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Why Does My Dog Want Me to Hold His Bone While He Chews?

Why does my dog want me to hold his bone while he chews?

My weimaraner pup likes to shove his rawhide bone or toy into my arm so I will hold it for him while he chews. It’s both cute and rude.

Do you think it’s something a dog owner should allow?

In general, I don’t think the behavior is anything to be concerned about, but it’s sometimes hard to interpret.

Is it, God forbid, dominance? Is it for security? Or just a normal way to seek attention?

It’s hard to tell sometimes, especially if your pup is generally right in the middle as far as assertiveness goes.

Why does my dog want me to hold his bone?

Here are some possibilities:

1. To get better “leverage” while chewing. This is the case with Remy, especially while he was teething. It just seemed easier for him to chew if I held the bone or if he propped it against something.

2. It’s a way to get attention.

3. It’s a nice way to bond and receive affection, especially if the dog tries to crawl into your lap while you’re holding the bone.

4. It can also be a way to show possessiveness over the bone by keeping it away from other dogs or by keeping YOU away from the other dogs.

5. Sometimes it’s even a way to keep the bone away from YOU. For example, sometimes Remy will crawl into my lap with his bone and then put his back into my chest with the bone facing out. He’s obviously trying to prevent me from grabbing it (he runs off or snatches it if I try) so I don’t allow this behavior.

See my post, Should I let my puppy sit on me?

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Why does my dog keep bringing me his bone?

This is normal dog behavior (some dogs do it and some don’t), but just take a look at your unique dog and consider her personality and overall behavior.

Puppy chewing

For example, if she’s constantly trying to get you to hold her bone maybe she needs more exercise and interaction in general. Or maybe she just needs to learn some manners and self-control (right, Remy?).

Either way, it’s a good idea to set some limits. See my post, How to teach my dog the word off.

Is your dog generally shy or fearful? She might be engaging with you in order to feel more confident, which is a good thing (within reason).

Does your dog have any issues at all with possessiveness? If so, then you want to be extra aware of her behavior. It’s great if she’s offering you the bone. It’s not so great if she’s trying to guard it from you or from the other dogs in the house.

So, as with anything it’s just good to be aware of what you’re reinforcing with your dog.

Rules for your dog with toys or bones:

1. Work on “drop” and “leave it” with your dog so you can always be in control of the toys and bones. Teach your dog that you can take away a toy at any time.

2. Rotate which toys and bones are available to your dog so “new” things are always coming from you.

My puppy Remington

3. Use a phrase like “that’s enough!” when you’re done engaging with your dog. You can use it to end games of tug or fetch or to end a training session.

4. Limit games of tug and fetch to five minutes or so.

5. Work on the basics like down and stay for overall self-control.

6. You get to decide the rules about dogs on the furniture. Your dog does not get to decide.

7. Don’t allow your dog to constantly invade your personal bubble. If he paws at you, see if you can block him with your legs or by turning your body or simply standing up and leaving.

8. Sometimes naughty puppies just need to go into their kennels for a 20-minute break. 🙂

What are your thoughts on all this?

Do you generally agree with me or do you think I’m way off?

Do you have a dog that likes to “offer” you a toy or bone?

Let me know in the comments!

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Additional resources:

Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training, dog exercise and feeding a healthy raw diet.


Sunday 26th of February 2023

My 2.5 year-old chihuahua sometimes “asks” me to hold his bully sticks/rawhide so that he can get better leverage on them while chewing. I don’t have any problem with it, as he is a very docile boy.


Monday 13th of February 2023

My Rottweiler brings his bone for me to hold. I accept this is a personal opinion but I I find this behaviour quite endearing and much preferred to jealous guarding.


Wednesday 2nd of November 2022

My fur baby Candy, she is 6 months old brings me her bones to hold, I believe she is showing love and trust I can and do make a habit of taking anything I want to from her , sometimes a bite of meat right out of her mouth, if she doesn't resist I give it right back to her if she does resist She has to wait till she calms down and sits and wait for it I have been doing it since she was 8 weeks old if Candy chews on my hand I hide my hands and tell her to bring me a toy if she wants to play and she does so I think that a dog bringing you their bone can also be a sign of love and trust


Wednesday 14th of September 2022

My 3 yrs old female rotti brings me her toys and bone for different reasons. She brings me the toys to play for sure. She is only allowed one bone and will bring her bone to me and drop it in my lap. If I don't respond, she will push it with her nose. This means she would like to trade her bone for a fresh one. If the time allotted isn't up to be which is be half a week or so, I give it back to her. I don't bother her when I give her a fresh bone although, I make sure to give her as be quick scratch or pat on her back while she is settling down for be a good chew. This is to touch her while she has a fresh bone and have her know I'm not taking it away. She used to show aggression and this routine has overcome it. I do take her bone while fresh from time to time so she is used to it being taken away. I always tell her good girl and give it right back if she shows no aggression. She also gently picks her own bone from the bag in the freezer. After she chews her bone and gets most of the yummy stuff, she brings it to me and chews it against me or in my lap. I consider this her way of showing me she's grateful and thankyou. She loves being pet on her head while she chews her bone on my lap.


Sunday 7th of August 2022

My puppy likes me to hold his toys alot and puts his paw over my hand while he's enjoying it. I love it as he's very affectionate and I find it another way of bonding.