If your dog has been chewing your hair, this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog chew my hair? Possible reasons why your dog chews your hair are that it likes the taste, it is playing, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, it is grooming you, or that it has a disease or diet issue.
There are actually multiple possible reasons why your dog chews your hair and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are also a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog chews your hair
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely.
The reason why your dog does it could be that your dog is playing with your hair. Your hair will move about and it could be the case that it causes your dog to want to bite it. This would be more likely if your dog shows signs of excitement when it does it such as by having wide open eyes.
When dogs are bored, they will often look for ways to stimulate themselves. The reason why your dog has been doing it might be that it is bored. This would be more likely if it does it more before getting exercise and less after. In this case, it would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
Encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that your dog has learned that chewing your hair results in it getting rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats, or extra attention, when it chews your hair, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it does not.
A diet issue
Sometimes, dogs will also start chewing hair when they have an issue with their diet. This is because, when they are not getting the necessary nutrients in their diet, they will chew other things in order to try to get the necessary nutrients. An issue with its diet would be more likely to be the cause if your dog has been doing it since a change in its diet.
Some illnesses can cause dogs to start chewing and eating things that are not food, including hair. The reason why your dog has been biting your hair could be that it has gotten a disease or illness. This would be more likely if your dog is elderly, it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been chewing on other things a lot as well. In this case, it would help to take your dog to a veterinarian for a checkup.
It likes the taste of your hair
It might also be the case that your dog does it because it likes the taste of your hair. This would be more likely if your dog chews on your hair and if it does it more when you have just washed your hair.
It’s grooming you
Another possible cause is that your dog is grooming you. This would be more likely if your dog licks your hair more than it bites your hair and if your dog seems to be relaxed when it does it.
Things to consider about your dog chewing your hair
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
If your dog has always chewed your hair
If your dog did not always chew your hair, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as illness, a diet issue, or learning that the behavior is rewarded.
The timing of when your dog chews your hair
If there seems to be a certain time that your dog tends to chew your hair, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it more after you have just had a shower, it could be the case that your dog does it because it likes the way your hair tastes.
What to do about your dog chewing your hair
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned earlier, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it behaves the way you want and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.
Redirect its focus
Another option would be to redirect your dog’s focus onto something else when it seems likely to start chewing your hair. Things to redirect its focus onto could include toys or a bone or to perform an action such as rollover.
Ensure it is getting the right diet
If your dog has started doing it since a change in its diet, it would also help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet.
If your dog has been chewing your hair excessively, it has been behaving unusually in other ways, or it has been showing signs of illness, the best option would be to get help from a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.
Give it distractions
Another option would be to give it things to be distracted by, such as toys or bones, when it seems likely to start biting your hair.
Why does my dog chew my hair at night?
If your dog tends to bite or chew your hair more at night, it might be the case that your dog is doing it due to some separation anxiety which would be more likely if it does not sleep where you sleep. However, it could also be due to any of the other reasons mentioned above and it would help to consider what is different when your dog does it.
Why does my dog chew my hair in the morning?
If your dog bites your hair in the morning, it could be because it is trying to get you to feed it which would be more likely if it does it more before you have fed it.
Why does my dog chew my hair after I shower?
If your dog bites your hair after you shower, it could be because your dog likes the way your hair tastes after you shower which would be more likely if it chews your hair. It could also be because of the way your hair looks after you shower which would be more likely if your dog attacks your hair.