How Do I Control My Dog Licking People Excessively?
Is your dog trying to be friendly and affectionate by licking you or other dogs? As their master, it is a way of showing you respect, submission, and affection.
Even so, as a dog owner, one might think the dog is excited to see you and just want to kiss. Despite this, excessive licking can be a sign of underlying issues like anxiety, fear, or boredom.
Importantly, try to understand where this behavior is coming from, is it healthy or needs to be controlled? Obviously, the first instinct is that the dog is affectionate and loves to be friendly, but is that really it?
Dogs love welcoming us back home and licking can be just one way of greeting you, instead of jumping, rubbing on you, or barking.
Indeed, dog licking can be acknowledging that he is happy to see you return home as you portray security and comfort.
How do You tell when Dog licking is a Problem?
The dog might love to lick your face to clean it. Funny as it sounds the dog would be loving the sweaty you after your workout as you taste salty.
Regardless of these, this behavior should be discouraged as not everyone loves being licked. Moreover, if the dog isn’t trained to stop it, he might lick everything from family and friends who might not love it.
Do not overlook excessive licking from your dog as it can be due to allergies, pain, fear, boredom, or underlying health problem.
How to Curb Excessive Dog Licking
Dogs can engage in licking to kill boredom or calm down during a stressful time. Boredom licking most commonly leads to obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as licking the same area.
When you notice this do not be harsh or scold the dog, you can opt to leave the room. The dog could be affectionate with you but if it goes overboard do not encourage him. When you do not give attention he will know you didn’t like it and might stop.
This reaction will show the dog that prolongs licking will not get him the desired results.
Give Enough Exercises
Excessive energy in your dog can accelerate undesirable behavior, get him various toys to keep him busy playing. As well as, have a treat-dispensing toy help curb undesirable behavior like excessive licking by challenging his mind.
When you notice your dog wants to start licking you can put a harness on him and go for a walk. This will destruct him or start a game of fetch or tug-of-war, try to reinforce alternative behaviors.
Train on Commands
During playing or training when the dog comes to you try to give a treat immediately as rewarding good behavior.
Rewarding your dog in this manner will teach them that calm, “normal” behavior is desirable than licking.
Use commands like “stop” “kiss” “lick” when training your dog to lick or when to stop and this will make him know you are the one who initiates it.
Reward and praise the dog when it stops on command. Do this repeatedly until the dog gets it.
Keep the training short, be consistent, dedicated, and patient to see the desirable results.
One of the ways of relieving pain for your dog can be excessive licking of an affected area. This could be repeated licking or the area or sore as a way of soothing. Once you notice that it is good to take him for a vet checkup for diagnosis and treatment.
Give Allergy-Free Diet/Food
In addition, the licking can also be due to allergies, parasites, and itchy skin. Give foods that are high quality, nutritious, and do not contain ingredients that cause allergies. Identifying the ingredients your dog is allergic to can help you change his diet appropriately and stop the problem. It should be noted that ingredients such as corn, soy, and wheat products, and other protein sources are leading causes of allergies.
Subsequently, food allergies can also lead to bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is advisable when changing the diet or introducing something new, do it gradually to prevent allergies. Give also allergy medications, for instance, over the counter Benadryl, or prescriptions recommended by the vet. A solution is fast when you work together with your vet to find the exact cause of the allergy.
Regular grooming and bathing can minimize fleas, ticks, and mites that could cause scratching and licking from the dog. Furthermore, when the dog feeds on a diet that is with Dry skin may be caused due to nutrient deficiencies it can cause dry skin.
Do not over bath, as too much bathing can rid the dog coat of natural oils leading to scratching, itchy skin, and licking.
When the dog obsessively scratch, lick and chew at the spot constantly it can lead to the formation of hot spots, or red raw spots. The area can be sore and furless which can be a breeding ground for infection hence medication is recommended.
Alternative Excessive Dog Licking Treatment
We also have the non-medical treatment that can help a dog with excessive licking.
Use Inflatable Donut Cone
To start with, an inflatable donut cone can be used to stop access to other parts of the body.
The dog can be engaging in the licking due to anxiety, boredom, or stress and need behavioral change. Even as you continue training one can use no lick strips. Have become popular for many dog owner as they deliver a static charge when your dog places his tongue on it. Not only, will this deter the dog from licking the area that leads to hotspot but also doesn’t cause any harm?
Check also on the dog diet be it dry or wet food. Particularly dry skin can be a thing of the past with giving of Vitamin E and Fish Oil supplements.
Obviously, this will improve the dog coat, skin, and overall health, reducing inflammation and pain.
For dogs that suffer from major separation anxiety, a vet can recommend Clomipramine or Fluoxetine to helps counteract obsessive-compulsive behavior like licking.
A dog can have many behaviors from scratching, licking, excessive barking, biting, and chewing. If he is not digging under the fence, he could be scratching the carpet or barking at passersby.
Nevertheless, ensure to engage him with exercises to utilize excessive energy. Also, trick training can help to turn the excessive licking into desirable behavior with positive reinforcement.
Try to teach the dog other ways of greeting if you have ruled out it is not due to medical condition after vet checkup. Apart from this, give antibiotics, use medicated shampoos to treat fungal and yeast infections.
For Ears and skin get ointments placed in the ears which will help with mites and infections.
If the excessive licking isn’t stopped the behavior may also extend to repeat licking of other people or pets.
Lastly, when you try every aspect to curb the behavior and you are not successful you may require the help of a behaviorist, trainer, and veterinarian to solve this.