If your dog has been biting your feet, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be happening and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my dog bite my feet? Possible reasons why your dog bites your feet are that it wants attention, it is teething, it wasn’t trained not to, you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior, or excitement.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why it bites your feet. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why does my dog bite my feet?
Each of the different reasons that your dog bites your feet will likely come with some clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It wants attention
The reason that your dog bites your feet could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it bites your feet and if it only seems to bite your feet when you haven’t been giving it much attention.
In this case, it would help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and play. However, it would help to avoid giving it attention it when it bites your feet by leaving the room temporarily and to give it attention when it is being well behaved.
Related: why does my dog nibble on my cat?
It is teething
The cause of it biting your feet could be that it is teething. This would be more likely if it is a puppy and if it has started chewing on other things as well.
In this case, it would help to give it things to chew on and to do lots of “leave it” training so that it learns what it is not allowed to chew on.
Related: why is my dog scared of me?
It wasn’t trained not to as a puppy
If you haven’t trained your dog much then it could be the case that it thinks that it is ok to bite your feet. In this case, it would help to train it not to bite them by following the tips that I will mention below.
You have inadvertently been reinforcing the behavior
It could also be the case that you have been inadvertently rewarding it for biting your feet.
If your method of getting it to stop biting your feet is to give it things that it wants such as toys, treats or attention then it might have learned that biting your feet gets it those things.
Instead of rewarding it when it bites your feet, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved and to avoid rewarding it when it is not.
It might be the case that your dog bites your feet because it is trying to show that it is excited or it is playing. This would be more likely if it does it at times when it would normally become excited such as when you are about to take it for a walk.
In this case, it would help to stop doing the thing that is exciting it until it stops biting your feet. This way, it will learn that biting your feet results in it not getting what it wants.
It is exploring
Before dogs are even able to see they will begin exploring the world with their mouths and noses. If your dog is still very young then it could be the case that it bites your feet because it is exploring them and they give off strong smells to your dog.
Things to consider
Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog has been biting your feet. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will become much easier to get it to stop.
When your dog started biting your feet
It would help to consider the timing of when your dog first started biting your feet since it could give you some clues.
Things that might have happened at around the same time that it started doing it could include:
- You rewarded it one time when it was biting your feet
- It started biting other things a lot as well (this would suggest it is teething)
- You gave it more attention when it was biting your feet
How old your dog is
The age of your dog would be another factor to consider.
If it is still young then it would make it more likely that it is either teething or it has not learned that it is not ok to bite your feet and you need to train it not to.
If it is older it would be more likely that it wasn’t trained not to or that you have inadvertently rewarded it for doing so.
How aggressively your dog bites your feet
It would also help to consider how aggressively it does it. If your dog seems to bite your feet aggressively then it would likely be the best option to get the help of a dog behaviorist in your area.
When and where your dog bites your feet
The timing and location of when it does it could also be a useful thing to consider. If it only seems to do it at certain times then it would be more likely that there is a reason for it.
For example, if it only seems to do it when you would normally take it for a walk or feed it then it might be trying to remind you of that. Whereas, if it seems to do it more when you have not given it attention then it could be that it is looking for attention from you.
How to get my dog to stop biting my feet?
There are a number of things that you can do about your dog biting your feet. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.
Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do to get it to stop.
Train it not to
The option that you can try in getting your dog to stop biting your feet is with positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward the behaviors that you want to see from your dog so that it learns to give them a positive association.
To use it to get it to stop biting, you would:
- Stand up and prevent your dog from biting your feet by leaving the room if necessary when it bites your feet.
- Wait a few moments and then go back to giving it attention and then prevent it from biting them again if it starts biting again
- Repeat the above until it learns that biting your feet causes it to lose your attention
- Reward it with a treat when it does particularly well
You can watch the video below to see more on how to get your dog to stop biting your feet with positive reinforcement training along with more tips.
Avoid negative reinforcement training
Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently reinforce bad behaviors by giving it rewards when it displays them.
Instead of giving your dog things that it wants, when it bites your feet, it would help to reward it when it does not and to train it not to with positive reinforcement training.
Give it other things to chew on
In addition to training it not to bite your feet and avoiding negative reinforcement, you could also give it other things to chew on. This would be especially helpful if it is still in the teething stage.
When training your dog not to bite your feet it is important to be consistent. It is unlikely that you will be able to completely stop the behavior with just one training session. But if you are consistent with it then you will be able to get much better results over the course of weeks and months.
Get help from an animal behaviorist
If you cannot get your dog to stop biting your feet or it does it aggressively then it would help to get the help of a dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your specific dog.
Why is my dog suddenly biting my feet?
If your dog has suddenly started biting your feet, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior is rewarded, you stopped giving your dog as much attention, you started wearing slippers, socks or shoes that your dog wants to bite or your dog has started teething.
It would help to consider what else happened recently since it could be the case that something happened that caused the behavior to start.
Why does my dog bite my feet in bed?
If your dog bites your feet while in bed, it would be likely to be because your dog sees your feet as prey due to the way that they move around in bed. However, it might also be the case that your dog is being possessive which would be more likely if your dog also does things such as growl and only bites them when you put your feet in a certain spot on the bed.
Why does my dog bite my feet when I walk?
If your dog bites your feet when you walk, it would be likely to be because your dog sees your feet as prey due to the way they move around. This would be a lot more likely if your dog is still a puppy. It could also be the case that your dog has been doing it due to learning that the behavior is rewarded.
Why does my dog bite my feet when I leave?
If your dog bites your feet when you leave, it could be because your dog has some separation anxiety which would be more likely if your dog shows signs of being anxious when you leave such as pacing or crying. It could also be because your dog is bored and wants exercise before you leave.
Best Dog Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link