How do I stop my dog from licking me? That's an all too common question among owners with overly affectionate pups. If you've found yourself getting covered in slobber when you come home, get done with a workout or seemingly for no reason at all, then you can understand how this behavior can quickly become a nuisance. Fortunately, there are ways that you can address licking positively and turn it from a problem to something more tolerable.
In order to combat the problem, you first need to understand the reasons for a dog licking people. Most people assume it's simply a dog's version of showing affection, the closest they can come to kissing. This is true to an extent.
Licking is a natural reflex action that begins literally at the moment of birth when a mother will lick her pups to get them breathing. Mother dogs will continue to lick their pups as a sign of affection and attention and so they form that association very early on in their development. Before you start asking how do I stop my dog from licking me, you need to realize that he may be doing it simply to show he cares.
Showing affection is only one possible cause of a dog licking people. It could also simply be because your salty skin tastes good, which particularly explains why your dog tends to lick you after you exercise. That extra sweat may be gross to us but it's delicious to them! Licking can also be the result of boredom, stress, or anxiety, in which case, it can actually be a cry for help and should be addressed before it leads to potentially destructive behavior.
Young dogs in the wild will often lick their mother when she returns from a hunt in order to get food and that instinct can carry over to our pets, who might be expecting something in return when they lick. Another reason for licking among wild dogs is to show submission. Weaker members of the pack will often lick stronger members so if you are wondering how do I stop my dog from licking me you may want to consider that he's simply acknowledging you as the leader of the pack.
Of course, none of this changes the fact that licking can be annoying and unhygienic. Dogs' mouths can be a breeding ground for any number of bacteria, so no matter how sweet it may be, those kisses could actually be doing a lot more harm than good. So if your dog licking people has become an issue, you'll want to take some steps to discourage the behavior.
Fortunately, the answer to how to stop my dog from licking me is usually not that complicated. There are several relatively quick and easy steps you can take to help redirect that energy and keep the kisses to a minimum:
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Sometimes, puppy kisses can be great. But, you know what they say about too much of a good thing...
There can be times when a dog licking people is a sign of a more serious problem. Excessive licking can be symptom of anxiety or even OCD and if your dog is excessively licking himself that can be a sign of illness or injury. If none of the steps above have successfully curbed the problem, you might want to consult with your vet to determine if there is some underlying medical cause for the behavior.
If you're asking how do I stop my dog from licking me you're hardly alone. It's an all too common problem but, fortunately, with the right approach it should be fairly easy to redirect your dog's energy and cut the kisses to a manageable amount.
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