Okay, sure, we get it. We all love our dogs. We love when they bring us their favorite ball or toy for a quick game of fetch. We love how they always seem to know when we’re upset and are ready with a wag of the tail. Snuggles on the couch and quality time spent walking the local trails or teaching a fun new trick also top the list of doggie benefits that make humans’ lives more enjoyable.
There are, however, just a couple of traits that maybe we could do with a little less of. Or, maybe, we’d like to be able to tell our dog to stop, knock it off, or otherwise cease their behavior when friends and family are present who aren’t quite as enraptured of your pooch’s gorgeous mug. Of these traits, face licking is perhaps the most divisive behavior. Most dog owners will readily admit they’ve allowed a kiss here and there from their canine companion. But the tricky part becomes teaching your dog to not lick faces when the attention may be unwanted. Turns out there are several methods for doing just that, and we’ve got three of our favorites listed below.
When training your dog, it’s important to remember that your pooch doesn’t communicate in the same way a human would. Dogs do not inherently understand words or commands such as stop, no or “eew, don’t do that”, regardless of how loudly or how many times you may repeat these phrases.
This means that when you want to teach a dog to not perform a certain behavior, you’ll need to start with training for an alternative, acceptable action instead. Dogs often lick each other’s faces as a form of communication or a way to show affection, which means your pooch probably thinks slobbering all over your mug is more than acceptable. In order to train your dog not to lick faces, you’ll need to teach Fido to take another action that isn’t quite so invasive of personal boundaries.
Before starting your anti-face licking training session, you and your pooch are going to need a few supplies. Locate a calm and quiet location which will serve as the starting spot for teaching any new behavior. Your aim is to find a familiar area, free of distractions to give your dog the best possible chance of success. Once your pooch has mastered a behavior, practice in areas that contain distractions such as public parks or around other people or dogs.
You’ll also need a treat pouch that hooks to your belt or pants for easy access of goodies. Don’t forget the training treats. For best results, choose several varieties of treats in differing “value” levels. Items ranging from dry dog cookies to cheese, hot dog slices, or steak will allow you to give bonus rewards for particularly well-performed tasks and will also keep your dog guessing and eager to learn. Once you’ve accumulated these easy items, it’s time to pick a training method that works best for you and your dog.