Why Does my Dog Lick my Legs?
You are in your room – in your zone – when suddenly you feel something. There is a watery, no, slimy thing that is brushing against your ankles. You looked down below to find your beloved pet slurping at your feet as if you were a bag of its favourite treat.
You squint your eyes and wonder, ‘why does my dog lick my legs?’ Is this because you haven’t fed it properly? For the last question, the answer is ‘no’. For the first one: we have prepared a whole set of reasons that will explain to you why your dog is giving your sloppy kisses.
Understanding Dog’s Licking Behaviour
Dogs use certain gestures to communicate with their owners. While you let out a squeaky sound to let them know how much they mean to you, they have their set of actions that they use to communicate their love for you.
In most cases, a dog’s licking is a way to show some affection. Here, we will look into the different causes behind this habit.
The most common reason for your dog’s constant licking is its respect, affection, and love towards you. Its sloppy kisses signify that you have made a big space in its heart. They develop this habit from their ‘mommies’ when they are young, and the mom dog licks them to keep them clean. They associate licking with a gesture to show love and affection. Now, isn’t that adorable?
Looking for Attention
Do you immediately play with your dog when it licks you? Sometimes, your pets will associate their certain gestures with your attention. Maybe, your pet comes and starts giving you pecks because they think they will get your attention this way. If you want to get rid of this habit, you must make conscious efforts to stop responding to your pet whenever they show this behaviour.
Respect and Submission
Have you ever noticed your dog licking other dogs? It usually happens when your pet shows ‘submission’ and ‘respect’ to other dogs. When it licks you, it means the same? So, if you have the constant ‘licking’ episodes, it could be because your pet wants to show its respect for you.
Salts on Your Skin
Even when you’re not sweating profusely, your body is producing sweat. Our canines have a sharp smell sense, and they can easily pick up on the smell of sweat. They also like the taste of ‘salt’, so they are more likely to scrap it off your legs.
Yes, our furry friends love grooming us. Animals groom each other as well, and this habit is their way of building a community. So, if they see your bare legs, neck, or even face, they will start grooming you. It is an adorable gesture, and it is also one of those that canines adopt from their mothers at a young age.
Anxiety or Stress
All of the reasons listed above are harmless and don’t require a vet’s intervention. But some of the causes require you to consult a vet. Your pet’s anxiety may trigger such responses from them. If you notice any change in its surroundings, address that first. If the problem persists, the final course of action is to get it checked by a vet. Anxiety in dogs is a common problem and one that is manageable.
How to Train Your Dog to Stop them From Licking
We understand that not everyone likes being licked at – and that too constantly. Here are some steps that can help you with your pet’s training:
- Say ‘no’ – and as firmly as you can. As soon as your pet begins to lick you, you should sternly give the ‘No’ command. Dogs are quick learners, and they will immediately stop this habit.
- Give them a toy or another object that they can lick. As they lick it, shower your pet with praise so that they think that they are doing something good. This way, they will be able to satisfy their ‘ Licking urges’ easily.
- If your dog continues with its act, you should consult a professional trainer and seek their help.
Dogs’ Licking is not a bad thing for both the dogs and the owners. So, over a harmless matter, there is no point in losing your sleep. Training your dog is essential, but let the dog be if it doesn’t bother you. As you may have noticed, this behaviour is a way for your cute little pet to tell you that you mean the world to them – and we think there’s nothing more lovely than that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my dog lick me right after I have taken a shower?
Ans: Your smell – yes, this is the shortest possible answer. Your shower gels and body washes may contain certain extracts whose smell attracts dogs. The reason why your dog is licking could be that it is attracted to that smell. This habit is too common in pets and does sound adorable.
Q: Why does my dog lick me at bedtime?
Ans: Dogs want to show affection to their owners. It doesn’t matter ‘what time it is.’ Many dogs lick their owners, especially at night time, because they want to give what we call a ‘goodnight kiss’ to their human parents. Once they are done licking, they comfortably go to sleep.
But if you have a senior dog, this night-time ritual might not always be a sweet moment. Senior dogs, especially those with arthritis, usually lick before going to sleep to alleviate their pain.
Q: Why does my dog lick me constantly?
Ans: This is their way to say ‘I love you to you. But, for many pet parents, this sweet gesture is a bit irritating. You can train your dogs and help them get rid of the habit. But since they do it out of love, you should use a positive reinforcement approach to help them do away with the habit. Your angry tone will startle the poor dog, and it will find it difficult to understand why you are not reciprocating the same emotion to them.
The Final Word
Has this guide relieved you a little? Our pets have their own mechanism to show us how much they love and respect us. When it comes to dogs, they take the prize for having the most adorable ways to show their love to their owners.
Dogs have different behavioural traits to show their owners how much they appreciate and respect them. Your dog’s Licking is not a bad habit that should be tackled urgently.