CAUTION! Dog can’t Control his Licker

Thanks to PetMD for the photo

I recently wrote an article on doggy obsessive compulsive disorder (read that article here).  All dogs, well most of them, have some behaviors we humans think verge on obsessive; however most of these behaviors are just “dog” behaviors.  Obsessive behaviors, true obsessive behaviors are those that interfere with the sufferer’s normal life.

For instance, digging may seem like an obsessive behavior to us, but most dogs dig because it’s super fun for them and mentally stimulating.

Digging would only become an obsessive behavior if your dog can’t seem to stop, and is digging to the point his feet and nails are bleeding.  This kind of digging is rare.

Your dog’s tail chasing might be fun for him for a moment or two and you might think it’s funny but when he chases it to the point he is tearing all his tail fur out and making his tail bleed is when it becomes an obsessive compulsive behavior (I have seen several dogs that do this).

But many of you mentioned that you have what you think is an obsessive licker at your house.

And, licking can be an obsessive behavior.

This is called a Lick Granuloma, caused by a Dog that is Obsessively Licking Himself.

I have seen many dogs over the years that have licked themselves to the point that they created painful sores on their bodies, and yet, they keep licking.  These dogs lick and lick their skin in the same spot (it may begin with an itch or a sore that already existed) and when your dog licks and his skin begins to bleed his body releases endorphins; some dogs enjoy this release of endorphins and so they continue licking their skin away.

I have even seen dogs that have chewed their own toes and tails off.  Obviously this is an obsessive compulsive behavior!

In these severe cases, it is imperative to limit the dog’s ability to lick himself by utilizing an Elizabethan Collar (most people call a lamp shade collar) or putting clothes on him, provided he won’t just rip the sock or shirt off.

These dogs that are self-injurious may also need a little anti-depressant to help their minds relax and focus on normal life.

But most of your dogs fall somewhere in between this severe self-destructive licking, and not licking at all.

And, it is important to know where your dog is at in this continuum.

A non-licker is great, be glad you don’t have a dog that licks.

For the most part, I don’t encourage licking at all.  If I have a nipper, or a dog that takes treats harshly, I will reward licking instead of biting.

Although in one of my articles I admit kissing some of my dogs on the snoot, I do not encourage them to lick or kiss me in the face.  I just don’t like it.  I don’t like their tongues on my face and I know where they lick themselves 😉  I also like to be the “instigator” or the one who goes into the face of a dog (only one that I trust) and don’t try to encourage my dogs to get into my face.

But some dogs are orally fixated.

My Puppy’s Sucking Pillow is a Scooby Doo pillow with a Raised Nose he likes to Suck on and knead with his Paws.

The Stress Sucker

The puppy I got at 6 weeks old is orally fixated.  It was because he was taken from his mommy too young (now before you send hate mail, I did not remove him from his mother.  He was already taken away and I simply gave him a stable home to live in.  I NEVER recommend taking a pup from his mother before 8 weeks, (more on that here) but sometimes it is unavoidable).

He has a fixation, where he wants to suck on blankets and pillows and sometimes even my arms and skin.  This kind of licking and sucking calms him down, and is something that has eased his stress as he has aged.  Again, it was because he was separated too early.  He will probably always have a desire to suck blankets and pillows.

When he tries to suck or lick on me, I redirect him and give him something else to suck on because I realize he has a need to suck.  He rarely falls asleep that he doesn’t suck on something as he is drifting off.

Some dogs have a need to lick and suck and so we must give them an appropriate outlet for it for their mental health.  I am afraid if I didn’t allow and encourage him to have a “sucking pillow” he would lick himself to the point that he became self-injurious.

The Submissive Licker

Some dogs lick as a form of submission.  If they were in a dog pack and they were getting in trouble, or after they had gotten in trouble they would laterally slither toward the alpha of the pack and lightly lick them in the face.  This licking is a way of saying “I’m sorry” and is usually only tolerated for a short time.

They usually slink up to you and lick.  Their eyes are soft and blinking.

However when you get mad at or yell at your dog for this behavior, your dog is likely to lick you even more vigorously.

