It feels weird when a dog sneaks after another dog and suddenly nip or bites that dog’s leg. We gonna look into 5 different reasons behind this issue with solutions.
Here is why do dogs bite other dog’s legs.
A dog may bite another dog’s leg due to a breed-specific trait, as a part of playing, fighting, lack of exercise, & socialization. Distract the dog, keep it away for a while when it tries to nip on another dog’s hind, redirect and praise, socialize, provide adequate exercise are possible solutions.
Observing the exact reason running behind this issue is crucial to puzzle out. So, walk through the following causes and understand your problem with solutions.
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Reasons why do dogs bite other dogs legs?
I have seen many times that my dogs and other dogs do this. This behavior may be influenced by both normal and abnormal reasons, resulting in damages or injuries in many cases.
When I noticed this in my dogs, I immediately decided to fix it as I have a Doberman and a Rottweiller, and their bite force is significantly high.
So, go through the following reasons.
1. Breed specific behavior.
We can see this behavior a lot from herding dogs who are guilty of trying other dogs’ legs out from under and even attempt to tip that dog over with its head.
That’s exactly what they do while heading.
Mine also used to sneak behind the other dog and grab from a hind leg’s ankle and pull her to get down in a position like laying down or sitting to show dominance.
Although this can be due to instinct traits. This can be solved by following the suitable approaches, which we will discuss next in this article.
Here are some dogs that often show this behavior.
- Border collie.
- German shepherd
- Austrailian Shepherd
- Austrailian cattle dog.
- Great Pyrenees.
2. They might be just playing.
Dogs bite each other’s legs, pull on ears, bite each other’s faces and neck as a part of regular play.
However, the issue here is that every dog doesn’t have sufficient perception about each other’s threshold of hurting or different abnormal results.
Often puppirs don't have such understanding how hard they bite while playing. When a pup intentionally bite on mama dog's or another sibling's of the litter back leg, but without controlling the force, the other dog will nip back in instantly which teaches them how hard is too hard while playing, resulting they will endup with proper force controlling when they bite and play.
Frankly, this is why dogs were given big checks with loose skin. They have places to grab onto in a case where it’s fighting or just playing.
Imagine for a second how a mama dog carries her puppies by using their mouth.
Besides enticing another dog to play, a dog might bite on another dog’s back legs while they fight, pull the other dog down, and show its aggressiveness mixed with dominance.
This is so dangerous as they bite each other without controlling bite force full of irate, resulting in many side effects like injuries and wounds. In particular, you should be extremely careful if you own a pit bull and he is around a small dog.
4. Lack of exercise.
Imagine a dog stays inside the house the whole day without a sufficient amount of exercise. That dog might get wild whenever it takes to a dog park or ground where other dogs also hang around and play.
Lack of exercise for a dog means that an innocent dog has tons of reserve energy, resulting in rough playing with other dogs, expecting other dogs to do the same thing.
What If this dog is quite large and bites on another small dog’s feet? It might leave serve injuries if you don’t control the situation.
5. Lack of socialization.
When a dog isn’t much exposed to the outside world, it means a lack of socialization.
These dogs don’t have a good awareness of what to do when another dog encounters them. It will often end up showing aggressiveness or attempting to fight with another dog.
So, there is nothing to wonder if such a dog nips or bites another dog’s leg.
What to do when your dog keep biting other dogs legs?
It’s better to avert the dog whenever you notice such behavior from him in order to keep them from harming each other.
Take a look at the following tips that are worth considering to prevent such situations from happening.
1. Distract the dog.
Distracting your dog whenever it bites another dog’s legs is the very first thing you need to do.
Suppose you are in a dog park and the dog tries to misbehave, immediately distract the dog, stop playing with the other dog, and then consider playing with him tug of war or any other game possible.
After a while, let him play with other dogs. If he continues to nip or bite on another dog’s leg, repeat the process. That way, it will learn that isn’t something appropriate to do.
Let's say you have two or more dogs. One dog always bites the other dog's leg out of anger or with the intention of playing. in such a case, consider following these things. 1. Stop that dog playing with other dog in the first place. 2. Play with the dog tug of war or witb the ball. 3. Then, it's better to provide him something that can occupy its time such as chew toy, bones. 4. You can consider allowing the dog playing with the other dog after a while .
Suggested reading: Here is why do dogs flea bite each other.
