Jamie is a great dog. Through all that she does, she is loving, loyal, and as cute as can be. Yet, you have noticed that Jamie has adopted an odd habit that is quite new to you. Jamie loves to lick the air, which seems oddly peculiar. It would make sense if she just ate or if she just finished her daily walk, but you have begun to notice that Jamie now licks the air all of the time! As you begin to observe your dog, you decide it is time for your research to begin, so you may understand why Boxers lick the air.
The Root of the Behavior
The Boxer breed is highly popular, especially in recent times. In fact, Boxers have become widely known for their silly personalities and loving energy. You may know more about the Boxer breed than any other breed because Boxers have been advertised all over the internet for their odd behaviors, so when Jamie licks the air for no apparent reason, it probably does not surprise you! Yet, as a concerned owner, it is important to understand why Jamie licks the air because there is a good reason for it. Dogs like Jamie are sensitive animals and they use their noses and mouths for absolutely everything. The first reason they lick the air is that they are trying to send moisture up to their nose. Although it looks as if they are licking the air, they may actually be wetting their nose. They could also be licking their face if there is food, dirt, or even water surround their mouth. This is the most common reason why Boxers will lick the air because it is an attempt to help the rest of their mouth. You may have even noticed that the Boxer face is a bit different than the usual dog. Yet, what other reasons could there be, especially if Jamie is doing it profusely?
If your dog is licking the air constantly, that might be a sign that she is stressed. Your dog may do this when she is in a situation where she feels worried that she may get in trouble or you may become angry at her behavior. The pressure to perform may cause stress. Beyond the emotional reasons that your dog licks the air, there are also health concerns you may want to be aware of. Your dog could easily be uncomfortable in her own skin because of minor health issues or because of major health issues. Jamie may lick the air because she is trying to soothe the pain in the back of her mouth or she may be trying to sooth her gastrointestinal discomfort. Although these issues may not seem too concerning, you are going to want to watch over your dog because she could also be dealing with nausea, a cognitive disfunction, or she may even be having a seizure. If Jamie consistently keeps licking the air, watch over her and take care of her to the best of your ability.
Encouraging the Behavior
Sometimes, our dogs do things that we find cute. From their barks to their odd behaviors, we tend to not realize that there is actually a reason for every behavior that they display. Licking the air can be a normal behavior because all dogs tend to do it, especially if they are Boxers. Usually, it occurs after a meal or if your dog is trying to self-heal their body, but sometimes air licking can occur if there are actually bigger reasons at hand.
You should continuously monitor your dog, especially if their air-licking behavior occurs for no apparent reason. There can be larger health issues at hand and you want to make sure your dog feels comfortable, at all times. Secondly, you also want to watch to see if your dog licks the air when you are around. Sometimes, dogs will only behave a certain way when they are around other humans and that could be due to emotional issues. If you can somehow watch your dog when she is unaware that you are there, you may be able to figure out if her licking habit is because of a bigger reason at hand. Yet, you don’t want to encourage licking in your dog unless they are doing it casually to clean their face, lick their nose, or to help with self - healing in times of need.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Once you observe your dog licking the air, it is a good idea to video tape it. This way you can have proof of your dog’s behavior, so your veterinarian can properly diagnose your dog when you take her in. You also may want to watch for any behaviors that accompany your dog’s air - licking behavior. Check Jamie's stools, watch her eating habits, and even look at the roof of her mouth. If you find that there are any accompanying symptoms, it may help you better diagnose your dog's health concerns. If you find that your dog is behaving this way due to stress, you may want to find out what is causing the stress. Any bit of anxiety can cause health issues in your dog, which may be a large issue at hand. Sometimes, it can cause bigger health issues in your dog than mouth pain or stomach issues.
Jamie is loyal, sweet, and kind, despite her odd licking behaviors. In fact, it is safe to say that she is an amazing dog. As her owner, it is important to give her all the love and attention she needs, especially if she is behaving in ways that seem abnormal. You may even need to hire a behavioralist or consult with your veterinarian to help Jamie.
By a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel
Published: 04/13/2018, edited: 01/30/2020