Dog Biting Other Dogs’ Tails: How to Fix This TODAY!

Dog owners frequently encounter behavior challenges with their pets, and one of the more frustrating issues can be your dog biting other dogs’ tails. This behavior is not only disruptive but can also cause serious injuries, that need your immediate action. In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to tackle this problem head-on.

We’ll explore reasons for this habit, effective strategies for curbing it, and steps to take if your dog’s tail is bitten by another pet. Additionally, we’ll discuss how to handle playful situations that might escalate into tail-biting and the dynamic between puppies and older dogs. With this actionable guide, you’ll be able to solve all your issues. Keep reading below!

How to Stop My Dog From Biting Other Dogs’ Tails

How to Stop My Dog From Biting Other Dogs' Tails

To stop your dog from biting other dogs’ tails, we first need to understand why it’s happening. It might be due to playfulness, a dominance issue, or perhaps some anxiety (more on those later). So, let’s talk about how we can manage this using redirection and commands.

To start, we’ll use a method called redirection. Redirection is a simple, yet powerful tool used in dog training. Here’s how it works: the moment your dog begins to show signs of wanting to bite another dog’s tail, you shift their attention to something else. This could be their favorite toy, a treat, or even a different command.

What this does is create a diversion. Instead of fixating on the other dog’s tail, your dog is now engaged with something else. This might take some practice, as you need to catch the early signs of tail-biting intent, such as intense staring or body stiffening. With time, your dog will start to connect the dots — tail-biting equals end of fun time.

  1. Start with something your dog loves. If your dog is food-motivated, use high-value treats. If they prefer toys, use their favorite one. The idea is to make the redirected focus more rewarding than tail-biting.
  2. Try to redirect before they start biting. The key is to interrupt the thought process. This requires keen observation of your dog’s body language and behavior.

Next, we’re going to explore the ‘leave it’ command. This command is a lifesaver, teaching your dog to willingly give up what they’re interested in.

  1. Start by holding a treat in your closed hand. Once your dog stops trying to get the treat and pulls away, say “leave it” and give them the treat. This starts to associate the command with the reward.
  2. Gradually make the task more difficult. Place the treat on the floor and cover it with your hand. As your dog gets better, try it with the treat uncovered. Remember to reward them each time they succeed.
  3. Eventually, practice this command with other dogs present. Start from a distance and gradually get closer. Always reward your dog for successfully leaving the other dog’s tail alone.

These steps will get your dog to stop biting other dogs’ tails, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (dominance, anxiety, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“So, how do I make them stick?”

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 when your dog bites other dogs’ tails 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 other dogs’ tails ever again!

Why Do Dogs Bite Other Dogs’ Tails?

Dog Biting Other Dogs' Tails

Dogs bite other dogs’ tails because of a variety of factors, from playfulness and dominance to anxiety or even medical issues. Understanding these causes can help us address and manage this behavior effectively. Let’s explore these reasons in more detail.


One of the main reasons dogs bite other dogs’ tails is simply due to playfulness. This is especially common in puppies, who engage in lots of physical play as they explore the world and interact with their fellow canines. Chasing, pouncing, and tail-biting are all part of this play behavior. As long as it doesn’t escalate into aggression or cause harm, it’s typically normal and harmless.


Another reason dogs bite other dogs’ tails is to assert dominance. In the dog world, hierarchy is important and some dogs might use tail-biting as a way of demonstrating their dominance or control over others. It’s a form of communication, their way of saying, “I’m the boss around here.”

Anxiety or Stress

Tail-biting can also be a manifestation of anxiety or stress. Just like humans, dogs can display unusual behaviors when they’re feeling anxious. If they’re in a restrictive environment or feeling frustrated, they may bite the tails of other dogs as a way of coping with their feelings.

Medical Issues

In some rare cases, tail-biting can also indicate a medical issue. Dogs with poor eyesight, for example, might mistake tails for toys or treats. If your dog is persistently biting tails and there are no other explanations, it’s a good idea to consult a veterinarian to rule out any potential health concerns.

Understanding why dogs bite other dogs’ tails is crucial to effectively addressing the issue. It allows you to respond appropriately and guide your dog towards better behavior. Go back to the first section of this article now where we discuss how to do that.

Another Dog Bit My Dog’s Tail: What Do I Do?

If another dog has bitten your dog’s tail, it’s crucial to remain calm and take a few key steps to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet. We’ll guide you through the process, from initial care to preventing future incidents.

