Dogs display strange habits when they are around their human parents.
Perhaps it is their unique way of communicating and expressing their affections.
Whatever the reason for this behavior, you might have noticed that your puppy is exceptionally fond of pulling and playing around with your hair.
Some experts, however, have alluded to this behavior as an expression of stress and anxiety.
That is hard to believe because you must have also noticed the joy that oozes out of your puppy as it pulls and plays with your hair.
The excited noises, the way they move about you playfully.
Another good theory I agree with is that your dog may just appreciate and enjoy the soft silky texture of your hair beneath their paws and between their teeth.
I mean, who wouldn’t? You find it completely therapeutic when you wrestle and massage through your hair.
Your puppy, too, might be experiencing the same thrill and calmness emanating from your hair’s mere feel.
It becomes an obsession if you like something and always goes to it.
Nevertheless, whether it is their unique way of interacting with us or expressing their anxieties, this behavior is normal.
Not unless your puppy behaves strangely by pulling aggressively, uprooting, and eating your hair.
That is where you will know that you have severe problems at hand.
What Makes My Dog Play with My Hair?
We have already mentioned that some factors cause your dog to play with your hair, both positive and negative.
Here are some of the factors; –
Sense Of Belonging
When your dog develops a great affinity to your hair to the point of playing with it, it means they are comfortable around you.
It gives them a sense of belonging. It is rare for a dog to play with a stranger’s hair.
When it plays with its human parent’s hair, bonding takes place.
It is as if it knows that it belongs to that person.
Take an example of a baby playing with her mother’s hair.
The silky texture of your hair is another contributing factor.
Usually, dogs use both their mouths and paws to play with the hair, and it is definite that they enjoy the feeling of the texture.
Don’t be surprised if your dog tries to pull out your braids if they are used to your natural hair.
Sometimes, your dog can be screaming for attention by pulling your hair.
Perhaps it wants an afternoon play and intimate interaction with its owner, but you are too engrossed to second guess it.
Perhaps it wants you to do something for it, like scratching its fur; what does it do? It teases you by pulling your hair until you do what they want.
Game Of Tug of War
Canines like playing and are fond of the tug-of-war game.
If they do not have a dog companion to play this game with, why not try the master by pulling the hair? But, of course, they could also see your long hair as a perfect tug-of-war toy.
If you are not careful with this, it could get aggressive, and you can lose a chunk of hair.
To go a bit to the negative side, your dog can be anxious or stressed about something.
According to experts, dogs find solace in playing and pulling at your hair.
However, you will notice if your dog is not bubbly self by how it toys around your hair.
Once you have ascertained that the behavior is triggered by anxiety or stress, it is always a good idea to call your vet to help you get to the bottom.
To Lead You to Something
Like all other pets, dogs have a unique way of communicating with their human parents.
If your dog is trying to bring your attention to something they want you to see, the most feasible way they would do that is by pulling you by the hair.
Once they know that they have your full attention, they will lead the way.
As a parent, always learn your dog’s language so that you can understand them well when they try to communicate.
If your dog is upset with you for something you did or didn’t do, they are most likely to go for you aggressively.
You will probably feel their rage because they will not be gentle this time.
They might extend your hair until you feel it, and they might not stop at all until you solve their issues.
It is no surprise at all that dogs act like us, and the only thing that limits them is the language barrier.
Your Dog Might Have Pica
Some illnesses can make dogs eat things that aren’t food, like hair.
One example is the disorder called pica, which affects both people and animals.
Pica’s exact cause is unknown, but it is likely a habit that started because of stress, worry, or trauma.
You can witness this mostly in dogs that have had a rough history.
Should this Obsession be Encouraged?
Many vets say your dog shouldn’t eat a lot of hair while playing with it because it could be bad for their health.
When a lot of hair is eaten, the risk of getting a blockage in the intestines increases.
It will make your dog’s stomach hold more of the solid food than the liquids it has eaten and drunk.
Because this could lead to such bad things, as the parent, you must be careful and observant to prevent this from happening.
How To Handle Your Dog’s Hair Obsession
To some, hair pulling by the dog is problematic behavior. However, it could be welcome attention from your canine friend.
Either way, it is up to you, as the pack master, to respond accordingly to the behavior.
Whether you allow and encourage it or enroll your dog for some training to stop such attitude is entirely up to you.
There are some commonsense things you can do to divert the dog’s attention from your hair.
You can either ignore him until he loses interest or commands him to stop.
A line must be drawn somewhere at the end of the day because not every day is Christmas.
Sometimes you could be too tired, and all you need is some peace. Your dog has to know when a no is a no.
If you indulge in it all the time, your dog might be tempted to spread this behavior to strangers who are not okay with this.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.