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Why does my dog bite the air?

There’s no denying that human beings have a never-ending obsession with canines. We love them, they’re loyal, and they often fascinate us with their seemingly ridiculous behavior. 

While it might seem like our dogs act the way they do for no reason at all, even the oddest of dog behavior has a reasonable explanation. From scooting their butts along the carpet to eating grass, there is a purpose behind crazy dog antics. 

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why does my dog bite the air, chances are, you’re not alone. Many dogs bite the air, and though it might come off as entirely unnecessary, you can bet that they’ve got a good reason for doing so!

Why does my dog bite the air?

There are many reasons dogs bite the air, ranging from play and fun to fear and aggression. Neurological issues may be an issue if your dog suddenly begins to bite the air. 

It may be difficult for you to distinguish the exact reasons that your pup is biting the air, mainly if the behavior develops quickly. If you’re unsure, you’ll want to contact your vet immediately to rule out any medical problems. 

Fear or Anxiety

If your pup is feeling anxious or threatened, biting the air might be his way of telling you, or the person making him nervous, to stay away. Because biting the air could very well be a warning, you’ll want to take the rest of your dog’s body language, as well as the current situation, into consideration. 

Dogs that bite the air out of aggression or fear and anxiety, which most aggression stems from, should be removed from the situation that is making them uncomfortable right away. If it’s not diffused, your dog could end up biting humans or dogs near him. 

Biting the air, typically accompanied by barking when agitated, is a warning sign. Those that don’t heed that warning are likely to end up with a dog bite wound. That circumstance isn’t suitable for anyone involved. 

Behavioral Issues

Just like humans, dogs have a knack for turning plenty of behaviors into an issue. Digging, scratching, whining, barking, and biting at the air, often rooted in anxiety, can quickly turn into an action that a dog cannot stop engaging in, even if he’d rather not. 

When dogs bite the air out of habit, it’s essential to try and find the cause of such behavior and eliminate it. The training process might be more challenging than it sounds, easier said than done. It doesn’t hurt to speak with a professional trainer regarding the problem. 

You will likely leave your training consultation feeling comforted and confident that you’ll be able to help your pup stop biting the air successfully. Be patient, it might take some time, but it will be worth it. 

Neurological Problems

Dogs may bite the air due to the sudden onset of neurological problems. If you think this is the case, contact your vet right away. In most cases, neurological problems in dogs are accompanied by other symptoms, such as trouble standing or pressing their heads into the wall. 

In reality, it won’t be difficult for you to tell if this problem is medical. However, if you’re concerned, consult a professional. 


If you’re engaging in play with your dog and he’s biting the air, then he’s probably playing with you! Many dogs bite at the wind as well, so if it’s a particularly windy day, then you’ve probably got an explanation for all the air-biting. 

Why does my dog bite the air when I pet him?

If your dog is biting at the air when you’re petting him, this could mean a couple of things. He could be irritated with you and redirects aggression toward the air, or, more commonly, your scratches feel good, and he’s expressing that with little air bites. 

Situations like this are why it’s so vital for owners to know their dogs. This way, we can determine if the behavior is concerning or just plain cute. 

Why does my dog bite the air when excited?

Excited dogs often bite the air because they are expressing how excited they are! They might also yip, whine, and jump to show you how happy they are to have you around. 

Of course, this can become an issue if you’re trying to take your dogs for a walk, and they won’t stop jumping in your face and biting at the air. You can resolve this with the help of a trainer. 

Dogs might also bite the air when excited because they smell something they like. Their amped-up scent receptors can easily send them into overdrive, making them super excited. Since you may not be able to sense what they smell, you’re likely to be confused. 

Why does my dog bite the air after eating?

Your dog may bite the air after eating because he’s established this behavior as a habit, or he could be feeling pain, perhaps in his jaw, neck, or head. In this instance, it’s best to have a vet check things out, as dental disease affects plenty of dogs. 

Why does my dog randomly bite the air?

There are so many reasons that your pup may begin to bite the air randomly. Excitement, stress, behavioral and medical issues could be the cause. 

Before you stress yourself out, make sure that you’re carefully assessing the situation, including when the behavior began and where or when it happened the most. Does it happen when you have people over to visit? Does it happen before walks or when your dog is feeling overwhelmed or agitated?

If you can pinpoint the evolution of the behavior, you can likely find the cause. In some cases, you’ll be able to cure your dog of biting the air, and in others, it may just be part of his personality. 

When your dog randomly biting the air causes concern, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet. They will be able to help you find the reason your dog bites the air, and then they’ll help you fix it!