The Dominant Licker

The Dominant Dog/Wolf often licks and nibbles the Face of the submissive wolf, but his pupils and face are stiff and hard.

There are some dogs that lick, because they want to it is a way of asserting themselves into your space.

This kind of dog usually gets angry when you try to stop their licking and will begin nipping or biting you.

His eyes are usually dilated and hard.

It is important to remove this dog from your presence and not allow him to get in your space and lick, especially in the face!

The Bored Licker

This dog likes to lick, because he has learned that you enjoy it.

Even if you no longer enjoy it, you may have once encouraged him to lick you in the face or on the body and so he has learned that licking is a behavior that you lick.

Some dogs start licking you, think that you like it (because you giggle or allow him to lick) and then they learn that they like licking.

People are salty.

As we sweat our skin becomes salty and dogs like that taste.

Some dogs also like the lotions and potions we put on our skin and try to lick them off.

Our dogs like the way we smell, remember their sense of smell is thousands of times better than our and they like tasting us.

The Submissive Wolf is Soft and Squinty with his eyes.

If You Don’t Like It

  • Don’t reward the behavior by giggling or encouraging it.
  • Give your dog something else to do.
  • Exercise him so he is unlikely to get bored and lick you.
  • Put him outside or in another room to change his mindset.  Dogs get bored and get into habits, if as soon as he starts licking you remove him or yourself from the situation he will learn that licking equals something bad, or something he doesn’t want.
  • And, you can always use a bitter spray like bitter apple.
  • If your dog thinks you taste TERRIBLE he will stop trying to lick you.
  • But you will have to spray yourself with bitter apple fairly frequently for several weeks; and remember to wash your hands before you eat!

Allowing your dog to lick you, to some degree is personal preference.  But if you allow it, it can get out of control quickly.

Identify which “licker” you have and come up with a strategy to deal with it!

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Comments

  1. Sue says:

    My 2 Minature Schnauzers constantly lick each other. As a result, a day or so after their weekly bath, they stink! Any suggestions would be gratefully received. Sue

    [Reply]

    Kay Anderson Reply:

    Why not try spraying their fur with the bitter apple spray mentioned in the article?

    [Reply]

    Angel Reply:

    A weekly bath?? That is extremely excessive. Dog’s fur contains oils and conditioners that keep their skin healthy and bathing more than once a month or so strips them of their natural oils making their skin dry and lackluster. That is likely the source of the licking. Stop bathing so much. The only place that has sweat glands (so the only place that provides any kind of stink) is their feet. You can wash them with baby shampoo when you think they’re stinky and that will help without drying up those essential oils all over their coats.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Actually, Angel you are wrong. Many dermatologist recommend bathing every other day with a prescription shampoo and then cutting down to weekly and further after that.

    Sometimes those oils and skin conditions re causing the problem. See a vet derm if you are in question.

    [Reply]

  2. Agandl says:

    Great article (as ever)

    May I suggest that people who have to use lotions and potions, particularly for medical purposes, that they don’t let their dogs lick them. Some may be harmful to dogs

    [Reply]

  3. Mekaino says:

    Nice one… I like it

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  4. Martha Y says:

    How does one distinguish between compulsive licking that is habit-based as opposed to licking caused by allergies? Dogs suffering from allergies will not likely be helped with the use of “cones,” and if the owner assumes that dogs are licking because of habit, then they may, out of frustration, end up punishing a dog who is driven to lick for legitimate medical reasons.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Either way licking is not a good thing.

    So yes, even dogs with allergies vets have utilize a cone.

    I dog can lick normal skin and cause irritation.

    Your vet can tell if it is allergies or do allergy testing. Usually allergies occur in certain areas such as in between the toes and under the armpits etc.

    But only a vet can diagnose.

    [Reply]

  5. Janet says:

    Yes Agandl

    I agree fully. It was a fantastic article AND also it certainly is not a good idea to let dogs lick you after putting any lotions or potions on your skin.

    I will go a step further – most of them are not JUST BAD FOR DOGS!! They are full of toxins to humans too. USE ORGANIC ONLY and read what is in it is my advice. Better for you AND the dog……

    [Reply]

  6. Roberta says:

    my dog licks chairs, pillows, everything. Me, my pants, shirt anything that’s there!

