Dogs love to lick and it is a common way for dogs to greet each other. Licking teaches dogs a lot about their world. Their tongues are used for tasting, expressing submissiveness and letting you know how much your care, friendship and companionship is valued. Usually licking isn’t a problem but some dogs can become obsessive about it. The following are some tips about how to stop your dog from licking.
Why is your dog licking?
Licking is completely natural for dogs and most of the time does not pose a problem. If you are noticing your dog has become a little overbearing about licking you may need to look at what is going on in your dogs environment. If your dog seems to want to lick you and anyone else in the household at every opportunity take a note of your dogs demeanor. Does your dog seem anxious or stressed? Have you been spending a lot more time away from home lately resulting in a lot less attention and exercise for your dog? Does this mean your dog is spending more time cooped up inside and less time outdoors sniffing and exploring? To effectively stop your dog from licking you will need to accurately determine the cause. You are the best person to do this since you spend the most time with your dog.
What can I do about it?
Once you think you have pin pointed the cause of the excessive licking you’ll be able to make adjustments to your lifestyle accordingly. Perhaps you will need to come home during the day or get up a little earlier in the morning to make sure you spend more time with your dog. A pre-work walk will do wonders for you both. Remember dogs need a substantial amount of exercise and lack of it can lead to boredom and stress which can manifest itself as obsessive licking.
If you believe that your dog’s licking is a result of over excitement about seeing you and you want your dog to know that you don’t like the licking, you can use your body to convey this message. Turn away from your dog and ignore it, get up if you need to and walk away. This will be confusing for your dog to start with but if you are consistent, your dog will get the message loud and clear. There is nothing as effective for teaching your dog something new than withdrawing signs of love and affection. You are the center of your dog’s universe and it will want to please you. Your dog will almost certainly persist with the licking until it re-learns the new behavior. If you want to stop your dog from licking you will need to be determined and consistent.
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