Dogs and their licking habit

1,405 Views Updated: 28 Nov 2016
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Dogs and their licking habit

Dogs are wonderful pets for us human beings and more than being a pet, they could be our best friends. They are capable of detecting any small behavioral changes in the person whom they love. 

And they express their love physically towards their masters mainly through licking and wagging their tails. The excessive licking of dogs on their masters will be at times annoying, but at the same time, it is the cutest form of expressing love.


Dogs lick themselves or their owners for the following reasons: 

1. Submission

Dogs live in packs, so according to their instinctive nature, they show submission to their alpha. But once domesticated, their natural alpha will be their master. So to demonstrate their submission and gratitude, they lick their masters.

2. Love

Dogs keen sense of smell is a known phenomenon. So they sense their master with their acute sense of smell which is one they love. And out of that love, they have the tendency to lick their master. 

And our body’s sweat glands do have a particular salty taste which the dogs love, and so this could be another reason for the dogs to lick their masters.

3. Self Protection

Dogs saliva has certain bacteria which helps to fight off certain germs and diseases. So that’s why, when they get wounded, they keep on licking it till their wounds get healed.  

Even if a wound exists on the limbs of their masters, they have the instinctive tendency to lick the wound and heal. But it is not a good solution, though. It is always better to apply for medicine by yourselves!

4. Boredom

Dogs licking themselves can also be a sign of boredom. Dogs are active creatures and so remaining idle is an irate condition. So to immerse in some activity, they indulge in licking their body.  So by giving them some activity or indulging in play hour with them would be a good way to get rid of this licking habit.

5. Psychological Issues

Dogs also lick when they get depressed or moody. Individual bad experiences or traumas encountered in the past are the reason for such licking. Or it could also be related to inherited mental ailments. Either way, it will always be good to consult a veterinary physician.

6. Communication

Dogs also lick their owners as a means of communication. Since they can’t talk, their primary mode of communication is licking and wagging their tail. So just look around. May be they are hungry or thirsty. Or they simply need to go outside.


So, these are some of the reasons for licking or excessive licking behavior in dogs. If the pet owners really would like to get rid of such behavior, some simple solutions are:

1 Always indulge them in playful exercises like throwing, chasing or going for a walk.

2 Give them something to chew on, so they would soon forget to lick.

3 If you find them licking on certain objects, you could try spraying on them certain bitter products like pepper spray or some other product. But always dilute it while spraying.

Dogs are undoubtedly a good pet to own because they are capable of loving us, protecting us and are willing to sacrifice their life for the master they love, which we humans are incapable of expressing and something we should be ashamed of. Thus there is no ambiguity in stating that ‘Dog is man’s best friend!”

Posted by: Dhiji Vijayan Posts: (36) Opinions: (1258) Points: 8,978 Rank: 6

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