Compulsive Licking

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Have you ever met that dog? The dog that’s always licking your face, your hand, your arm? It can definitely be cute, but have you met that one dog that just won’t stop? If you do not put an end to it, some of those dogs will go on for hours.

There is nothing wrong with the greeting lick, and dogs have perfectly normal reasons for doing it. They instinctual groom their young, they definitely lick to greet their loved ones, and they tend to learn certain behaviors. For example, if your dog has injured her paw and licks it while it’s injured, she may continue that behavior long after the wound is healed.

Make sure that you are not positively reinforcing the behavior if you know it to be abnormal. Many animal behaviorists and veterinarians are available to discuss the issue, and sometimes there are other things that can cause this type of compulsive behavior.

It can be anxiety which can be caused by dogs that are not exercised frequently enough. If they are not well-socialized and have a tendency for nervousness or if they have been in a previously abusive situation or have experienced social conflict, they may engage in compulsive licking (among other things).

Make sure you rule out medical problems like allergies or neurological issues, but outside of that, you can definitely exercise your dog more, expose him to different environments and stop him from doing it by telling him no when it becomes more than the average greeting.

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