There are a couple of reasons dogs like to chew their toys on you. It could be because they want your attention or want to play with you. But, most commonly, your dog feels comforted and safe in your presence. This is their way of letting you know they trust you.
Have you ever wondered why your dog jumps on your lap and starts chewing their toys on you? Although not every dog owner has this happen to them, the ones that do are puzzled by this behavior.
Do dogs chew their toys on you because they want you to know they’re in a playful mood? Are they trying to tell you they want your attention? Is it some sort of threat or a show of dominance? What’s the point of a dog chewing their toys on you?
You’re The Alpha
Dogs are pack animals, so they gravitate towards the people they’re most often around. This tendency is even stronger when the dog sees you as someone who will protect them (the alpha). As a result, you’ll be a target of their toy chewing.
If you don’t want your dog to chew toys on you, there are a few things you can do:
- Create a play area for them
- Stand up and move when they try to chew toys on you
- Ignore them completely when the unwanted behavior occurs
Doing some (or all) of these things will help your dog realize that you’re not a big fan of their unpleasant habit.
Remember to not punish your dog for chewing toys on you, as this could cause fear and aggression. A neutral or positive reaction is more likely to be successful and healthier in the long run.
If you like or don’t mind your dog chewing toys on you, you could encourage the behavior by petting them or talking to them in a baby voice. Dogs respond very positively to this behavior.
Why Do Dogs Chew Toys On You?
If a dog chews their toy on your lap, this means the dog trusts you. Your dog wants to chew their toy while enjoying your presence. For them, it’s a win-win.
A dog chewing toys on you isn’t much different than a little kid wanting to play with their toys around their parents. Both animals and humans are drawn to their caretakers.
The next time a dog jumps in your lap and starts to chew their toys on you, it’s a big compliment and tells you a lot about how they view you.
It’s a known fact that dogs love attention from their owner. A dog chewing their toys on you could be their way of trying to get your attention.
If you feel as if your dog is doing this for your attention, try giving them more affection at different times of the day so they won’t feel as if chewing toys in your lap is the only way for you to notice them.
Is your dog chewing a toy on your lap, but they keep letting it go and lunging for it? Are they playfully growling and aggressively shaking their toys? If so, they’re probably trying to tell you they want to play.
Your dog may want you to know that he’s in a playful mood and needs to get some energy out!
Again, if you don’t want your dog chewing toys in your lap, try playing with them more.
What To Do If Your Dog Chews Toys On You
Before you do anything, you need to decide if you mind the fact that your dog chews toys on your lap. For them, it’s an act of love and trust. But how do you feel about it?
1. Encourage the behavior
If you don’t mind your dog chewing toys on you, you can encourage them to continue this behavior. You can pet them while they’re on your lap or talk to them in a baby voice.
Also, if they try to play with you, start playing with them. Dogs will love this!
2. Create a play area
If you’re not a big fan of your dog chewing toys on your lap, then you could create a play area for them.
One reason dogs chew toys on you because they feel safe and comfortable, so creating an area for them to play with their toys while feeling comfortable will encourage them to play there instead of on your lap.
In a corner, lay down a blanket or a comfy bed and add a crate of toys. The next time your dog tries to chew their toys on you, take their toy and put it in the play area.
3. Stand up
The next time your dog tries to chew a toy on you, stand up and move somewhere else. Once you make a habit of doing this, your dog will understand that you will move if they chew toys on your lap. As a result, they will learn not to go onto your lap to chew their toys.
4. Ignore them
If your dog keeps trying to get your attention by chewing toys on you, completely ignore them and continue to do what you were doing.
This strategy depends on your dog’s personality. If your dog is clingy and needs a lot of attention, then this tip will probably work. Once they realize you won’t pay them attention if they’re chewing toys on you, then they’ll go chew their toys somewhere else.
But, if your dog doesn’t need much attention, this tip most likely won’t work. Why? Because they’re probably chewing toys on you because they feel comforted by your presence.
In this case, try to either create a play area for them or move whenever they start to chew a toy on your lap.
5. Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to teach a habit to your dog (or anyone). The gist of positive reinforcement is simple: every time your dog does something you like, you give them a treat. In this case, every time your dog chews their toys somewhere that’s not on you, you’ll give them a treat.
Eventually, once your dog realizes that it’s better for everyone if they don’t chew their toys on you, then you’ll stop giving them treats for not chewing their toys on you.
Remember to not use negative reinforcement or punishment. This will only make your dog fear you, which could lead to an increase in aggression. Instead of punishing your dog, use positive reinforcement or treats when your dog doesn’t chew their toys on you.
Remember, from a dog’s point of view, chewing toys on their owner’s lap isn’t strange at all. In fact, it’s a compliment.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.