Here’s the next round of answers for our Ask a Trainer feature on our new website. It’s your chance to get dog training advice from the pros at AnimalSense. Stay tuned for more questions & answers, and if you have a burning dog training question, just “Ask a Trainer”!
Licking gives dogs feelings of comfort and pleasure. The pleasurable endorphins released during licking relieve stress. If your dogs are chronically licking themselves, it can be because they are bored, anxious, stressed, have skin problems such as allergies, or could be feeling pain somewhere in their bodies. You should rule out any medical causes such as infections or allergies by visiting your vet. Also make sure your dogs are getting plenty of exercise and perhaps increase play time to occupy them more.
If your dog’s licking is purely a sign of affection, one way to decrease this behavior is to ignore the licking. Licking should never get attention, even negative attention like saying “no” or “stop”. If your dog licks you, then immediately stand up and walk into another room. You want to teach your dog that licking means the person will leave the room. When you pet your dog, if he starts to lick, the petting stops and you walk away. With repetition, the dog will learn that when they lick, you leave. Eventually, they will put two and two together and the licking will stop.