Stop Dog Licking

I LOVE to lick all kinds of stuff!
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Stop Dog Licking.

Dog licking is natural but sometimes a dog wont stop licking! How to stop dog licking is something else. They lick everything from their puppies to their paws to your face. Dogs use their tongues to explore their world.

For humans, it can be a difficult to identify with the dog habit of licking one another in greeting. We don't do it, after all. Our tongues come in handy for ice cream cones

A dogs tongue is as useful to him as our eyes and nose and ears are to us. It’s a multi-purpose tool for them. Dogs use their tongues to taste things, explore new people, new animals, express submissiveness, and to let you know he values your companionship and friendship.

Licking is a completely natural behavior for dogs, and most of the time, the experience isn’t something to worry about… the odd lick from a warm, moist tongue on your hand, ankle or cheek is, at worst, tolerable.

An affectionate dog who loves her owner and shows it!
Why would you want to stop dog licking entirely?

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I must admit, I actually find it pretty nice when my dogs lick me! But then, he and she are trained not to overdo it and are small dogs. I don’t have 100 pound Rotties, Bloodhounds or Mastiffs.

Some dogs take licking too far but excessive dog licking is quite common. It’s not nice to be drowned in your own home by a far-reaching, agile, mobile, slobbery tongue. Some dogs won’t let you get a moments rest as they chase you from bedroom to bath to kitchen!

Just consider a long slobbery wet tongue kissing your navel as you reach to the top shelf to get something down. All you can think of to say is "STOP!! It tickles!"

Lots of dogs don’t stop with bare skin. I can attest to that. I have saliva on my joggers from my Mini Schnauzer. She licks everything. Everywhere I walk in the neighborhood, people look at my wearing apparel and know I have at least one dog that loves me because I am all licked up. Yep, that’s my dog saying “I love you!”

But there is often more to it than just plain affection. As with all animal behavior, the logic behind licking is usually more complex and subtitle than you would think and it's not easy to stop dog licking.

The same gesture can have multiple meanings, depending on the circumstances, your dog’s state of mind and other behaviors being exhibited at the same time. It’s partly up to you to know the reasons behind the licking, since you are closest to her and know her best.

This kind of licking is not what we want.
He is over the line and so many dogs to it!

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If your dog is licking you because she’s feeling affectionate and wants you to know, it will be pretty easy to figure this out. Her body language will be relaxed and the atmosphere will be generally stress-free and the surroundings will be happy.

If she lathers your hands and wrists with goodwill and devotion when you return home from a long day at work, her “puppy love” is by far the most common cause for licking and nothing to worry about and can be cured if it's a problem to you. (I’ll get to that in a moment.)

You can stop excessive dog licking by understanding what is causing the problem.

A reason for repetitive, owner-targeted licking is that your dog’s feeling anxious and stressed.

If there are things in your dog’s life that cause him unhappiness or tension, he’ll often show it through obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Licking is a common manifestation of this. Sometimes a dog wont stop licking and will lick himself, while others will lick you. Often dogs will lick everything. So, WHY is the dog licking?

When you know the cause, it's easier to stop dog licking.

  • Is the dog getting enough attention and mental stimulation?

  • Is the dog cooped up inside the house for long hours each day alone?

  • Does your dog get enough outdoor exercise and time for sniffing and exploration?

  • Do you give your dog lots of attention when at home? Or, do you say “Hi” and rush off again, leaving the dog alone?

  • To stop dog licking means the dog must not be bored.

Doggie Love
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These are all things that you need to consider to stop dog licking problems.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the licking, and the overall quality of the dog’s life, you may need to make some general adjustments of your own to ensure that, when the licking does stop, it’s because you’ve treated the cause, and not the symptoms…. Otherwise, you are just taking away a valuable outlet for the dog’s negative emotions which is unfair to the dog.

  • Can you come home more often during the day, or leave the dog with a neighbor who is home all day?

  • Or perhaps get up a half hour earlier and try to tire the dog out more before you leave to help him stop the licking on his own?

  • Generally, dogs are most relaxed with an hour and a half of good exercise per day.

  • You might try spending more time with your dog in the evenings, playing, roughhousing, grooming, and training. Training sessions are tiring but they alone won’t stop dog licking problems.

  • Adequate chew toys like Kongs stuffed with food like freeze-dried liver and peanut butter are a good time waster that will stop a bored dog from licking to an extent. Keep plenty of them on hand. They can be a bit messy so they should be used on the porch or a floor that can be wiped up easily.

Pay attention to his demeanor, as, does he seem content? What is his activity level before you work on the licking as a stand alone problem.

Having said that, most of the time excessive dog licking is simply due to excessive exuberance in your dog… He’s happy, he loves you, and he has to let you know about it right NOW!

Other Ways To Stop Dog Licking:
When you want to get the point across that the licking is getting to be a bit too much for you, a simple change in body language will convey your message loud and clear.

  • Withdraw your outward display of affection for the dog. Turn away from your dog, move to another chair, just move away from the dog when he starts licking.

  • Make sure your eyes and face are dramatically averted from the licking dog. Preface this sudden move with a sharp “NO” or “AAACK” sound. Use whatever you want. Say “No lick” if you want, but be consistent.

  • When you get up, your dog will likely follow you and the licking will start again. If it does, repeat the above training.

  • Withdraw all signs of affection, get up, turn away and leave. Your dog will be persistent.

This will take some time, especially if he is just trying to give you normal affection. You are the undisputed centerpiece in his life and he needs to let you know it whenever he can.

You need to outmatch him in his persistency. Don’t shout or react negatively. The simple withdrawal of your love, or the appearance of it anyway, is quite enough. You can even say “Stop licking” in a firm voice as you withdraw your arm which might, after awhile, mean something.

A word of caution for dog walkers. You may come across some folks on the sidewalk who don’t mind being licked by a dog, or who invite it. Tell them in advance you are trying to stop dog licking by training your dog so they wont corrupt your him and ruin all the “stop-licking” training you’ve given him so far.

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