why does my dog keep licking my hand
"Victoria, I have aPone-year-old black Lab. He is a very sweet dog, but we cannot get him to stop licking us. When I say lickingP. I mean that we cannot pet him without getting licked. P What can we do to stop this behavior? "P Kish1
"I have a seven-month-old chow/husky mix and I can't break her of licking everyone. Why? How do you break that habit? "PP zoegirl1 Why is the dog licking? P Right from birth that is how the mother communicates with her new puppies, how she stimulates them to start breathing and how she cleans them when they are born, so it's very important to the survival of puppies.
P In the wild and in domestic dogs, you'll find they will lick around the mother's mouth as newborns and puppies still retain that instinct. P It's also sort of a submissive gesturePPthe more subordinate members of a pack will lick the more dominant members and that's important in maintaining pack harmony. PP Dogs also lick because they like the taste of an owner's salty skin and out of habit. P Mostly, with domestic dogs, it's a sign of affection.
Licking releases pleasurable endorphins which gives dogs a feeling of comfort and pleasurePPlike the feeling people get when they are biting their nailsPPit relieves stress. P If your dog's licking is purely a sign of affection, one way to decrease this is to ignore the licking. Licking never gets attention. P IfP your dog licks you, then you immediately stand up and walk into another room. You want to teach your dog that licking means the person will leave the room. P When you pet your dog, if he starts to lick, the petting stops and you walk away.
With repetition the licking will stop. If a dog is chronically licking himself, it can be because he is bored, anxious, has skin problems such as allergies, or could be feeling pain either in their paws or elsewhere in their bodies. You should make sure your dog is getting enough stimulation and rule out any infections or allergies by visiting your vet. When a dog's hand licking habit seems excessive and perhaps even out of control, it may signify a compulsive behavior pattern, not unlike immoderate barking or tail chasing.
Whether a dog is obsessed with licking the walls of your bedroom or your hand, a compulsion may just be responsible. A lot of different factors can trigger compulsions in dogs, including extended separation from a beloved caretaker, isolation, insufficient experience with playmates and past physical harm and neglect. If your dog's hand licking habit seems to be an urge that he cannot help, an appointment with the veterinarian is definitely a smart idea.
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