2. Keep them away for a movement.
If your dog is playing while biting each other’s legs, it’s better to make the dog stop playing with the other dog.
When that happens, give him at least 15-20 minutes and let the dog calm down to avoid scrapes or injuries.
Release him play again after that time has passed, and if it nips or bites again, immediately take him away. Repeat this. It will definitely understand what’s going on.
However, I wanna emphasize that timing is so crucial here. You gotta take the dog out instantly.
The dog will respond better and get things more easily if you do this exercise in a minimum distracting environment. If your dog seems restless and trying to collide with other dogs, consider waring him a harness as most dogs are calm when the harness is on.
3. Redirect and praise.
When your dog plays with another dog, and it seems like heading toward a fight by a nip or biting each other’s legs, consider redirecting the dogs into a whole different situation to where more suitable for both dogs under your close supervision.
When your dog does this, say “Stop” and reward as soon as it reacts and stop that behavior on your command. Then interact with the dog and engage in something else where you can replace the previous unwanted playing.
Often playing fetch, teaching basic obedience, and teaching tricks find games more appropriate in such situations.
4. Socialize the dog.
As we discussed earlier, a dog might turn on other dogs due to a lack of socialization.
If your dog bites on other dogs’ faces, tails, legs out of anger, the best solution available is seeking situations where it’s possible to allow your dog to socialize with other friendly dogs.
Ask from one of your friends who has a dog and would like to walk together with the dogs, or it’s nice to arrange a “play date” with dogs.
Signing up for a group training is also one of the best ways to socialize your dog apart from common socialization techniques like going to a dog park, walking around the neighborhood, going to the mall.
5. Play and exercise with the dog.
As we discussed earlier, lack of exercise is also one of the main reasons why your dog might play rough with other dogs and nip each other’s legs, faces, tails.
Here, I would like to suggest you take the dog for a run or walk, play in the backyard for a bit, tug of war, play fetch for a while just to tire the dog out before it hangs out with other dogs.
A tired dog is less likely to play rough with another dog.
What are the possible problems if your dog bites other dogs’ legs?
You need to bear in mind that this kind of rough playing could often end up with wounds, injury, or something worse.
Let’s observe some common pitfalls you may face if your dog bites another dog’s leg.
The other dog might get injured.
It doesn’t matter what the breed size is; these types of biting, often called “Chicken legging” can cause a handful of problems.
The part of the hind legs that dogs tend to grab has such thin, fragile skin on that ankle, and there is a small bone on the back.
Although your dog is well trained not to bite other dogs, slight twisting on that spot with your dog’s mouth against the teeth could produce enough pressure and force to injure the other dog out.
Possibility of a dog fight!
Although your dog bites another dog’s leg just to entice him up to play, nipping a wrong dog’s heel may be caused to that dog become aggressive and bite your dog again, resulting in a worse dog fight.
I would instead like to follow the above tips discussed earlier to handle such a situation.
What if the other dog has arthritic issues?
Things may worsen if the other dog has arthritis issues or any further past injury on its leg.
Such a situation could even make people angry with you.
Things to be aware of.
It seems you now know the reasons why dogs do this and the possible solutions. But, there are certain things you wanna aware of. Let’s find out what they are.
Use a leash: If your dog always attempts to bite on other dog’s legs, consider using a leash whenever you hang around dogs.
If the dog is huge: If your dog is large and quite energetic, close supervision is a must as it plays with small dogs like a chihuahua, basset hounds, dachshunds, pugs, poodles, etc.
Exercise schedule: Chat with your veterinarian and come up with an appropriate exercise schedule just for your dog. In fact, consider the exercise requirements may change as the dog grows.
Don’t punish: Punishing isn’t something appropriate to eliminate bad behavior in a dog. Instead, use positive reinforcement techniques and earlier mentioned tips and tricks.
Herding breeds: Many people think natural instincts come with herding breeds that cannot be eliminated or solved. It’s a complete myth, and almost every trait in canines can be modified with suitable approaches.
Watch me command and recalling: Consider teaching your dog the “watch me” command and recalling. It’s much helpful whenever you need to take its attention to the situations that we’ve discussed earlier.
Many dog owners are curious to know why do dogs bite on other dogs’ legs. We’ve discussed 5 different reasons why they would do that and possible solutions with other related concerns. Hope you found this helpful.