Why Do Dogs Bite Tires? (+How to Stop It!)

“Why do dogs bite tires?” Ever asked yourself this while watching your dog’s strange antics? In this article, we’ll not only explain why dogs bite tires, but also how you can put a stop to this potentially dangerous behavior.

We’ll also dive into why dogs chase tires and look at what’s going on in their minds when they’re attacking your tires. And if you’ve ever wondered whether your dog could actually puncture a car tire, we’ll answer that too.

Finally, we’re going to go over whether it’s safe for dogs to chew on tires. Keep reading for all of this information below!

How to Stop My Dog From Biting Tires

How to Stop My Dog From Biting Tires

To stop your dog from biting tires, a consistent approach with positive reinforcement training, including learning the “Leave it” command, is crucial. This behavior is often due to your dog’s prey drive, curiosity, or boredom.

By understanding your dog’s behavior, implementing training and redirection techniques, establishing boundaries, and providing mental stimulation, you can effectively treat this potentially hazardous behavior.

  1. Understand the Behavior: Your dog biting tires might be because their prey drive is being triggered by the motion of the tires. It could also be due to curiosity or even boredom. It’s crucial to understand why your dog is displaying this behavior to effectively address it.
  2. Training and Redirection: Here’s a brief guide on teaching your dog the “Leave it” command:
    1. Hold a treat in both hands. Open one hand and let your dog sniff the treat. Say “Leave it” and close your hand if the dog tries to take it.
    2. When your dog stops trying to take the treat and pulls away, say “Good” or “Yes” and give them the treat from the other hand.
    3. Repeat this process until your dog consistently reacts to the command. Then, try it with the treat on the floor, and eventually, near tires.

    Remember, if your dog responds positively to the command, reward them with a treat or praise. This reinforcement helps them associate good behavior with positive outcomes.

  3. Establish Boundaries: Train your dog to understand that certain areas, like the driveway or garage where tires are located, are off-limits. This might involve leash training or using pet gates to restrict these areas. Consistency is critical, as dogs respond well to routine and clearly established rules.
  4. Mental Stimulation: Often, dogs bite tires due to boredom or a lack of mental stimulation. Engage your dog in regular playtime, provide them with plenty of toys, and ensure they’re getting sufficient physical exercise. Puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys can help keep them mentally stimulated.

These steps will get your dog to stop biting tires, but you need to remember that the underlying behavioral issue (prey drive, anxiety, territoriality, etc.) that was causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address that, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes 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 tires 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 tires ever again!

Why Do Dogs Bite Tires?

Why Do Dogs Bite Tires?

Dogs bite tires due to their predatory instincts, the thrill of the chase, or behavioral issues like anxiety and boredom. While this behavior may seem harmless, it can pose risks for the dog. Therefore, understanding the reasons and addressing them properly is important.

Predatory Instincts and the Chase

One of the main reasons dogs bite tires is because of their inherent predatory instincts. Dogs, especially breeds with a high prey drive, might view a moving tire as a form of prey. The movement of the tires triggers their chase instinct, and they respond by chasing and biting the tire. It’s a form of play for them, with the tire acting as a large, moving toy.

Anxiety and Boredom

Another potential reason dogs bite on tires can be related to behavioral problems such as anxiety or boredom. If a dog isn’t getting enough physical and mental stimulation, they might resort to biting tires as an outlet for their energy.

Additionally, some dogs might bite tires as a response to anxiety. For these dogs, the act of biting on tires can be a coping mechanism, providing them with a temporary sense of relief from their anxious feelings.

Danger and Risks Involved

While it might seem like harmless fun for the dog, biting tires poses numerous risks. They could be hit by the vehicle, or the tire could harm their teeth or mouth. Additionally, if they manage to bite off a piece of the tire, they could swallow it, which could lead to serious digestive issues or blockages.

Addressing Tire-Biting Behavior

To deal with this behavior, ensure your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. Training can also be effective, teaching your dog commands such as “leave it” or “stay.” If anxiety is the cause, calming techniques may be necessary. We explained each of these things in more detail in the first section.