    [Reply]

    Carol Reply:

    …maybe you’re like me & have a Pitbull, Roberta? Kitt licks my clothes & my face & neck if he gets the chance! I really liked the part in the article about checking the dog’s eyes 2 see if they are dialated–I certainly will be more observant with our precious Kitt! We really adore this little guy! 🙂

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  7. Mary says:

    My rescue chihuahua licks the sofa to the point that it is moist to the touch. I have tried redirecting her attention & she goes to another section of sofa and continues licking. I put blanket on sofa and she doesn’t lick that as much. She doesn’t lick anything else obsessively. Only does it in the evening after eating and exercise during quiet time. She’s sitting next to me and I’m petting her before I notice that she is licking. I tell her no & move her to a different position but if I don’t watch her closely, she will start licking again. Any suggestions?

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  8. Diane says:

    our dog does lick a little, but her obsession is chewing! Not on shoes or wood, but blankets, sheets, pillows, towels, anything soft and just plain material. What gives with this. She has chew toys, we play with her. I don’t know what to do!!!

    [Reply]

  9. Luann says:

    Great article. I heard that a dog will lick the pack leader and that is why a dog will lick your face if you are the pack leader to him. Also I heard pack leaders don’t lick back. To stop your dog from licking just say good licking to train to lisk then say thank you for the kisses and turn your head, so it’s not so negative. You can also say Enough and turn away but in a soft tone< but always say food licking when your dog does this behavior to teach him to lick so it's easier to teach when to stop. I learned alot of other reasons why a dog may lick, Thanks

    [Reply]

  10. Patty says:

    I have two dogs, one is 10 years old and the other is 1 year old. The older one licks the covers on our bed and also the couch cover, the pup has now picked up the same habit. What can I do to get them to stop this behavior?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Use some bitter apple spray

    [Reply]

    Donna campbell Reply:

    Ha, my dog likes it! Does not discourage him at all…

    [Reply]

    Patty Reply:

    Thanks, I will go on line and find some!

    [Reply]

  11. Beth Davis says:

    Sometimes dogs lick or chew on themselves, because no one will take them in the house, or for a walk, or a treat..whatever, we must not just put then outside and see them once in awhile …of Wood Fenced areas…bad, they can’t see outside at all, only the sky..take a board out of fence here and there
    they will at least see whats going on and become more happy!!

    [Reply]

  12. Marge says:

    My 16-month old mini aussie, Merlin, has always liked to lick people and my other dog, a small female Papillon named Lily. Merlin has licked Lily to the point of her cheeks now being nearly white rather than brown as they should be. Whenever I see Merlin licking Lily, or any person (including me), I allow him ONE slurp and then I say “Hold your licker!” in a firm (but still friendly) voice. If he does not stop, I touch his mouth. When he stops, I say “Good boy!” and scratch his ears; he loves to have his ears scratched. He has learned to stop licking after one slurp pretty well with people, but not very well with Lily, so we are still working on eliminating the licking behavior. (I would use a clicker and treats except Merlin is not very motivated by treats, he’d rather do what he wants…).

    [Reply]

  13. Mike Badley says:

    I have a Lhasa that is 2 years younger than my Pomeranian – they are adult dogs, not puppies. The Lhasa licks the Pom CONSTANTLY behind the ears. The Pom used to growl and snap at the Lhasa, but nothing stops it. Now the Pom just takes it and constantly has wet ears or matts behind the ears. The licking is worse when they are excited about going somewhere, in the car or if anybody is petting them. Generally, if they are calm and lying about – there isn’t much licking going on. Sharp commands to ‘Stop it’ get the Lhasa to quit, for a bit, then he’s back at it. We call the Pomeranian the Lhasa’s toy.

    [Reply]

  14. dorothy stanford says:

    my dog will only lick 2 people. my nephew and my daughter. she never licks me. she knows i wont tolerate it.

