We all love kisses and it’s no different when they come from our furry companions. But licking can become a problem and quick! Obsessive licking can be a symptom of anxiety or even a health issue. We have the explanations for why your dog’s tongue moves more than their legs and tips on how to control it.
As we all know, dogs lick when they are in pain, are uncomfortable or even itchy. Constant licking of paws and legs could be a sign of severe allergies or possibly even arthritis. It is important to check with your vet to ensure there are not any serious health issues that could be occurring within your pup.
Some dogs – and I’m sure you’ve met at least one of them – just love to lick! Obsessive licking is a form of anxiety. Maybe they just want attention. Maybe they’re bored. Or maybe they’re nervous. It’s a way for our pups to communicate with us which stems from their wolf ancestors. Wolf puppies would lick their mothers when she returned from hunting to signal their hunger and need for food. Whether you admit or not, we are our dogs’ parents now and their licking can be a message. We just need to know how to interpret it.
To stop you dog from soaking your guests in kisses, there are some simple tricks. These tactics may take time but your patience will pay off in the end.
Some dog trainers suggest using an aerosol can to train your dog to stop licking. A simple spray of the can in your dog’s direction will distract them from their current behavior and cause them to stop licking. This is not harmful whatsoever – the noise alone will be enough to stop their tongue wagging.
Another option is a strict, firm “no” whenever your dog starts licking. When they stop, make them sit and stay until you allow them up with a verbal or treat reward. They will begin to acknowledge their sitting with rewards and licking will be a habit of the past.
As with any training, this will take time. Be patient and be sure to always praise your puppy when they perform what you are asking. Before you know it, your dog will be all wags and your guests will no longer be dripping in kisses.