How to Train Your Dog to Not Lick

Medium
4-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

The behavior of a dog licking is very natural. When they are puppies, dogs are licked by their mothers to encourage movement, to show love, to keep them clean, and to provide affection. Dogs grow up using their mouths to explore the world. If your dog licks your face as he greets you, it is because he is saying hello in the way that is most natural to him. Your skin is soft and smooth, which is comforting for your dog. Your skin may even taste salty and yummy for your dog, as much as it may be annoying to people.

Defining Tasks

Dogs also naturally lick their own wounds to encourage the healing process. Dogs will lick their paws excessively or their skin excessively to groom, clean, and to feel better. Excessive licking can not only be annoying to watch and hear, but it can also pose problems on your dog's skin. Licking wounds could cause potential bacterial infections or even pull stitches out if your dog has had recent surgery. Licking a paw excessively could indicate an injury you may know nothing about. At the same time, obsessively licking an injury could cause more damage.

Once you know your dog is safe, not injured, and only licking because of habit, you may want to begin to correct compulsive licking.

Getting Started

To ensure your dog is not licking his body excessively for medical reasons, be sure to have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can check for things such as hay fever and allergy-related skin conditions. You can also talk about obsessive-compulsive disorders such as stress and separation anxiety.

Once your dog is cleared medically, if he is licking you to provide sweet puppy kisses or licking his body simply as a compulsive behavior you can address these problems with some retraining, positive reinforcement, patience, and lots of treats. Licking is a habit that takes time to forget. It might take your dog several weeks to forget this bad habit and replace it with a new habit.

The Kisses Greeting Method

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5 Votes
Kisses Greeting method for Not Lick
Step
1
Turn away
If your dog is used to licking you as a greeting, turn your face away to encourage the dog not to lick your face.
Step
2
Reward
The moment your dog's tongue is withdrawn and away from your face, offer him a treat and attention by way of petting.
Step
3
Offer alternatives
You can train your dog alternative ways of greeting such as the “give me your paw” command or a “sit” command, so you have a chance to pet and greet your dog without being licked in the face.
Step
4
Practice and reward
As you are training these commands, turn your head away from your dog's face any time he tries to lick you. Once your dog pulls his tongue in and away from your face, give him a treat and some affection by way of petting.
Step
5
Reinforce
Over time, your dog will be used to an alternative greeting such as remaining calm with his tongue in his mouth or sitting and waiting for a good petting from you.
Recommend training method?

The Distraction Method

Effective
1 Vote
Distraction method for Not Lick
Step
1
Retraining
If your dog is always licking his own body, you will need to begin to retrain and provide distractions.
Step
2
Offer alternatives
When you see your dog licking his paws incessantly, for instance, offer him a toy to chew.
Step
3
Encourage
While your dog chews on his toy, offer him a petting and a treat for every few minutes he is not licking his body.
Step
4
Repeat and reward
Repeat this process every time you see your dog licking obsessively. Be sure to reward good behavior with treats when he pulls away from licking his paws or other areas on his body.
Step
5
Reinforce
Eventually, your dog will find entertainment elsewhere, such as a toy, and recognize the reward in treats when he is not licking obsessively.
Recommend training method?

The Give Paw Method

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1 Vote
Give Paw method for Not Lick
Step
1
Sit
Ask your dog to sit and offer a treat when he obeys. If your dog does not sit immediately, go back and revisit this command with your dog so every time you say the command, “sit,” he knows what to do.
Step
2
Introduce a treat
Holding a treat in one closed hand show it to your dog but don't allow him to eat it.
Step
3
Introduce command
Give the command, “give me your paw,” and wave the treat in your closed hand under your dog's nose.
Step
4
Wait
Wait patiently for your dog to paw at your hand trying to get to the treat inside your closed fist. Your dog may sniff your hand, but stand firm and wait for that paw to come up to try to open your hand to release the treat.
Step
5
Reward
Once the paw comes up and touches your hands to release the treat, tell him good boy, open your hand, and allow him to eat his reward.
Step
6
Practice
Practice this several times until you can have an open hand with a treat sitting on top, and when you say the command, “give me your paw,” your dog touches your hand with his paw before eating his treat. This training may take several days several times a day to practice, but eventually when you say the command, “give me your paw.” your dog should put his paw up in your hand before expecting a treat reward
Step
7
Add the alternative to your greeting
As part of the greeting process, before you allow your dog to lick your face to say hello, put your hand out and use the “give me your paw” command. Once your dog comprehends the command, use this as a greeting every time you see your dog to avoid the puppy kisses.
Step
8
Get support
Ask anyone who greets your dog not to allow puppy kisses and face licking but rather to ask your dog to give them his paw as a greeting. Once your dog has been trained to use shaking your hand as a normal greeting, he will expect everyone who crosses his path to shake instead of offering sloppy wet puppy kisses.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Oliver
Golden Retriever
6 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Oliver
Golden Retriever
6 Years

