and sometimes as a form of communication. This behavior is often observed in breeds with strong herding instincts and can also be a playful action in puppies. Understanding the motivation behind this behavior is crucial for effective training and management.

Why Does My Dog Bite My Ankles When I Walk?

Your dog bites your ankles when you walk possibly due to herding instincts. Breeds with a history of herding are more inclined to exhibit this behavior as they instinctively try to ‘herd’ their human family. It can also be a way for your dog to seek attention or engage in play. Learn a command that will help in the first section.

Why Do Dogs Nip Ankles?

Dogs nip ankles often as a form of play or to get attention. This behavior can be more prevalent in energetic or young dogs who have excess energy to burn. Nipping can also be a way for dogs to express excitement or frustration, especially if they haven’t been taught appropriate ways to communicate.

Why Is My Puppy Nipping Ankles?

Your puppy is nipping your ankles typically as part of their exploration of the world and as a way to engage in play. Puppies use their mouths to learn about their environment, and nipping can be a part of their playful interaction. This behavior is usually outgrown as they mature and learn acceptable ways to play.

Ankle Biter Dog Breeds

Certain dog breeds, particularly those with herding backgrounds like Australian Shepherds, Corgis, and Border Collies, are more prone to ankle-biting behavior. These breeds have a natural tendency to herd and may display this instinct through ankle-biting, especially if not properly trained.

In conclusion, dogs biting ankles can stem from natural instincts, playfulness, or a desire for attention. Understanding why your dog engages in this behavior is important for addressing it properly.

Whether due to their breed’s instincts, a playful disposition, or as a means of communication, proper training and exercise can help manage and redirect this behavior into more appropriate actions.

I’m sure you’re ready to get started now that you have all of your questions about why your dog bites ankles answered, so I’ll let you get going on things. Best wishes, and thank you for checking out our article “Dog Biting Ankles: Why They Do It + How to Stop!”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.