    [Reply]

  15. Kelly says:

    We adopted 8 month old brother/sister terrier mixes a year ago. The girl loves to lick us….faces, arms, and legs. We tell her “no lick” and hold her away from us, but she then continues to lick the air. We would love to break her of this habit. When we first adopted them, it was cute but quickly went from cute to annoying. If we pick her up to cuddle her, she just starts licking our faces and neck. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    [Reply]

  16. Donna Kerr says:

    I have a Chihuahua! She licks me when I firt wake up, wants to go out to relieve herself, when I ask her a question about going outside or when I ask her if she loves me! A lick is her way of telling a yes answer!

    [Reply]

  17. Sweet says:

    Hi everyone I have never done this before. This is my first time, so am going to include my email in here for anyone that can help me out. I have 4 Miniuature Schnauzer’s they are my babies and yes spoiled. But im having trouble with them licking one another’s EAR’S.
    I can tell them to stop, enough, etc. Which they will but they go right back to it. This is so annoying and causes ear problems for them. If anyone has any suggestions please contact me. I have no idea how I got here and no idea how to get back here that’s the reason im including the email. So please be on the up and up with suggestions. Thank you so much.
    Again need help with them licking one another’s EAR’S .. sweet_n_101@yahoo.com
    Thank wish you all the best with your dog’s.. Enjoyed reading what
    what other’s had to say.. God Bless

    [Reply]

  18. diane robinson says:

    i have a terrier mix and he only licks when he is happy to see me and if i am sweating a lot he licks the sweat off of me the only other person he licks is my very good friend he goes nuts when he sees her. but my main problem is he wont eat his dog food, maybe its too cheap of a brand but i am on s.s.i. and dont have the money to buy the expensive stuff. i buy pedegree dry and canned but i have to doctor it up so he will eat it. please any suggestions on a reasonable priced good food for him please. im sorry that i got off the track of licking but im kind of desperate.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’ve never seen a dog starve himself (that wasn’t sick)…

    He is holding out so you put stuff into his food.

    DON’T DO IT!!!

    Take his food up and try again at the next feeding and if he goes a day without eating, its not going to kill him… just teach him to eat what he is given 😀

    [Reply]

  19. Bob says:

    I have a 6 year old shepherd mix that licks her feet,,excessively,,WE have to tell her to quit, but then she moves to another room,, what to do..

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    See the vet first about allergies and medications that can help.

    Then keep her in the room with you, if you can’t see her she is probably licking so keep her with you!

    [Reply]

  20. Susan says:

    My Chihuahua licks his paws at night. I feel like he is cleaning himself after a long day. I have heard that some dogs lick for the heat it gives on arthritic joints. Do you feel this is true?
    I don’t mind a little licking, but I try to discourage him after a few minutes because it gets annoying. I simply put my hand over his paws, and sometimes he stops; sometimes he just moves away from me and continues to lick.

    [Reply]

  21. christian says:

    Hay can you tell me how to make my dogs to not bark when someone is at the door Please help I do not know what else to do please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this
    http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/teaching-dog-quiet/

    [Reply]

  22. Nelly Boets says:

    Hi. I give my dogs a tablespoon of real plain yogurt on top of their morning dry food. They love it. The benefits are not only that they get probiotics but their coot doesn’t smell like a dog. I bath them every 3 to 4 weeks. By the 4th. they start to smell a little.
    As far as licking is concerned my female didn’t start to want to lick my face until after she had pups and they were gone. She had been so busy licking 7 of them clean all the time. But she is getting better. She was a very good mom and made sure they didn’t go on the floor. She would lick them in prevention. I took the pups out every 3 hours. They were all house trained by 8 weeks.

    [Reply]

  23. alexis says:

    My dog licks us all the time when he’s happy but its all over do I really have to get bitter spray and spray it all over me or is there another trick I could do??

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    no the real trick is exercise and obedience.