Sit

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jon, It looks like you wrote sit under your question. Are you asking how to teach your Golden Retriever to sit? If so then you can teach Oliver to sit by following these steps. 1. Begin by finding something that your dog loves, to use as motivation. This can be a favorite treat or a favorite toy. 2. Once you have found something that Oliver loves, start by letting him sniff the item. Once Oliver is paying attention to the item, bring the item slowly from the dogs nose towards the dogs back, making it pass over the dogs head with him trying to follow the item with his eyes and nose. 3. If the dog looses focus on the item or gets excited and tries to grab it, simply start over by placing the item back at the dog's nose and repeat the process. 4. When the dog attempts to keep focus on the item by lifting its head up and back, this should cause the dog to move into a sit position, with its bottom hitting the floor. Once the dog's bottom hits the floor, praise the dog enthusiastically and immediately give the dog the item as a reward. 5. Practice luring the dog into that position several times without a command, until the dog begins to place it's bottom on the floor more quickly. 6. Once the dog is placing it's bottom on the floor when you move the item above it's head right away, introduce the word "sit", saying sit right when the dog's bottom begins to lower towards the ground and praising and rewarding as soon as it touches. 7. After several repetitions of "sit", begin to tell your dog "sit" right BEFORE you lure them into the position, so that the command precedes the action now. Continue to reward and praise when they sit. 8. Begin to give your dog opportunities to sit when told,without being shown what to do now. To do this tell Oliver "sit" and wait seven seconds to see if he will offer it himself without being shown, if he does not, then lure him into the position with the item again as a hint. Do not repeat the word" si"t unless more than 7 seconds has passed or you think the dog did not hear your original command. 9. Once Oliver will sit without the hint when told, begin to faze out the use of the treats or toy by only offering the item after your dog has a done a number of sits or a sit that was better than the previous sit. For instance have the dog sit three times before earning the reward one day, then the next day have the dog do five sits before earning a reward. Then ten sits before earning a reward by the end of the week. After your dog reaches more than fifteen sits per reward faze out the rewards all together and use every day "life rewards" instead. These can be sitting at the door before a walk, sitting at dinner before being fed, sitting before being petted, and other things that your dog enjoys throughout its day. If you struggle to get your dog to sit when luring with the item try practicing the above with your dog in a corner or against a wall so that the only way that the dog can follow the treat visually is by sitting to help him look up. This can also be good for dogs who try to back up when doing this excercise. Enjoy practicing sit! Thank you, Caitlin Crittenden

Yes how do you teach your dog to sit?

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Nova
Cattle dog /rat terrier
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nova
Cattle dog /rat terrier
6 Months

Having issues house training to not go in the house . I would take her out and she would always wait until we get back inside to do so . I got pee pee pad and she would never use them I need help to my accidents

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jackie, If you want to teach her to go potty outside, check out the article that I have linked below and use the "Crate Training" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Because Nova is older, when you are home you can take her potty every three hours instead of 1.5. After she goes potty outside, you can give her 1.5-2 hours of supervised freedom instead of 45 minutes. When the 1.5-2 hours are up, put her back into the crate until it is time to take her potty again. This ensures that she is not free in the house unless her bladder is empty. The habit of peeing inside needs to stop for her to become potty trained If you would like to teach her to go potty on an indoor pad instead of outside, then check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. You can also try the "Exercise Pen" method but the "Crate Training" method will help her learn to hold her bladder better between trips to the bathroom (indoor or outdoor). I suggest using a real grass pad instead of a pee pad if she tends to have accidents on rugs and carpet. Some dogs confuse pee pads with rugs and carpet because both are made out of fabric. Switching to a litter box or grass pad can help in those cases (grass pads are a bit easier to teach then litter boxes). The article below talks about litter box training but you can use a real grass pad instead and follow the same steps to teach a grass pad or pee pad. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad example: https://www.freshpatch.com/products/westie?variant=3477439297&gclid=Cj0KCQiApILhBRD1ARIsAOXWTzuZ90MjksIJ6BSEVCgP0pzE48d4eZMurn7BAHZOw8Xy4ZiTmng5ZNYaAmHPEALw_wcB Porch Potty also makes more expensive long-term option. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bear
German Shepherd
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bear
German Shepherd
7 Months

