Dog corn cobbing is a fascinating behavioral trait that many puppies, including German Shepherd go through! Some grow out of it, while others keep doing it their whole life!
Cobbing is nothing more than puppies nibbling on objects and/or people, in a way that resembles eating corn. While it can be super-cute, it can also become quite a worrisome behavior problem.
Let’s reveal the 5 secrets of German Shepherd corn cobbing and how to deal with it!
#1 Exploratory Nibbles
You know how we have five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch? Well, dogs have super-powered senses too, especially their sense of smell (1).
Corn cobbing or nibbling can be a way for German Shepherds to investigate objects or people around them, similar to how puppies explore the world by mouthing.
Don’t worry too much about it, they simply love using their special sniffer to explore, and sometimes they nibble with their front teeth like a corn cob.
It’s only their way of investigating and checking things out!
#2 Playful Puppy Attention-Seeking
German Shepherds know that cobbing can catch our attention and make us laugh. So sometimes they do it to say, “Hey, let’s play!”
You see, when we respond to their cobbing by playing or petting them, they learn that this behavior works to get what they want. But we want to make sure they learn good manners too!
To help them understand, we can gently let them know that cobbing isn’t the best way to ask for attention.
Instead, we can teach them to sit or give a high-five when they want to play or snuggle!
#3 Sensory Stimulation
When our German Shepherds cob or nibble like a corn cob, it’s not just for attention.
These dogs have exquisite taste buds hidden beneath their adorable snouts! Sometimes, when they cob like a corn cob, it’s because they are pretending to be fancy food critics.
They nibble and savor objects to assess their “flavor profile” and give their expert opinions on the taste. Who knows, they might be secretly training their palates for a career in gourmet dog cuisine!
On the more serious side, it is true that corn cobbing can actually give them extra sensory stimulation!
By gently nibbling or chomping on things, they can pick up interesting scents and learn more about their surroundings.
While it’s fascinating to see our furry friends in action, it’s important to guide them on what they can and can’t cob. We don’t want them to nibble on things that could be dangerous or valuable!
#4 Teething Or Dental Discomfort
Just like when we were little and had loose teeth, our German Shepherds go through a similar teething process too!
When their new teeth are growing, it can sometimes cause them discomfort or make their gums feel itchy.
To help soothe their gums, they might nibble with their front teeth, like they’re gently chewing on a corn cob. It’s their way of finding relief! It’s important to understand that it’s a natural part of their teething journey.
To assist our beloved GSDs during this time, we can provide them with special teething toys or frozen treats that are safe for them to chew on.
This way, they can satisfy their teething needs without damaging anything they’re not supposed to.
#5 Breed-Specific Behavior
German Shepherds are known for being incredibly smart and having special instincts. Sometimes when they indulge into corn cobbing behavior, it could be a behavior that’s unique to their breed!
Long ago, GSDs were used for herding livestock. They had to keep the animals in line and under control.
So, when they cob, it might remind them of their herding past, like gently nipping at the heels of the animals they were watching over.
Even though they’re not herding animals anymore, that instinct can still show up in their behavior. It’s like a little reminder of their clever heritage!
When our amazing German Shepherds start corn cobbing, they might be exploring, seeking sensory stimulation, dealing with teething, showing off their clever instincts, or simply trying to get our attention.
While it’s important to understand why they cob, we also want to make sure they learn good manners and safe ways to express themselves.
We can guide them with love, patience, and lots of fun!
Natalia Albuquerque, Beerda, B., Castles, D. L., Deldalle, S., Ernst, M. O., Faragó, T., Frank, D., Horváth, Z., Müller, C. A., Palestrini, C., Rooney, N. J., Skyrme, R., Albuquerque, N., Bruce, V., Haan, M. de, … Falk, J. L. (2017, November 10). Mouth-licking by dogs as a response to emotional stimuli. Behavioural Processes.