Why do dogs chew toys on you?

Why do dogs chew toys on you?

Dogs have a long list of weird habits, every pet parent knows this. Today we’ll address one of the most common ones: dogs chewing their toys on you. Although it might seem that your dog is chewing their toys on your lap with the mere purpose of creating a layer of drool on your clothes, there is actually a specific reason behind this behavior. 

Well, there are 3 reasons actually. The answer to “why do dogs chew toys on you” is not as straightforward as you might think. There are 3 possible reasons why your dog might be displaying this behavior. Today, we’ll share them with you. But then, it’s 100% up to you to figure out which one’s behind your pup’s behavior.

Let’s get started!

Reasons why dogs chew toys on you

Your dog might chew toys on you due to different reasons on different occasions. That’s right! These 3 reasons might be appropriate for your pup’s behavior, it’s your job to identify which one is right for every moment!

Now that we’ve set that straight, we can dive into the different causes that make your dog chew toys on you. 

1. Support

If you have ever paid attention to your dog when they are chewing their favorite toy, then you have probably noticed that they always need to have a solid base beneath them, such as their bed. Your dog might also secure their toy by fiercely grabbing it with their paws.

One way or another, dogs try to find support when chewing their toys. They look for a surface they can rely on to chew their toys comfortably. 

Well, you are one of those surfaces. As funny as it may sound, dogs use their human’s lap, legs or whatever body part they lean on, as a surface on which to chew their toy comfortably. 

2. Safety

Dogs like to protect their resources: their toys, treats and sometimes they even like to protect their humans. That’s why when they are in the dog park, they might not be so eager to share the sticks they found there with another dog. 

Although there are some dogs that have absolutely no problem with sharing what’s theirs, the majority of dogs don’t like sharing that much. That’s why they tend to look for safe places when they have something they don’t want to share, such as a treat or toy. When they are in the park, they go to a lonely corner to chew their stick, for example.

Well, you also act as a safe space for them. Dogs chew toys on you because they know you will keep them safe, they feel safe and sound when they are with you. They know they can chew their toys without a worry when they are on you. You act as a guardian for them and their toy. 

This reason is kind of cute, isn’t it? It means that your dog trusts you, feels comfortable with you and you are their safe space. A bond can’t get tighter than that, can’t it? 

3. They want to play with you

Another reason why dogs like to chew toys on you is because they are trying to tell you they want to play with you. Luckily, this is one of the easiest reasons to identify.

When dogs want to start a play sesh with you, they will not only chew their toy on you, but they will also nudge it towards you, shake it and bounce on you. Basically, if your dog is not peacefully chewing their toy on you and they are showing signs they want to play with you, they definitely want to play with you.

When this happens, the only thing left to do is play with your dog! Maybe they want to play the good old tug of war or fetch.

Whatever game they choose, it will definitely be good for them. Engaging in this kind of activity has many benefits for your dog, such as stimulating their brain and strengthening your bond. 

How to stop your dog from chewing toys on you?

There is no reason why you have to stop your dog from chewing toys on you. All of the reasons why they display this behavior are nothing but cute.

If they do it because they are looking for safety or support, you should feel honored and flattered. If they do it because they want to play with you, well, why would anyone want to stop their dog from wanting to play?

Nevertheless, we can think of some scenarios in which this absolutely cute behavior might represent some problems. 

  • If you have an intense drooler and you are already dressed up for leaving your house, and you definitely can’t do so with drool all over you.
  • If you are on a Zoom call (yes, those are still a thing) and your teammates can’t understand why it seems as if you are being sucked to the floor, and you are just secretly playing tug o’ war with your dog. 
  • If you are studying and trying to concentrate. We all know how hard it is to resist petting or playing with your dog, and having them sitting on you is probably not helping.

Whatever the reason is, there are some tips you can follow to train your dog to stop from chewing toys on you. 

Stand up

As cruel as it might sound, an easy way of stopping your pooch from chewing their toys on you is to just stand up and move away. By doing so, your dog will eventually understand that what they are doing will just get you to move away from them. 

Create a play area

Another way of stopping your dog from displaying this behavior, is to provide them with a more entertaining option. You can easily create a play area for them. They will have a safe space where they can play with their toys or rest while also feeling safe.

Choose a corner of your house that’s appropriate for creating your pup’s play area. Then, lay a blanket on the floor for them, and just scatter some of their toys around. They will understand that space is for them. 

Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is one of the greatest techniques of dog training. Whenever your dog chews their toy in a place that’s not you, give them one of their favorite treats. With time, they  will incorporate the positive reinforcement and understand that it’s good not to chew their toy on you.

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