Assess the Situation

Firstly, safely separate the dogs to prevent further harm. Then, take a moment to assess your dog’s tail. Check for visible wounds, blood, or any signs of pain when the tail is gently touched. Keep in mind, some injuries might not be visible, especially if your dog has thick or dark fur.

Seek Veterinary Care

If there’s a visible wound or your dog appears to be in pain, seek veterinary care immediately. Even minor wounds can lead to infection if not treated properly. Your vet can also check for less obvious injuries and provide appropriate treatment, which might include antibiotics or pain medication.

Report the Incident

If the bite occurred at a dog park or daycare, report the incident to the relevant authorities. If possible, provide a description of the dog and the owner. This can help prevent future incidents and ensure the safety of all dogs in the area.

Prevent Future Incidents

Lastly, consider steps to prevent future incidents. If your dog was bitten by a dog in your neighborhood, consider different walking routes or times. If it happened at a dog park, observe how well the park is supervised and whether there are dogs that consistently display aggressive behavior like snapping at other dogs.

Remember, the most important thing is to ensure the safety and health of your dog. Never hesitate to seek professional advice if you’re unsure of how to handle such situations. Learn about preventing future incidents by going back to the first section of this article now.

Dog Keeps Biting Other Dogs’ Tails During Play

If your dog keeps biting other dogs’ tails during play, it might be a sign that they’re getting a bit too rough. While some tail-biting is normal during play, it’s important to ensure it doesn’t cross the line into aggressive or harmful behavior.

Understanding Dog Play

First, it’s important to understand that dogs often use their mouths during play. This can include gentle nibbling, mouthing, and even light biting. However, if your dog is consistently targeting other dogs’ tails, it might be more about control or dominance than simple playfulness.

Look for Signs of Stress or Discomfort

Pay attention to how the other dogs are reacting. Are they showing signs of stress or discomfort, such as yelping, trying to escape, or displaying submissive body language? If so, it’s time to intervene and give the dogs a break.

Use Positive Interruptions

One way to manage this behavior is by using positive interruptions. If you notice your dog starting to fixate on another dog’s tail, distract them with a toy or call them back to you. Reward them for responding positively to the interruption. This can help your dog learn to self-regulate their play behavior.

Begin Behavioral Training

If your dog continues to bite other dogs’ tails during play despite your interventions, consider seeking help through behavioral training. It can provide you with personalized strategies and techniques to manage and redirect your dog’s behavior during play. Go back to the first section now for more on how you can do that.

Remember, safe and respectful play is crucial for dogs. It’s important to intervene when play becomes too rough or one-sided, to prevent potential injury or stress. A failure to do so could lead to things getting out of control and soon your dog will be biting other dog’s ears, biting other dog’s necks, or biting other dog’s legs, all while refusing to stop.

Puppy Biting Older Dog’s Tail

When you see your puppy biting the older dog’s tail, you might wonder whether this behavior is a cause for concern. It’s common for puppies to explore their environment with their mouths, but it’s also important to ensure they’re learning appropriate behavior.

Why Puppies Bite Tails

Puppies are naturally curious and playful, and biting can be a part of their play and exploration. They are still learning about their environment, and how to interact with other dogs, including what is acceptable and what isn’t. They could even just be teething.

Monitor the Older Dog’s Response

Observe how the older dog reacts when the puppy bites their tail. If they don’t seem bothered and continue to interact positively with the puppy, they may be teaching the pup about bite inhibition and appropriate play. If the older dog shows signs of distress or discomfort, however, it’s time to step in and redirect the puppy’s behavior.

Teach Bite Inhibition

Bite inhibition is an important lesson for all puppies. It’s the dog’s ability to control the pressure of their mouth when biting, and it’s usually learned through interactions with their mother and siblings. If your puppy is biting too hard, it’s crucial to continue this education. Encourage gentle play and provide appropriate chew toys for your puppy.

Begin Training While Young

If your puppy continues to bite the older dog’s tail despite your interventions, it may be beneficial to begin a training program with puppies in mind. They can provide guidance on managing and redirecting your puppy’s behavior, ensuring they grow up to be a well-mannered adult dog. Go back to the first section now where we go over that more.

Remember, it’s key to supervise interactions between puppies and older dogs, to ensure both are comfortable and the play remains safe and positive.

I’m sure you’re ready to see these important changes in your dog, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “Dog Biting Other Dogs’ Tails: How to Fix This TODAY!”

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.