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More on Excessive Licking


 Dog Behavior Library

Excessive Licking of People

What Is It?
A short lick is a sign of a submissive greeting. When it consists of more than three or four licks, it is excessive.

What Causes It?
It is an attempt by a very submissive dog to demonstrate their submissiveness. It may be giving the message, "Please don't reprimand me."

When Does It Happen?
During greetings or when the dog is nervous. Relaxed licking is probably good mutual grooming, and not usually a problem.

How Can I Stop It?

  • Ignore dog's licking you. Don't pet him or talk to him. Give no reward or encouragement.
  • If licking continues, prevent it when the dog tries to lick you.
  • Push the dog away when he attempts to lick you, and require a sit-stay. Reward the sit-stay.
  • Lavish attention on (praise, play, food treat) the dog when he is not licking you.
Don't physically punish the dog for licking; that will inevitably make it worse. He is licking you to tell you he is submissive. Punishment perpetuates the cycle.

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