Why Dogs Lick

Chihuahua, Dog, Sobel, Canine, Head

If you are interested in help treating your dog’s behavioral issues, or simply curious about why your dog does what he can, then this Behavioral Series is for you.

Most experienced owners are knowledgeable about common dog behavior issues, but some might wonder why dogs exhibit these behaviors. Many behaviors are often misunderstood and mishandled by dog owners. Thoroughly understanding the most common behavioral issues is the first step to preventing and solving them.

There are lots of reasons why your dog stinks. Let’s find out what they are and everything you will need to understand to be able to eliminate the issue. Usually it’s a sign of affection, a sign of love, or about tasty salty skin. Licking releases pleasurable endorphins that give dogs a sense of relaxation and pleasure, and relieves their stress. Dogs want you to know that they love you so they lick. You pet your dog and it seems great so your dog shows his/her appreciation by, you guessed it, licking. Right from arrival this is the way birth mothers communicate with their pups, how puppy families groom and interact socially.

There are different reasons why dogs lick that you want to be conscious of.

If a dog is licking itself excessively, it may indicate that there is a health problem with your dog. Consulting with a vet would be my recommendation because it might not be a behaviour problem but a medical one. Rule that out and you will know that you’re dealing with a behavioral disorder. If we are talking about normal canine behavior, then it is a human issue. It is in their nature. What do I mean by an individual problem? Let me explain.

If your vet determines your dog is displaying normal canine behavior and you don’t like the licking then you are the person that has an issue. Not your dog. It’s your responsibility to change your dog’s behavior and you can do this by simply applying my top 3 tips.

Do not reward your dog with a pet when he licks you. If this action is greeted with positive focus, such as hugs and human kisses, he will want to repeat the behaviour. He thinks you enjoy it and have given him permission.

Tip number two
Walk away whenever your puppy licks you. Over time your dog will associate a lick with you going away. Your dog will learn that licking never gets attention so he will not do it.

Tip number three
Be patient, gentle, and loving. Dogs love to please. Your dog will soon realize that excessive barking doesn’t make you happy so, again, your dog won’t do it. The message your dog must learn is that one or two licks are sufficient to strengthen the bond between you.

Now let us recap.

It is up to you to let your dog know what licking is appropriate and what is out of bounds. While many dog lovers don’t mind and might even like it, some dogs can get carried away. Determine how you feel about your dog’s licking and then train him to remain within the limits that you set.

Hope you enjoyed this section on Dog Behavior, especially on the subject of why dogs lick, and hope you walked away with something of value. If you liked this article, subscribe to my channel on YouTube. Thank you so much for studying. I look forward to seeing you inside my next post. Please enjoy, discuss, comment, and subscribe. Until next time. Bye Bye.

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