If you are interested in help treating your dog’s behavioral issues, or simply curious about why your dog does what he does, then this Behavioral Series is for you.
Most experienced owners are knowledgeable about 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 issues is the first step to preventing and solving them.
There are lots of reasons why your dog stinks. Let us find out exactly what they are and what you need to understand to be able to eliminate the problem. Usually it is 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 feels good so your dog shows his/her appreciation by, you guessed it, licking. 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 want to be conscious of.
If a dog is licking itself too, it might indicate that there is a health issue with your dog. Consulting with a vet would be my recommendation as it may not be a behavior problem but a medical one. Rule that out and you will know you are working with a behavioral disorder. If we’re talking about normal dog behaviour, then it’s a human issue. After all, dogs do lick. It is in their nature. What do I mean by an individual issue? Let me explain.
If your vet decides your dog is displaying normal canine behavior and you do not like the licking then you are the person that has a problem. Not your dog. It’s your responsibility to alter your dog’s behavior and you can do that by simply applying my top three tips.
Don’t reward your dog with a pet when he licks you. If this action is greeted with positive focus, such as hugs and individual kisses, he will want to repeat the behaviour. He believes you enjoy it and have given him permission.
Walk away if your dog licks you. Over time your puppy will associate a lick with you moving away. Your puppy will learn that licking never gets focus so he will not do it.
Tip number three
Dogs like to please. 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 your responsibility to let your dog know what licking is appropriate and what is out of bounds. While many dog lovers do not mind and may even like it, some dogs may get removed. Determine how you feel about your dog’s licking and then train him to stay within the limits you set.
Hope you enjoyed this segment on Dog Behavior, specifically on the topic of why dogs lick, and hope you walked away with something of value. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to my own channel on YouTube. Thank you so much for studying. I look forward to seeing you inside my next post. Please like, share, comment, and subscribe. Until next time. Bye Bye.