Way to Get Dogs to Stop Licking Constantly

by Sarah Dray
A lick here, a lick there... Doggie could just be saying "I love you!"

A lick here, a lick there... Doggie could just be saying "I love you!"

Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Some dogs are natural-born lickers -- which might seem sweet at first, but it gets old quickly. If you're sharing your life with a licker -- of people, things, other pets and pretty much everything in between -- there's hope. Of course, you're going to have to give Puppy a reason to stop licking, whether in the form of something more attractive to do or making licking no longer fun.

Step 1

Figure out why the licking occurs in the first place. Some puppies lick as a way of identifying objects and getting to know the world around them. They lick instead of using their noses to recognize familiar things and people around them. Some dogs lick to say "I like you," while others lick as a way to get attention or when they're stressed, as in the case of obsessive self-licking.

Step 2

Schedule a vet visit if Doggie is licking himself but not licking anything else. He might be suffering from a skin condition -- even if it's not obvious to the naked eye -- and licking might be the only way to ease the itchiness or discomfort.

Step 3

Spray pet deterrent on whatever he likes to lick. Doggie licking himself? Put some bitter apple or vinegar on his fur or skin. If he's licking the furniture, spray the wood with a commercial pet deterrent spray. Licking you until your skin starts to fall off? Consider changing the skin lotion you use -- he might find the taste oddly attractive.

Step 4

Focus his attention on something else when the licking gets obsessive. If Doggie's licking is just his way of saying "I love you so much, human," cuddle with him on the couch or give him a hug and kiss. He'll eventually learn there are other ways to express affection than just licking you to death. Could he be bored? If the licking starts when you're focusing on something else -- something besides him -- take a second and offer him a toy or a chewing stick.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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