Understanding Tire-Biting in Dogs

In conclusion, dogs bite tires due to various factors, including predatory instincts, lack of stimulation, and anxiety. Recognizing these triggers and addressing them with appropriate measures, like providing sufficient exercise and mental engagement, as well as training, can help curb this risky behavior.

It’s important not to let shows of aggression like this go unchecked or the behavioral will just get worse. You’ll see your dog being dominant and aggressive towards other dogs, or maybe towards other people in the home like your roommate or your husband. They’ll probably even get aggressive with your neighbors.

Dog Attacks Tires: What’s Happening?

When a dog attacks tires, it’s usually driven by their natural predatory instincts, curiosity, or even boredom. This behavior is triggered by the movement and noise of the tires, which stimulates the dog’s chase instinct.

Let’s delve into these potential reasons more deeply and explore why dogs might engage in this potentially dangerous behavior.

  1. Predatory Instinct: Dogs are descendants of wolves, a species known for their strong predatory instincts. This ancestral lineage means that dogs carry many of the same instincts, even if they aren’t necessary for their survival in a domestic setting. The rapid movement and noise of tires, particularly on moving vehicles, can engage these instincts. The tire takes on the role of “prey” in the dog’s mind, leading them to chase after it and exhibit what we perceive as “attack” behavior. This can take various forms, ranging from a high-speed chase after a moving vehicle to an actual attempt to engage physically with the tire through biting.
  2. Curiosity: Dogs, in their essence, are naturally curious animals. Even mundane objects like tires can capture their interest. The unique texture of the rubber, the round shape, and even the smell of tires — all these can prove intriguing to dogs. When they attempt to investigate these unfamiliar objects, it can appear as if they’re “attacking” the tires. This is merely their way of interacting and understanding the world around them, similar to a toddler exploring their surroundings.
  3. Boredom: Dogs require mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Just like humans, they can fall prey to boredom if they aren’t getting enough stimulation. If your dog doesn’t have a sufficient amount of toys to play with or isn’t getting enough exercise and mental stimulation, they might turn to other objects to occupy themselves. In such situations, tires can become an enticing “toy” for them to chase, paw at, or bite, translating to what we see as “attacking” the tires.
  4. Protective Behavior: Dogs can be fiercely protective of their territory and their family. In some cases, a dog might perceive tires (especially those attached to moving vehicles) as a threat to their home territory or to their loved ones. In an attempt to “protect” their space or their family, they might display what looks like aggressive behavior towards the tires. This is an instinctual response to what they perceive as an invasive presence. You may also see your dog pee on the tires.

In conclusion, a dog attacking tires is typically an instinct-driven response, sparked by curiosity, boredom, or protective behavior. It’s important to manage this behavior appropriately since it could present a danger to both the dog and those around them. If you’ll go back to the first section now, we explain the steps you need to take.

Why Do Dogs Chase Tires?

Dogs chase tires due to their innate predatory instincts and the excitement from the movement and noise of tires. However, it’s crucial to discourage this behavior due to the potential dangers involved.

Predatory Instincts

Much of a dog’s behavior can be traced back to their ancestral instincts. In the wild, the sudden movement of a potential prey item often triggers a chase. Cars, with their moving tires, can simulate the same experience for a domestic dog. The spinning movement of the tire stimulates their predatory instincts and triggers a chase response.

Excitement and Novelty

The noise, size, and speed of a moving car or bicycle can also excite a dog. The sudden onset of these stimuli creates a novel experience that many dogs find intriguing, causing them to chase after the tires. This fascination can become a form of play, with the dog running after the moving object for fun.

Herding Behavior

Certain dog breeds, such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, have strong herding instincts. These breeds were selectively bred to manage and control the movement of other animals. They may perceive the motion of the tires as something to be “herded,” leading to chasing behavior.

Dangers of Dogs Chasing Tires

While a dog might find chasing tires to be an exciting activity, it is hazardous and can result in severe injuries or even fatalities. They risk getting hit by the vehicle or hurt by the spinning tires. Additionally, the dog’s fixation on chasing cars might cause accidents if drivers swerve to avoid hitting the dog.

