Why Does My Dog Bite My Hair? (+How to Stop It!)

“Why does my dog bite my hair??” Sick of asking yourself that all the time? Don’t worry, in this article, we’ll answer why dogs seem to love biting and chewing our hair so much and more importantly, how you can stop your dog from doing so.

We’ll dive into the reasons behind this odd behavior, covering not just why dogs bite your hair but also why dogs lick your hair, all the way to why puppies might be especially attracted to your locks. We’re also going to discuss why your dog might be grooming your hair like you’re one of the pack!

And for those of you who are dealing with a dog biting your hair while sleeping, we’ve got you covered. So if your dog has a fascination with nibbling your hair, keep reading below!

How to Stop Dog From Biting My Hair?

Why Does My Dog Bite My Hair?

To stop your dog from biting your hair, you can redirect their attention, use training commands like “leave it”, offer them chew toys instead, and discourage the behavior immediately when it happens.

Let’s take a closer look at these strategies:

  1. Redirection: When your dog tries to bite your hair, divert their attention to something else. This could be a toy, a treat, or any other distraction. The goal is to break their focus on your hair and engage them in a different, more acceptable behavior.
  2. Training Commands: Training commands such as “leave it” or “no” can be highly effective. Consistently use these commands whenever you catch your dog attempting to bite your hair. Remember, patience and consistency are key when it comes to training your dog.
  3. Chew Toys: Dogs often bite or chew due to teething or as an outlet for their energy. Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys can give them a more suitable outlet for these urges instead of your hair.
  4. Discourage the Behavior: The moment your dog starts to bite your hair, discourage the behavior immediately. This could be through a calm but stern “no” or by standing up and moving away. This sends a clear message that biting your hair leads to an end in playtime or attention.

These will get your dog to stop biting your hair, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (overexcitement, dominance, 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.

“Well, how can 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 when your dog bites your hair 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 your hair ever again!

Why Is My Dog Biting My Hair?

How to Stop Your Dog From Biting Your Hair

Your dog biting your hair is likely a form of social interaction or play, a grooming instinct, or it might be associated with teething in puppies. Understanding their specific triggers can help address this behavior effectively. However, it’s important to teach them to not engage in this habit, as it could potentially lead to harm.

Social Interaction or Play

One common reason dogs bite or nibble at their owners’ hair is as a form of play or social interaction. Dogs, especially puppies, explore the world around them using their mouth. Biting at your hair may simply be their way of interacting with you. They might also view your reaction as a fun game, which encourages the behavior.

Grooming Instinct

Dogs naturally groom each other as a form of social bonding and to show affection. If your dog is biting your hair, they might be trying to groom you, demonstrating their care and affection. This is more common in dogs that have formed a strong bond with their owners.

Teething in Puppies

If you have a puppy that’s biting your hair, it could be associated with teething. Puppies go through a teething phase where they feel an urge to chew on things to alleviate the discomfort of their growing teeth. Your hair might be a convenient target for them during this period.

How to Discourage the Behavior

While the hair-biting behavior can seem harmless or even endearing, it could potentially lead to harm, such as accidentally biting your skin or damaging your hair. Training your dog to stop this behavior involves redirection, positive reinforcement for desirable behavior, and consistency. Go back to the first section now where we explain more.

Allowing it to go on gives your dog the idea that it’s okay and then it will only become more frequent. You’ll soon find your dog biting your face, biting you on the nose, biting your ears, or even biting people who come to visit. No one wants any of that, of course, so it’s important to get working with your dog right away.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Hair?

Your dog licks your hair as a sign of affection, a grooming instinct, or because they like the taste of your hair products. Although it can be a sign of bonding, if it becomes excessive, you may need to discourage this behavior to maintain a healthy human-dog relationship and prevent any potential issues.

A Sign of Affection

Dogs often use licking as a way to show affection to their pack members. In a domestic setting, this behavior often extends to their human family. Your dog may be licking your hair as a means of expressing their love and affection for you. It’s a social behavior rooted in their instincts.

Grooming Instinct

Dogs groom each other as a form of social bonding and care. If your dog is licking your hair, they could be trying to groom you, showing their bond and comfort with you. This behavior is common among dogs that have a strong attachment to their owners.

Attraction to Hair Products

Sometimes, your dog may be licking your hair because they are attracted to the taste or smell of your hair products. Shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products often have strong, attractive scents that may entice your dog to give them a taste.

Addressing Excessive Licking

While occasional hair licking might not be harmful, excessive licking can become a nuisance or even lead to issues like hair matting or ingestion of harmful substances. If your dog’s hair licking becomes a problem, consider training methods to discourage the behavior. (We explained those in the first section.)

Why Does My Puppy Bite My Hair?

Your puppy bites your hair due to their natural instinct to explore the world around them with their mouths, a phase of teething, seeking attention, or playing. It’s crucial to teach them acceptable behaviors early on to prevent this from becoming a habit as they grow.