How can I get my dog to walk on leash without pulling? Also to not jump on strangers?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cierra, For the pulling, check out the article that I have linked below and follow the 'Turns' method, or one of the other methods if you feel they would work better, knowing your dog. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel For the jumping, check out the article that I have linked below. I recommend the 'Step Toward' method in your case. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump When you step toward him with the "Step Toward' method be firm and calm. You want to convey calm confidence and not be timid or excited. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
joey
schnauzer
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
joey
schnauzer
5 Months

i want my dog to stop jumping on people and stop licking people

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello CJ, Check out the article linked below and follow the step toward and leash methods. Both can be used for jumping on you, and the leash for guests also. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump For the licking, I suggest teaching Leave It and Out - which means leave the area, and enforcing those commands consistently whenever pup attempts to lick. Leave it method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lola
Chow Chow
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lola
Chow Chow
4 Months

Lola's a young puppy so she loves to lick us all the time. It was cute at the beginning, but now we can't get close without her licking us. Our toes, my face, my arms,... How do we get her to stop? It's not as in a way of greeting like it says on top of this page, so I can't get her to do anything else like give a paw. Sometimes she also jumps at my face to play, but that could be very dangerous.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sabrina, It could be obsessive licking or submissive licking. If obsessive, I suggest teaching the Out command - which means leave the area, and telling her Out whenever she starts to lick. If she is a very soft, more submissive pup, then it could be submissive licking, and you also need to work on being calm around her, teaching her to Leave It, then rewarding her with something else to focus on when she stops - like a toy. If you are acting angry around her that could trigger increased submissive licking. If she does it when everyone is calm, then it is probably becoming a habit for her that needs to be interrupted. Leave It method for teaching Leave It command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Baxter
other
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Baxter
other
3 Years

I am trying to teach my dog paw, but he is stubborn and only licks my hand, no movement of any leg.

He also pees sometimes if we tell him no or when my husband puts leash on to take him outside

