Dogs that lick excessively have to be one of the weirdest dog behavior problems around. If your dog licking the carpet is creeping you out, here are some dog training tips for dealing with this problem.
Why Does My Dog Lick Everything?
Actually, it’s quite normal for dogs to lick stuff. When your companion greets you with a lick, he’s showing his affection for you. It’s also how wild canines show their submission to the top dog. So there is something good about this.
But dogs that lick excessively seem to have gone out of control. Some dogs lick themselves until they develop bald spots. Others lick strange stuff like the carpet, the window screen, or the furniture, which totally mystifies the owners.
If your dog is licking himself bald, take him to the vet for a check-up. Many cases of canine excessive licking are caused by fleas, skin irritations, allergies, or even arthritis. Yep, you heard right. Arthritis causes your dog’s joints to ache, and he’ll try to relieve the pain by licking himself excessively.
The problem is that excessive licking, especially in the case of fleas or allergies, can make the problem area itch even more. The more it itches, the more he licks. This vicious cycle can result in sores and lick granulomas.
If he’s licking his paws after a meal, he could be allergic to his food. Check the ingredient label. If one of the first four ingredients is corn, chicken, or meat by-products, find dog food without these ingredients. Beef or lamb is recommended for dog with allergies
Once medical causes are ruled out, you can assume it’s a dog behavior problem.
Training Dogs That Lick Excessively
You may have to do a little detective work to figure out why your dog won’t stop licking. Your pet’s excessive canine licking may due to anxiety. The excessive licking helps him to feel better about something that’s bothering him. The worst part is that it can quickly become obsessive compulsive behavior.
Try to figure out why your dog is anxious. Is he left by himself for hours? Is he bored? You may need to more time with your pet.
Regular exercise helps dogs to burn up all their pent-up energy. A hour-long walk, once a day, can give your dog something to look forward to. Consider hiring a dog walker if your schedule is too busy for this.
Think about when your dog gets your attention. Is it when he’s doing something strange like licking the carpet? If so, you’re reinforcing the very behavior you don’t like. Your pooch wants your attention, and doesn’t really care if it’s negative attention, like when you’re yelling at him.
Pay attention to him when he’s doing something you like. If he starts licking you, say “no,” and turn away and ignore him for a few minutes. If he’s licking the carpet, or something else, try to redirect him with a toy, and praise him when he plays with it.
Be patient. With time and persistence, you can successfully train your dog to stop the excessive licking.
- Which dogs lick you (wiki.answers.com)