Dogs are so lovable and so FULL OF ENERGY! My two dogs, Duke and Bella, are the perfect example of that. When they’re out in the yard they’re either chasing each other, wrestling, or play-fighting pretty much nonstop.
They take turns tackling each other while the other squeals. Then they run around the yard in circles and start over again. It sure is fun to watch as they laugh and bark and play together.
But as fun as dogs can be, it’s also important to remember that they can act strange at times. Dog owners need to pay attention to that. If a dog is acting out of sorts, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
That’s why it’s important for dog owners to always be aware of their pet’s behavior and be ready to take them to the vet if necessary.
So what about dogs that play with their toys on people? Why does my dog chew his toys on me? The answer is rooted in one of these reasons:
- Showing love and affection
- Trying to get love and attention
- Claiming you
- Showing you the toy
- Greeting you
- Trying to get you to play
- You just happen to be a convenient spot
Why Do Dogs Chew Toys On You?
If you read my quick rundown and had an ‘aha moment’ as you realized what your dog is up to, feel free to skip to that section to see if you’re right.
If you still aren’t sure what your dog’s reason is, I’ll go deeper about each.
To Show Love And Affection
Dogs are loving and expressive. They often show their affection in unexpected ways. Chewing toys on their owners is one such way that dogs express their love and affection.
When your furry companion chews a toy on you, it could be his way of sharing one of his most prized possessions with you and symbolizing his love.
This behavior can also be seen as his way of being close to you and showing you that you can trust and rely on him.
To Get Love And Attention
As much as dogs love and affection to show love, they also love getting attention and affection from their owners. And sometimes they will go to great lengths to get it.
Chewing a toy on you can be your dog’s way of asking (begging?!) for your attention, wanting to be noticed, and seeking love and pets.
Excited dogs do all sorts of silly things. My dog Bella is known to act a little crazy when she gets excited. She does silly things like pawing at the air, jumping up and down, and yes, even chewing her toys on me.
When dogs get excited, they may chew toys on their owners as their excitement bursts out of them.
To Claim You
Dogs can be possessive and territorial. They like to claim ownership over objects and people they want to be theirs.
When your furry pal chews a toy on you, he may be trying to claim you as his own. That is, he gets first dibs on you over other dogs in your life.
By spreading his scent on you, he is marking his territory and showing other dogs that you are his.
Sometimes dogs may feel anxious or uneasy in certain situations, and chewing a toy on you can be their way of seeking reassurance and comfort. Dogs that are experiencing anxiety may also exhibit other behaviors such as shaking, trembling, or seeking out safe spaces.
If you notice that your dog is using the toy as a coping mechanism, try to comfort him and address the root cause of his anxiety to help alleviate his stress.
Showing You His Toy
Dogs like to brag too, and sometimes they just want to show off their toys! When your good boy gets a new toy, he may be excited and happy. Of course, he’ll want to share his enthusiasm with you by chewing on his toy as close as possible!
Our dog, Duke, is especially fond of showing off toys. When he gets a new toy (or finds one he lost outside) he’ll make sure that each family member gets an opportunity to admire it.
We affectionately call it ‘the parade’. Duke runs through the whole house, stopping at each person, and chomping his toy a few times before moving on. It’s absolutely adorable!
Dogs love to greet their people. Your dog has done his best to be a good boy while you were gone. And now, as soon as you walk in the door, your furry buddy may come running towards you with a favorite toy, excited to see you.
Chewing the toy on you can be his way of welcoming you home and saying ‘Hi!’. While it might be overwhelming to be greeted like this, remember that it should be seen as a sign of admiration and appreciation for you as their caretaker.
Tempting You To Play
It’s no secret that dogs love to play! And they often try to get their owners to join in on their playtime.
Chewing a toy on you can be your furry friend’s way of coaxing you to join in on the fun.
Dogs will frequently try to share their energy and enthusiasm with their owners and encourage them to engage in playtime.