Let’s dig into these reasons more:

  1. Exploration: Puppies are naturally curious and they explore their surroundings through their sense of taste and touch. Your hair, with its unique texture and movement, can be particularly enticing for them. They may bite your hair just to understand what it is and how it reacts when they interact with it.
  2. Teething: Puppies go through a teething phase where their gums can be sore and uncomfortable. This can lead them to bite or chew on various things, including your hair, to alleviate the discomfort. Chewing during the teething phase can be compared to a human baby using a teething ring.
  3. Attention-Seeking: Puppies may also bite your hair to get your attention. If they notice that biting your hair results in immediate attention from you, they are likely to repeat the behavior. They crave your attention and interaction, and even a negative reaction can be seen as reinforcement for the behavior.
  4. Playful Behavior: Puppies can be very playful and they may view your hair as a toy. The movement of your hair, especially long hair, can trigger their play instincts. It’s a bit like a cat being drawn to a ball of yarn. They see the hair moving and their instinct is to pounce and play.

Knowing why your puppy is biting your hair is the first step in addressing the behavior. Positive reinforcement, consistent training, and plenty of appropriate chew toys can help guide your puppy towards better habits. For more help on training your puppy not to chew on your hair (and other things), go back to the first section now.

Why Does My Dog Groom My Hair?

Your dog grooms your hair as a sign of affection, social bonding, or instinctual behavior, based on their natural pack dynamics. However, if this behavior becomes excessive, it may require redirection to prevent any potential issues.

A Sign of Affection

Dogs frequently use grooming as a means of expressing their affection for members of their pack, which includes you as their owner. If your dog is grooming your hair, it’s very likely that this is their unique way of demonstrating their deep affection and attachment to you.

This behavior could be considered similar to a human giving a hug or a pat on the back, it’s an action that signifies love and care. They may view you as a significant member of their pack, and this grooming behavior is essentially an extension of the pack mentality that dogs have inherited from their wild ancestors.

Social Bonding

Grooming is not merely a practical activity for dogs; it is a social activity with much significance. Dogs groom each other as a means of social bonding, to reinforce their social connections, and maintain the hierarchical structure within their pack.

If your dog is investing time in grooming your hair, they are essentially trying to solidify their bond with you and reinforce the social connection they share with you. This grooming act is a symbol of social closeness and mutual trust.

Instinctual Behavior

Some breeds of dogs have a particularly strong grooming instinct. This is a trait they have inherited from their ancestors who used grooming as a critical way to keep the members of their pack clean, free from parasites, and in overall good health. Your dog might be grooming your hair owing to this inherent desire to keep their pack – that includes you – clean, neat, and well-kept.

Addressing Excessive Grooming

While an occasional grooming session by your dog on your hair can be a sweet and harmless demonstration of their love for you, excessive grooming can potentially lead to complications. This can range from your hair becoming matted or even the accidental ingestion of hair products by your pet, which could lead to health issues.

If you notice that your dog’s grooming behavior becomes too excessive or obsessive, it’s advisable to gently redirect their attention to other appropriate toys or activities while also employing training techniques. We explained how you can do all of these in the first section of this article.

Dog Biting My Hair While I’m Sleeping

If your dog is biting your hair while you’re sleeping, it could be due to a variety of reasons including seeking your attention, their natural curiosity, a way of self-soothing, or their playful behavior. It’s important to address this behavior with training and by setting clear boundaries.

Here are some detailed explanations of these reasons:

  1. Attention Seeking: Dogs might bite your hair while you’re sleeping to seek your attention. If they have learned that such behaviors evoke a reaction from you, they may continue to do it. This could be in the form of you waking up, giving them attention or even playfully reprimanding them. Dogs, being social animals, often engage in behaviors that get them attention from their human companions.
  2. Curiosity: Dogs are naturally curious animals and your hair, with its unique texture and smell, might intrigue them. They may want to investigate further, leading them to bite or chew on your hair. If this is the case, you might find them sniffing or pawing at your hair before biting it.
  3. Self-Soothing: Dogs sometimes engage in repetitive behaviors like chewing or biting as a form of self-soothing or comforting themselves. This behavior is similar to a child sucking their thumb. If your dog feels anxious or stressed, they might find the act of biting your hair calming.
  4. Playful Behavior: It might be a simple matter of your dog seeing your hair as a potential toy. If your hair moves when you shift in your sleep, it could catch your dog’s eye and spark their playful instincts. This could lead them to pounce and start biting your hair, thinking it’s part of a game.

Addressing this behavior starts with understanding the root cause. Once you’ve identified the reason, you can use the appropriate training techniques to curb this habit (we explained these in the first section). Always ensure your dog has appropriate chew toys and plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to being able to snuggle your dog without guarding your hair, so I’ll let you get started on things now. Best wishes, and thank you for reading our article “Why Does My Dog Bite My Hair? (+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.