Tail biting in pigs is a serious welfare problem with multifactorial causes. Several risk factors are described in the literature ranging from environmental factors including stocking densities, deficiencies in feed quality or accessibility, to internal factors such as poor health status, genetics or sex. Also, the human–animal relationship can have an effect on behaviour and performance of the animals. Thus, the aim of the current study was to evaluate whether intensified human–animal interaction in the rearing period can reduce the occurrence of tail biting in weaned piglets. For this, two treatment groups were established. The trial group differed only in intensified human–animal interaction (e.g. calm speech, petting, food provision) from the control group, which was carried out three times a week by one person for 15 min in each pen. Once a week the animals’ tails were scored regarding tail lesions and losses and a human approach test was performed. The intensified human–animal interaction influenced the animals’ behaviour towards the human as well as towards their pen mates. The trial group showed significantly better results compared with the control group, i.e. fewer tail lesions and more animals with intact tails. Also, the results of the human approach test in the trial group showed a lower latency to approach compared with the control group. Thus, integration of an intensified human–animal interaction into the daily practice of pig farms could be one possibility for enhancing the human–animal relationship and reducing occurrence of tail biting.