Getting a toy in just the right position to chew on can take effort. Sometimes it’s more convenient to do so while resting the toy on your lap or pushing it against your leg.
When the toy is in your lap, your dog can also keep it at a more convenient elevation to chew on.
You Want Him To
Okay, most likely you don’t want him to chew his toy on you, but for some reason, your dog thinks you do. Remember, dogs are quick learners and often respond to positive reinforcement techniques.
You probably didn’t even realize it. Maybe you scratched your dog’s ears, patted his head, or told him what a good boy he is while he was chewing his toy on you.
And now your dog has been trained to keep doing it!
Is It Okay For My Dog To Chew Toys On Me?
It ultimately depends on the reason for your dog chewing his toys on you, but generally speaking, it is usually okay. As long as you’re okay with it too!
Showing off a new toy, or trying to get you to join in on playtime aren’t problematic. Of course, you might not enjoy a dog-slobber-covered toy in your lap. So if you’re not okay with your dog chewing his toy on you, you might want to get him to stop.
On the other hand, if your dog is showing territorial behavior or using you and a toy to comfort himself in times of high anxiety, then it maybe isn’t okay.
In these cases, rather than getting your good boy to stop chewing his toy on you, you should address the cause of his problem.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Chewing His Toys On Me?
If you’ve decided you’ve had enough of your dog chewing his toys on you, here are some simple steps to take to break him of the habit.
First Determine the Reason
Before you start trying to modify any problematic behavior in your dog, try to understand why he is engaging in it.
This applies to chewing toys on you as well; it could be a sign of affection, anxiety, or even a playful disposition.
Identifying the cause can help you develop a more effective action plan to change their behavior.
Go Someplace Else
If your dog is chewing toys every time you are near, one of the easiest solutions is to simply move away from him.
Whether that means standing up or even walking away, just do it. If you do this consistently, every time your dog tries to chew his toy on you, he will start to understand that you don’t appreciate his behavior.
Move Your Dog
Moving your dog to a different part of the room or using commands to tell him to go to another spot is also an effective way to deal with a dog that is toy-chewing on you.
Play With Your Dog
Your dog wants to interact with you.
So, playing with your dog and making sure to give him attention every day is an excellent way to reduce the amount of time your dog chews on toys on your lap.
Daily playtime sessions can help establish a routine, and it will make your dog feel loved and like he’s an important part of the family.
Distract Your Dog
Changing your dog’s focus to other toys or playing games, like fetch, can be effective ways to distract your dog from chewing toys on you. You can also try redirecting his attention by throwing his favorite toy away from you so he can fetch it or interact with it in a different environment.
Be aware though, you don’t want to accidentally encourage him to chew his toy on you by reacting in a fun way. You need to take these steps before he puts his toy on you, not after.
Ask For Help
Like all behaviors that a dog presents, some can be difficult to break, and professional help may be necessary. Consider contacting a professional dog trainer who can help guide you with personalized advice through the process of modifying your dog’s unique behavior.
Punishing your dog for chewing toys on you isn’t an effective solution. It’s important to remember that your good boy isn’t being malicious.
Punishing a dog can break its trust, lead to aggression, and can damage your connection with your pet. Remember to always use the right tools and seek professional assistance if necessary.
Final Thoughts: My Dog Chews Toys On Me
It’s important to remember that when your dog chews his toy on you, he may be doing it for one or more of many reasons.
He could be trying to claim you as his own, seeking reassurance and comfort, showing off his new toy, greeting you after an absence, or inviting you to play with him.
Whatever the reason is behind this behavior, try not to get too frustrated by it!
It’s important to remember that dogs are not being malicious when they chew their toys on us. Before attempting to modify the behavior, it is helpful to understand why your dog is engaging in this activity.
Once you have identified the cause of the problem, there are concrete steps you can take to change your dog’s behavior. Things such as moving away from them or providing alternative activities for distraction work well.
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if necessary. And remember, punishment should always be avoided!
With patience and understanding, you can help your furry friend break this habit while still keeping him happy and healthy!