    [Reply]

  24. alexis says:

    My dog jumps all over me and licks me when he’s excitted how do I stop that

    [Reply]

  25. helene says:

    The main time my young dog licks is when we or friends come in the house …he will greet us by trying to lick our hands none stop.
    My friends really dislike it. He will also lick us like crazy when we stop petting him….as if to urge us to continue since he will stop if we keep petting…How to stop the licking from everyone he is greeting ? Even when I walk him and strangers want to greet and pat him he will frantically lick their hands…

    [Reply]

  26. JANNA ASHLEY says:

    Thank goodness for this kind of site which gives other people’s personal experiences. About half of the emails matched my problems/issues with my rescue dog “Angel”. I had just lost my pekinese who was also a rescue dog and they both had different issues but the one thing they both had plenty of was LOVE. Angel has given me so much in the 1 year I have had her and what little I am able to give back it seems; we have rescued each other. I have a lot of health problems and Angel is able to detect when something is wrong — she even knows when I am having low blood sugar when I am sleeping and will wake me up. So with all that she has done for me in the short time I have had her, I feel like I shouldn’t be corrective with her, etc. However, there is little that she does that needs correction and I know that if I don’t correct her early it will get worse and that will be bad for both of us. But the one thing is her licking my face. She loves to jump up on my shoulder when I am sitting in my recliner and lick my face. That is the one thing that is getting harmful to me. When I first got her she was skin and bones, she didn’t know what toys were or how to play with them; she barked incessively at anyone who came into my apartment. The barking is pretty much stopped. She is smart and learns fast; however, I can’t get the licking under control. She has come such a long way that I hate to be so “negative” — what can I do that is kinder and will not hurt her feelings? Sorry for such a long email but had a lot to say. Thank you and will look for your response. How long does it take for a response to be received?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Children and dogs need boundaries. It is not a “correction” or negative unless you make it overly so.

    Just get up and walk away.

    Each time she begins to lick get up and walk away or put her in another room she will learn that licking = the loss of what she wants and will eventually stop!

    [Reply]

  27. Eileen says:

    Great article, my father and I tell our Beagle, NO KISSING! he likes to hug us. LOLS!

    [Reply]

  28. Nancy says:

    I have a miniature poodle named Noah. He licks the salt off our bodies but he really likes to target my extremely dry and cracked heels. They are calloused and he licks and nibbles on them to exfoliate the dry skin. I love how he tries to care for me. I think he’s trying to heal me. Am I right? Nancy

    [Reply]

  29. Dee says:

    I got a Rotte/Boxer mix at 5 weeks because the momma got sick and he is a submissive licker. My Malamute/Husky mix was when she was younger but it was’nt allowed (she still tries sometimes). With the 2 of them together they have established, for the most part that licking each other is ok but not the Alpha unless they made a big mistake and it is more from the younger one.

    [Reply]

  30. Kym says:

    I have a 2 year old pit bull that suckles on blankets and pillows. She started doing this about 9 months ago. She never does this when it is just she and I in the house, but when someone comes to the house, she will get very excited, greet them, and run to suckle on her blanket (usually until the person leaves). My mother recently stayed with me for 4 days and she suckled most of that time. I dont believe she was taken from her mother too early. I believe she does this when she is anxious. Is there any harm in her doing this? Any negative effects such as jaw problems later in life? I dont think so, but want your thoughts on this please.

    Thanks so much.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I suppose anything is a possibility, however I doubt it!

    Just make sure it doesn’t become obsessive to the point that it is affecting her life in a bad way.

    As I write this my puppy is sucking his pillow 😉 but he only does it at night before he drifts off to sleep!

    [Reply]

  31. I have a chihuahua that i had for 2 yrs. He was left out side by previous owners day and night all yr. round. I finally was able to buy him to get him away from them. He had his blanket and when ever he is done eating or wants to nap he will get his blanket and suck it and fall asleep. He also cover shim self with it if he is chilly. We have a large yard and take him for walks every night before bed time. I need a rest LOL so I put him in the bath room with a lot of blankets on the floor and a small heater to keep him from shaking when it is cold. I set the heater on 72 deg. He doesn’t lick him self a lot.It seems only to clean him self. If i tell him to stop he does. He is now laying on my bed with the sun shining on him. I do no tallow his blanket on my bed and he knows that. I love my little man Dancer.

