Excessive licking behavior in dogs can result from a variety of causes. Stress, anxiety, separation, and boredom are all factors that can trigger this behavior. While it can be difficult to break the cycle, there are several steps you can take to prevent your dog from engaging in this behavior. Firstly, you should never reward your dog for excessive licking with attention. Instead, try to redirect the behavior by giving it a chewy toy or a bone.
Avoid Rewarding Excessive Licking with Attention
One way to identify whether your dog is licking excessively is to videotape it while you are away. Point the camera at the area where the dog spends most of its time. Leave the camera running when you leave the room. This will show you whether the behavior is really driven by attention-seeking. If you notice that it is not, then it is not likely to be a compulsive disorder.
Another way to prevent your dog from excessive licking is to ignore it. While this can be hard, you can still direct your dog’s attention to other, desirable behaviors. If your dog has a particular toy, try rewarding it in another way. For instance, if you’re playing with your puppy, don’t reward the behavior by letting it have it.
Redirect A Dog’s Desire To Lick By Offering A Chewy Toy or A Bone
Dogs are naturally curious creatures, so it’s essential to provide them with opportunities to explore and learn about their environment. This is especially true of puppies, who tend to be the most curious. It’s important to provide them with opportunities to explore their surroundings and develop into secure, confident dogs. Instead of attempting to stop your dog from chewing, redirect the behavior by providing a safe space for it to do so.
Long walks can also reduce your dog’s stress and decrease its licking urge. Bathing your dog after a long walk can also help. A quick shower can remove salty skin from its coat and discourage licking. Certain scents are also more appealing to dogs than others, so avoid using these scents and reward appropriate behavior instead.
Another great way to redirect a dog’s desire to lick is to offer a chewy toy or a chewy bone to him. Providing a chewy toy or bone when your dog comes into the house can distract his mind from chewing on your hands or other things. In addition to distracting your dog, toys can also provide an outlet for excess energy.
Reinforce A Different, Incompatible Behavior
Excessive licking can be annoying and upsetting for both you and your guests. It might be easier to avoid a full saliva bath every day by redirecting your dog to another behavior. A gradual change in behavior will reinforce the lesson that licking is not acceptable.
You can use clicker training to discourage overexcitement in dogs. This training technique is especially effective with aggressive or fearful breeds. Clicker training involves rewarding your dog’s behavior when it carries out the desired behavior. Reinforcement should take place every ten seconds or less.
Another effective method is to deny attention to your dog whenever he’s performing the behavior. This technique works because he’ll learn to associate the behavior with different behavior. When your dog is engaging in repetitive or obsessive licking behavior, try ignoring him or walking away from him for a few seconds. By ignoring him, you’ll be sending a clear signal that excessive licking isn’t rewarding.