Why Do Dogs Lick? Dog Behavior Series 1 –

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

Most experienced owners are familiar with common dog behavior problems, but some may wonder why dogs exhibit these behaviors.

Many behaviors are often misunderstood and mishandled by dog owners. Thoroughly understanding the most common behavioral problems is the first step to solving and preventing them.

 why do dogs lick?

There are several reasons why your dog licks. Let’s find out what they are and what you need to understand in order to eliminate the problem.

Usually, it’s a sign of affection, a sign of love, or about tasty salty skin. Licking releases pleasurable endorphins that give dogs a feeling of comfort and pleasure and relieves their stress.

 Dogs want you to know that they love you so they lick. 

You pet your dog and it feels good so your dog shows his/her appreciation by, you guessed it, licking.

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Licking is a natural instinct in the canine world and it is, therefore, normal canine behavior.

Right from birth, this is how birth mothers communicate with their pups, how canine families groom and interact socially.

There are other reasons why dogs lick that you need to be aware of.

If a dog is licking itself excessively, it may indicate that there is a medical issue with your dog. Consulting with a vet would be my recommendation because it may not be a behavior problem but a medical one.

Rule that out and you will know you are dealing with a behavioral disorder. If we’re talking about normal canine behavior, then it’s a human problem. After all, dogs do lick.

It’s in their nature. What do I mean by a human 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 one that has an issue.

Not your dog. It is up to you to alter your dog’s behavior and you can do that simply by applying my top three tips.

#1. Don’t reward your dog with a pet when he licks you.

If that action is greeted with positive attention, such as hugs and human kisses, he’ll want to repeat the behavior. He thinks you like it and have given him permission.

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#2. Walk away whenever your dog 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 won’t do it.

#3. Be patient, gentle, and loving.

Dogs lick to strengthen their bond with you. Dogs love to please. It makes them happy to make you happy

Your dog will soon realize that excessive licking 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’s 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 may even enjoy it, some dogs can get carried away. Determine how you feel about your dog’s licking and then train him to stay within the limits you set.


If you enjoyed this article, Please share, comment. Thank you so much for reading. I look forward to seeing you inside my next article.

If you’re serious about helping your puppy in a kind and gentle way that will lead to an amazing relationship over time then click here to take a look.

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