Dogs Biting Each Other’s Faces: Why Do Dogs Mouth Each Other?

If you’ve ever seen dogs biting each other’s faces or wondered why dogs mouth each other, you’re not alone. This behavior, common during play, can sometimes make you worried because you’re scared it might escalate into aggression.

Today, we’ll explain the reasons behind these interactions, and also teach you how to tell playful behavior from aggression. We’ll look into why dogs bite each other’s mouths and the significance of mouthing in canine play. Finally, we’ll explain how to stop dogs from biting each other’s faces too harshly and how to encourage gentler play among dogs. Let’s begin!

Dogs Biting Each Other Faces

Dogs Biting Each Other Faces

Dogs biting each other’s faces is a behavior often observed during play, communication, or as a display of dominance. While it can seem aggressive to humans, this behavior is usually normal among dogs. Understanding the context and body language accompanying this action is crucial to distinguishing between playful interaction and potential aggression.

Why Do Dogs Bite Each Other’s Mouths?

Dogs bite each other’s mouths as part of their play behavior or to establish social hierarchy. This mouthing behavior mimics how dogs interacted with their siblings as puppies, allowing them to express themselves and engage socially.

It’s important to monitor their body language; relaxed movements and playful barks typically indicate that the behavior is friendly.

Puppy Bites Other Dogs Face

When a puppy bites another dog’s face, it is usually an attempt to initiate play or explore their environment. Puppies learn about the world around them through their mouths, and biting is a natural part of this learning process.

However, puppies need to learn bite inhibition to ensure that this behavior doesn’t become problematic or aggressive as they grow older.

How to Stop Dogs Biting Each Other’s Faces

  • Observe the context of the biting to ensure it’s playful and not aggressive.
  • Intervene if the play escalates to aggression or if one dog seems uncomfortable or scared.
  • Encourage alternative forms of play, such as fetch or tug-of-war, to reduce face-biting incidents.
  • Socialize your dog or puppy properly with other dogs in controlled environments to ensure they learn appropriate social cues.
  • The “Settle” command teaches your dog to calm down on cue. Start in a calm environment. Wait for a moment when your dog is lying down and relaxed, then say “Settle” and give them a treat. Practice this regularly using the command each time. Once your dog starts to associate the command with the action, use it during moments of excitement. Reward them for calming down after hearing the command.

While dogs biting each other’s faces can be a normal part of their interaction, it’s important to ensure that this behavior remains playful and non-aggressive. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior and providing proper training and socialization can help maintain harmonious relationships between dogs and ensure their interactions are healthy and safe.

It’s important to remember, however, that any underlying behavioral issues (aggression, overexcitement, etc.) that were contributing to all of this 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 other dog’s faces 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 your dog biting another dog’s face ever again!

Why Do Dogs Mouth Each Other?

Why Do Dogs Mouth Each Other?

Dogs mouth each other as a form of communication and play. This behavior is a natural part of how dogs interact with one another, stemming from their puppyhood experiences with siblings. Mouthing allows dogs to express various emotions, including affection, excitement, and curiosity, and to establish social hierarchies within a group. Understanding the context and body language associated with mouthing is crucial for distinguishing between playful interaction and potential aggression.

Why Do Dogs Open Their Mouths When Playing?

Dogs open their mouths when playing as a way to engage with their playmates, mimicking behaviors from their time as puppies. This action is part of the exploratory and social nature of dogs, allowing them to interact in a non-verbal manner.

Playful mouthing is usually gentle and accompanied by relaxed body language and displays like play bows, signaling that the interaction is friendly and not meant to harm. Things may escalate at times, though, and knowing the “settle” command will be a big help. Learn it now in the first section.

Dogs Mouthing Other Dogs When Playing: Allow?

Allowing dogs to mouth each other during play is generally acceptable as long as it remains gentle and consensual among the dogs involved. It’s important to supervise play sessions to ensure that all dogs are comfortable and that the play does not escalate into aggression.

Any signs of discomfort or aggression mean that you should intervene to prevent potential injuries.

How to Make Dogs Play More Gently

  • Supervise play sessions closely and intervene if play becomes too rough or if a dog seems uncomfortable.
  • Teach your dog commands like “settle” to control the intensity of play. Learn it now in the first section.
  • Redirect overly excited dogs to calm activities or give them a timeout to prevent overstimulation.
  • Encourage play with toys to provide an alternative outlet for mouthing behavior.
  • Ensure your dog is well-socialized to understand and respond to the social cues of other dogs.

Mouthing during play is a normal part of dog interaction, but keeping an eye on play to ensure it remains gentle and respectful is key to maintaining a safe environment for all dogs involved. Through supervision, training, and proper socialization, you can help your dogs enjoy playful mouthing without crossing the line into aggressive behavior.

I’m sure you’re ready to begin now that you have all of your questions about your dogs mouthing each other answered, so I’ll let you get started on things. Best wishes, and thank you for taking a look at our article “Dogs Biting Each Other’s Faces: Why Do Dogs Mouth Each Other?”.

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.