    [Reply]

  32. Carole says:

    I have a 11 year old mixed breed female who recently has started licking a spot on her hip. I think it started as a sore and she has just licked it into a bald spot the size of a quarter. I tell her to stop licking and she does, but I can’t watch her when she’s in another part of the house. She doesn’t lick the spot constantly, but when she does she goes into a “zone” and just doesn’t seem to be able to stop. Sometimes I have to move her head to get her to stop, other times I just tell her . I’m ready to get her a cone or one of the new balloon rings to keep her from licking it. Any other suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    At 11 I would check with the vet and see if anything with her health has changed.

    If it is pain, a simple Rx pain reliever may alleviate her pain and therefore her licking.

    Other than that, keeping an eye on her or using a cone is what you may have to do!

    [Reply]

  33. Autumn says:

    I read this as soon as it showed up in my e-mail. I have a pack of lickers! The times they mostly do it is when I put anuthing on my legs or get out of the shower – like they want to help me dry off, (they can’t figure out why I VOLUNTERALY take a bath!) Or when they are very excited, esp when I first wake up and they want to go out. Is there a particular reason for this? They lick very quickly and I have to hide my skin under the blankets or physically remove them to make them quit.

    I read the relpies to this article & I ‘m glad to know my dogs may not be as weird as I thought. I have an anxiety disorder & am worried I cause my dogs to respond by being neurotic! My Papillion does chew on her foot when I am over anxious but not to the point of injuring herself. She does discolor the fur a bit though. I also noticed the “couch licking” started a few yrs ago. I thought it was because I had a leather couch but now I have a cloth one & now I have a bunch of soggy spots & slobber rings – eew! I never thought of bitter apple, duh! I also have a “sucker”. He wasn’t weaned too early as he still lives here with mom. He is now almost 3 and sucks on his “monkey” when he’s falling asleep (he’s had it since he was 5wks old). I am so glad to know other dogs do this also!

    Thanks for addressing the odd things dogs do & why they may be doing it. It sure relieves my worry that I am emotionally crippling my dogs!

    [Reply]

  34. maxine says:

    I learned a great trick to get our dog to stop barking at the door or when someone goes by. Her trainer had me put pennies in a small plastic container and place several of them around the house. She then closed off the rooms around the house so my dog could only run around the living room. I sat in a chair in the corner. the trainer had me stay in the chair while she began to rattle the coins and then “threw” them, one container at a time at the dog. They were small containers so didn’t hurt her if they touched her,but did scare her. she finally ran to me to pick her up. Now if she begins to bark at the door we “rattle” the coins. She remembers how terrified she was of them and quickly quiets down. Gradually she has stopped barking at the door or when someone walks by, she just growls..what a relief. it has also taught her to come when I call her.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I really dislike this kind of training.

    What happens when the dog hears something else in the real world jingle or sees something coming toward her, or hears a jack hammer?

    This method teaches a dog to be fearful of “things” that might get them in their environment and can lead to aggression and extreme fears when they are taken into the real world and you can’t control the environment.

    I would rather teach mine how to control their voices on command.

    [Reply]

  35. I have a rescue Shtz that’s 3 yrs old he licks my shirt and nibbles on my arm,hand I tell him no and put him down but two hours later same thing all over again any advice

    [Reply]

  36. Imogen says:

    My dog is licking her two front legs and removing the skin and making it bleed we have taken her to the vet and they never give us anything to help or advise us on what to do I’m at my wits end because it looks so painful

    She is a Chinese crested hairless

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put an elizabethan collar on her (the cone) and she won’t be able to do that at all

    [Reply]

  37. Annette says:

    I like your advise about redirecting a self licker. My BC excessively licks to the point of harming herself. I do use a cone when needed but find that with her failing eyesight as she gets older she runs into things and has quite a time getting around with it. It hurts when she runs into me! I have come home from work several times to find she has gotten it off. I have tried different kinds.
    Back to redirecting. She doesn’t like to play with toys or chew on dog chews,so they aren’t an option. She likes treats but easily gets overweight so I have to be careful with them. Currently I verbally correct her. She tries to move when I can’t see her so I have to make her lay near me. The only redirect I have found that works is petting but obviously I can’t do that all the time.
    She also will compulsively lick the dog bed.
    I have tried bitter apple; not very effective.
    Any other ideas for stopping this behavior?

    [Reply]

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