Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs? One of the most common dog behaviors that people want to know more about is why dogs lick people and objects. Dogs lick each other to show affection, but they also lick their humans because it means something to them, too.
As long as your dog doesn’t lick you excessively, this can be viewed as a positive thing, and a sign of love from your pet. But some dogs do have licking problems that can make life uncomfortable for their owners, so it’s helpful to understand why your dog licks you in the first place. Here’s what the experts say about why dogs lick people, including you!
Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs?
Other dog owners find that dog licking their legs comes from an affectionate place. If a dog only licks your leg once or twice, it is not really a dog behavior problem. But when the dog starts using its tongue as a way to show its love, dog owners need to put an end to it.
Dogs typically lick because they like the taste of their owner’s skin. They also may do it as part of submissive or excitement greeting behaviors. And while some licking is normal, too much can lead to behavioral problems down the road. The following are 10 reasons why dog may lick your legs:
- Your dog may be trying to get you to play with them.
- Your dog might be showing submission and looking for attention.
- Your dog might be anxious about something.
- Your dog might want food.
- Your pet might have parasites.
- You pet could have dry skin.
- You pet could have allergies.
- You pet could have OCD.
- You pet could just enjoy the taste of your skin.
- Your pets’ licking may just be out of habit after being trained to lick- or even biting- people in order to get rewards (food, treats).
It’s important that if this is the case, you start working on breaking this bad habit early on so he doesn’t grow up into a dog who bites humans.
How Dogs Express Themselves
Dogs express themselves in many ways, and licking is just one of them. When a dog licks your leg, it could be trying to show you affection or simply seeking attention. If your dog only licks your leg occasionally, there’s no need to worry.
But if the licking becomes excessive, it could be a sign of anxiety or stress. If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, talk to your veterinarian or a qualified animal behaviorist for advice.
How can I Stop my Dog from Licking My Legs
If you’re looking for ways to stop your dog from licking your legs, the first step is to understand why they’re doing it. Once you know the reason behind the behavior, you can take steps to nip it in the bud. In most cases, dog licking is a sign of affection.
However, if your dog is getting overly excited or doesn’t seem to be stopping when you ask them to, there are a few things you can do.
Here are a few expert-approved tips to stop your dog from licking your legs:
- Distract your dog with a toy or treat when they start to lick.
- Give them something else to focus on, like training commands or learning tricks.
- Use an herbal spray that tastes terrible and will make their mouth taste awful for about five minutes after application.
- Reward your dog with attention when they behave appropriately instead of giving attention to them when they are being bad.
- Get a trainer to come out and work with you on desensitizing and counterconditioning the unwanted behavior through classical conditioning by associating the negative stimulus (your leg) with positive outcomes (a favorite food).
Can I Stop Him From Licking in General?
It’s important to understand that your dog isn’t licking your legs because they’re dirty – they’re actually trying to show you affection. While it may be tempting to try and stop your dog from licking your legs altogether, it’s important to remember that this is their way of showing you love.
Instead, try to redirect their attention with a toy or treat. If the licking persists, you may need to consult with a trainer or behaviorist to help you manage the issue.
Conclusion: Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs?
While there are a few different theories as to why your dog might be licking your legs, the most likely explanation is that they’re trying to show you affection. If your dog only licks you occasionally, there’s no need to worry. But if they start doing it excessively, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you’re concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, talk to your veterinarian for guidance.