bite at

bite at
ˈbite at [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they bite at he/she/it bites at past tense bit at past participle bitten at] phrasal verb
to try to bite something without in fact managing to bite it

The animals might bite at your fingers if you put them through the fence.

Thesaurus: to have or use teethhyponym
Main entry: bite

Useful english dictionary. 2012.