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
221 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you instructions for "high five" which is basically the same. I will then give you information about what sounds like submissive urination. For starters, you never want to grab your dog’s paw to try to teach them to high five. This won’t make much sense to your pup, but also, many dogs have sensitive paws. Grabbing the paw might actually make your dog afraid of the high-five trick. You will want to begin with your dog in a sitting position so they can easily lift their paw and have balance. And grab some treats! Place a treat in your hand and make a tight fist. Hold it at nose level and wait for your dog to grow impatient and paw at your hand. The moment they do, give your dog an enthusiastic “Yes!” then reward them out of your other hand. Repeat this five times. Place a treat in your hand and make a tight fist and hold it at nose level. Before your dog has lifted their paw, say “High Five!.” The moment they lift their paw and touch your hand, give a "yes!" then reward them out of your other hand. Repeat this five times. Next, we want to start reshaping the position of your hand into a true “high five.” With no treat in your hand, hold your flat hand up to your pup with your palm facing their nose. Say “High Five!” then ”Yes!” when they touch your hand with their paw. Reward and repeat. If your dog is having trouble at this stage, it might be because they don’t understand that the game works the same way even when your hand is flat, open, and empty. Before you repeat step three, try each of the following five times. Hold your empty fist in front of your dog. Say “High Five!” then, ”Yes!” and reward. Hold your hand as if you were holding a baseball. Say “High Five!” then, ”Yes!” and reward. Once your dog is consistently high-fiving, begin to slowly reduce the frequency of your treats. Start by rewarding them with food once every other high-five, then every third high-five. If your dog begins to struggle with the game, you know you’ve decreased the food too quickly. And onto info about submissive urination. Submissive urination can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem. Fortunately, it is often easily corrected. Shy, timid puppies are the most likely candidates for submissive urination but occasionally it persists into young adulthood. This problem is most common in female puppies under 1 year of age. Situations that precipitate submissive urination include: Over affectionate greetings Guests entering your home Arguments between people Scolding Loud noises Dogs are social animals that use subtle cues to maintain order and prevent disputes. In order to display deference to a more dominant individual, a submissive dog uses gestures such as averting her eyes, rolling on her back, and urinating. So when a dog feels intimidated or threatened, the appropriate response is to offer a submissive signal. These signals demonstrate that the dog recognizes another individual’s dominance. The urination that occurs is not a spiteful act but a natural part of a dog’s behavioral repertoire. Before embarking on treatment for this problem, it is wise to contact your local veterinarian. He or she will perform a physical examination of your dog to rule our medical problems that may be contributing to the predicament. If medical problems are involved, your vet will discuss the various treatment options with you like surgery, drugs, and/or various coping strategies. Note: Puppies become more confident as they grow older. Most puppies outgrow submissive urination before one year of age. Unfortunately, some owners inadvertently encourage the behavior by coddling their nervous youngster. Touching and praise, which you may believe are reassuring your puppy, are actually telling her, “Continue this behavior; I like it.” Instead, try to ignore timid behavior and praise the puppy when she is acting more confidently. Treating Canine Submissive Urination There are two objectives in treating submissive urination: The first is to increase your dog’s confidence, and the second is to avoid situations in which the behavior will occur until your puppy becomes more mature. Begin by observing which situations elicit the inappropriate urination behavior. Knowing these, you can design a plan of action. Take your dog to non-confrontational training school. Click and treat training is best. A properly trained dog is usually more confident. Try to expose your dog to as many novel environments as possible. But remember, do not coddle. Praise the dog only when she shows confidence and explores the new environment. Encourage confidence by playing tug of war, retrieving games or play fighting. Scolding and punishment DO NOT WORK. They only make the dog feel more powerless and less in control. Do not loom over the dog, touch her nape, or make prolonged eye contact. These are all dominant signs and will be interpreted as such. Ask strangers to avoid greeting your dog or, alternatively, crouch down to the dog’s level, avert their gaze, and gently encourage her to approach. Limiting your dog’s intake of water when you know guests are coming over can sometimes help. Pick up the water bowl (and close the toilet bowl lids) 3 to 4 hours prior to their arrival. Caution: some dogs with medical problems that increase their thirst should never have water withheld. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian. If your dog urinates out of excitement when you return home and greet her, try to downplay the greeting by ignoring her for a few minutes until she calms down. If the problem occurs when friends greet her ask them to do this, too. The above procedures help a great deal in avoiding urination whoopsies until the dog becomes more confident. Positive changes are usually seen in a few weeks, if not sooner. If submissive urination persists after 2 years of age, drug therapy can be instituted at the discretion of your veterinarian. And remember, be patient; accidents will happen. Prevention is the easiest way to deal with submissive urination. The right style of obedience class can be an excellent confidence booster for your dog. Such classes can also open your eyes to the ways that you unconsciously reinforce a negative behavior, and will teach you the importance of well timed praise (and other rewards) in a healthy relationship with your dog. Hopefully this helps! Thank you for writing in.

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Question
Archie
Border Collie
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Archie
Border Collie
4 Years

How do I get my dog to not jump so high on our neighbors´ wall and distract the other dogs?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
823 Dog owners recommended

Hello Randy, Is the behavior always happening when you are outside with pup? Or when you are not there also? If the behavior is happening when you are there, you can teach a Leave It and Out commands, and use a long training leash to enforce pup obeying. Reeling pup in when they don't listen and giving a treat when they move away from the wall willingly. Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall If the behavior is happening when you are not present, in addition to the above training you would also need a way to enforce the new rules automatically. A pet barrier device, which would be placed near the wall and pup wear a corresponding collar, which would correct pup, when they got within a certain distance of the wall, is one option. Another option, is if the wall is part of a physical fence, like a wooden fence that goes around your yard. You can install an invisible fence two feet inside of your physical fence around the yard. The electric fence should help pup not to even approach the physical fence and wall so that he won't have opportunity jump against it to see over. The invisible in-ground electric fence should only be paired with the real fence and not in place of it though, or it will not be effective. There still needs to be a physical barrier so that pup can't just bolt through the electric fence quickly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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