Preventing Tire-Chasing Behavior

The best way to stop a dog from chasing tires is through training and providing enough physical and mental stimulation. Teaching commands such as “leave it” or “stay,” ensuring they get ample exercise, and using positive reinforcement can be effective. We explain how to do these commands in the first section of this article.

In conclusion, dogs chase tires due to innate instincts and the excitement of the chase. However, it’s essential to curb this behavior due to the significant risks involved, using effective training and adequate mental and physical stimulation.

Can a Dog Puncture a Car Tire?

Yes, it is possible for a dog to puncture a car tire. The strength of a dog’s bite can potentially pierce the rubber of a tire, especially if the dog is of a larger breed with a strong jaw. However, such instances are quite rare.

Let’s delve deeper into the factors contributing to this possibility and how to mitigate the risk.

  1. Dog’s Bite Force: Dogs can have a substantial bite force. For instance, breeds like the Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and Pit Bull are known for their strong jaws, capable of exerting over 200 pounds of pressure per square inch. With this much power, they can potentially bite through various materials — including the rubber of a car tire. However, remember that this would be an unusual occurrence as car tires are robust and designed to withstand considerable force.
  2. Tire Construction: Modern car tires are designed to be resilient and to withstand various road conditions. They are made from a combination of rubber compounds, fabric, and steel wiring to ensure durability and stability. This construction helps resist punctures from various objects, including a dog’s bite. However, tires can become more susceptible to punctures when they are old or worn out. In these cases, the weakened structure of the tire might be more prone to a dog’s bite.
  3. Behavioral Aspect: Dogs that chew on tires usually do so out of curiosity, boredom, or territorial instincts. Typically, they would gnaw, bite, or scratch the tire, which does not necessarily lead to puncturing it. In rare cases where a dog has an intense fixation on biting and chewing tires, the possibility of a puncture could increase, especially if the dog has a strong jaw and persistent behavior.

In conclusion, while it is theoretically possible for a dog to puncture a car tire due to the strength of their bite, it is an unusual and rare occurrence. It is crucial to discourage this behavior as it can pose a significant risk to the dog’s health and safety. If your dog is frequently biting or chewing tires, go back to the first section now where we’ll explain how to help.

Can Dogs Chew on Tires Safely?

Dogs cannot chew on tires safely. Chewing on tires presents several health risks to dogs, including tooth damage, gastrointestinal obstruction, and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Chewing Tires Can Lead to Tooth Damage

Tires are made of hard, sturdy rubber, designed to withstand heavy loads and rough road conditions. While some dogs might be attracted to the texture and toughness of tires, the hardness can damage their teeth. They may suffer from cracked or broken teeth, which can cause significant pain and require veterinary intervention.

Potential for Gastrointestinal Obstruction

As a dog chews on a tire, they may inadvertently swallow small pieces of rubber. These pieces can accumulate in the stomach or intestines, leading to a potentially life-threatening condition called a gastrointestinal obstruction. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and abdominal pain. If you suspect your dog has ingested tire rubber, seek immediate veterinary care.

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Tires are manufactured using a variety of chemicals, including heavy metals and petroleum-based products. While these chemicals contribute to the tire’s durability, they can be harmful or toxic if ingested by a dog. Prolonged exposure can lead to various health issues, from digestive problems to more serious conditions like cancer.

Safe Alternatives to Tires

There are safe alternatives available for dogs that enjoy chewing. Look for durable dog chew toys made from materials designed to withstand aggressive chewing without posing a risk to your dog’s health. These toys come in various shapes and sizes, mimicking the texture of a tire without the associated dangers.

In conclusion, tires are not a safe chew toy for dogs due to the risk of tooth damage, gastrointestinal obstruction, and chemical exposure. It’s best to provide your dog with safe, suitable chew toys that cater to their need to chew without posing any health risks. You should also teach your dog the “leave it” command, which we explained in the first section.

I’m sure you’re ready to quit worrying about your dog biting tires all the time, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “Why Do Dogs Bite Tires? (+How to Stop It!)”

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.