Dog Nibbles Sheets
September 5, 2012 6:37 AM   Subscribe

My dog "chews" bed sheets. She leaves no holes, which is why I use quotation marks. She sits on the floor close to the bed and nibbles with her front teeth on the edge of the bed. She's done this for years; she's an eight year old pit bull. Does anyone know why she does this?
posted by Kazimirovna to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
My 8 year old female golden does this too when she lays on my bed. Nibble is exactly the right word. I've always considered that she does it to self-soothe as it usually starts when she's excited and wants my attentions, but I'm done petting her. Since there is no damage to the sheets, I think it's pretty cute.
posted by cecic at 6:47 AM on September 5, 2012

Sounds like she is blanket sucking.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:52 AM on September 5, 2012

Another vote by my 5 year GSD. She'll also leave huge lick marks on my pillows. I assume it's about the salt/sweat/scent.
posted by whowearsthepants at 6:54 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Our dog also did this (we lost her to old age this spring). If she found a button along the way (like if she was doing this to a duvet with button closures or to a button down shirt in the hamper), she would carefully nibble off the button (but not eat the button). Our vet explained it as grooming behavior--dogs will lick and use their front teeth to groom other dogs and the nibbling worries away bits of dirt/thorn/sores.
posted by rumposinc at 6:59 AM on September 5, 2012

Response by poster: It is cute, and I am glad it doesn't mean there's something wrong with her. Thanks!
posted by Kazimirovna at 8:13 AM on September 5, 2012

My boy does it sheepishly, possibly because I tell him gently-firmly "no" when I see him doing it - but it's commonplace for me to discover a wet patch where I sleep when I return from a bathroom visit. Definitely a comfort thing - he doesn't like it when I close the bathroom door and he can't see me; he generally doesn't do it when he has access to me.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:12 AM on September 5, 2012

My Rattie does this. He will also gently nibble my fingers the same way and likes to suck on polar fleece. He had a very hard and lonely early life so I have taken these things to be habits he picked up to make himself feel better.
posted by wwax at 11:06 AM on September 5, 2012

My hound dog also does this.
posted by bradbane at 11:58 AM on September 5, 2012

not sure if this is the same thing, but my weimaraner chews/suckles on his soft toys. weimaraners are actually known for this and there is a term for it: nooking and it is a self-soothing thing.
posted by violetk at 12:18 PM on September 5, 2012

I had a cat that would do it to the tails of my shirts when she would curl up on my lap. My mom said it was because she'd been separated from her mother too early. Who knows, it's as good an explanation as "cats are crazy" :)
posted by lemniskate at 3:19 PM on September 5, 2012

Both my male and female german shepherds nibble pillowcases, pillows, clothes, your arm or leg or middle - very gently and usually when they are in a great mood. I've always thought it was a form of affection and it doesn't damage anything so I haven't stopped it.

They will occassionally nibble one of the cats or each other!
posted by Minos888 at 10:54 AM on September 6, 2012

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