Dog LickingI have a neighbor who has a large Dalmation. If you get within a foot of him, he sticks his tongue out for a quick lick of whatever piece of skin he can reach. This excessive dog licking drives me crazy! Why do dogs lick people and how can you make dogs stop licking?

First, let’s think about why dogs lick. There are several reasons why your dog licks you:

  • He may be telling you that he wants your attention and that he likes you.
  • You may have “trained” him that when he licks you, he gets a reward
  • He thinks you like it and he’s trying make you happy. Or, the licking just makes him happy. Do you know any people who just like to hug and kiss everyone? Some dogs are the same way.
  • He likes the taste of your skin, or a cream or lotion that you wear.
  • This might sound gross, but it’s possible that you just need to take a bath, and he’s helping you out. Dogs like salty, sweaty skin. Yuk!

So how do you make your dog stop licking you?

You need to teach him that’s it’s not acceptable for him to lick you excessively. If your dog has developed a licking habit, you need to teach him another habit.

Sometimes, all you need to do is let him get his licking done and over with, then he’ll be satisfied and not do it any more. The best way to do this is to have a “licking session.” This is a time where your dog is allowed to lick you as much as he wants. You teach him the word “lick” while he’s doing it, then you bring the dog licking session to and end by saying, “No lick.” If your dog learns there is a time for licking and a time for not licking, you’re on your way to a lick-free home.

If your dog is licking for attention, then teach him another (better) way of getting your attention. Sitting, shaking, rolling over, etc. are great tricks for your dog to learn when he wants your attention. The key is to ALWAYS give him attention with that “attention-getting” trick.

Other times, you might need to apply something that tastes bad to dogs (lemon or hot sauce) and let him lick that. That will teach him that licking your skin is gross.

Other dogs will respond if you act like it hurts you when your dog licks you. If you say, “Ouch” or “Don’t lick” every time your dog licks you, your dog may respond by not wanting to cause you pain.

As with all dog training, it will take time to teach your dog to stop licking. Be patient and consistent. Your dog want to make you happy, so teach him how to make you happy.

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46 Comments on Does Your Dog Lick You Too Much? How to Stop Excessive Dog Licking

  1. nickcainmcneil says:

    the ouch thing worked with my dog, thanks:)

  2. Ashley says:

    Dear Readers
    I have a dog that lickes near his peepee! It drives me NUTS!!!!!!!!
    I was wondering can you give me some tips Thanks!!!!

  3. Kelsey says:

    My toy poodle every chance she has. If im doin something n she cant lick my face she will lick my hand. she just did as i left this comment

  4. George says:

    My Lab keeps licking my shelty and the shelty is beginning to attack the lab and I want to know how to stop the licking

  5. Mike says:

    My chihuahua licks all day…it is beyond normal. I think it’s a psychological thing. she has this facination with the top of my head too. I have very short hair, buzz cut, but maybe just a bit longer, and no matter what, she hops on the back of the sofa, and puts her two paws up on each side of my head, and starts licking, and this goes on for at least a half an hour or until she poops out..then she climbs down and starts ear snarfeling and grooming the other chihuahua..and it is just all the time. I can’t imagine how strong her tongue muscles must be…I was hoping she’d just poop out, but she’s young, and I’m running out of patience waiting for her to just get old and tired. I’m not sure she’ll ever stop. I’ll try a couple of these suggestions and see what happens. It is truly unceasing licking.

  6. Sara says:

    Mike, that is hilarious! I think your hair feels good on her tongue. Short hair feels funny on my hands, I like to feel it too!! haha your dog and I have something in common!!! My dog licks like crazy also. Although, I just realized it is not as much a problem as you have on your hands (actually head, LMAO!!) I was thinking of trying the lick session technique mentioned above. Unfortunately, I do not think that will work for the little chihuahua, she never tires!! I think and hope my dog will after a few minutes. She is going to be very surprised when I say LICK instead of Don’t.

  7. tina says:

    my puppy is almost a year. she doesnt just lick us she will lick herself until she has bald patches or she will lick a blanket or sock til its sopping wet. i will have to try the bitter apple since the ouch, holding muzzle, speaking firmly etc. dont work.

  8. thomas says:

    tried them all and my dog will not stop licking…she just doesn’t get it!!!!!! the only thing that helps is pushing away and then she just starts again when she comes to me again!

  9. Skylar says:

    My Jack Russel Licks the couch and any part of the skin he can get at we sprayed sour apple spray on us and the couch and he doesnt really do it anymore.

  10. Sir Thumbless Lickalot says:

    i have a great daine who used to lick me all day, and all night until one day the licking got out of hand, or should i say out of thumb, for you see when i pushed him away while he was in the middle of a licking session he bit my thumb off. when i got home from the emergency room, i decided the only way to stop the licking was to lick him back harder than ever…that dint work, it ended in bald spots and broken trust! so then i put lemon juice in his eye, this made him very angry and since he is bigger than me he chased into a room and ive been trapped for 2 weeks and ive been living off of lemon juice. I’m afraid that soon he will lick his way through the door, and when he finds me he’ll eat my other thumb. I dont have much time, I can hear the wood weakening, please send help. I’m running out of lemon juice.

  11. JN says:

    I have a friend whose 1-year-old boxer/shepherd mix will come at you just like the dog in the picture above with tongue cocked and at the ready. LOL! I love petting and playing with her, but the licking is an extreme turn off. I’m gonna try the “ouch” maneuver on her for a while, and will let y’all know how things turn out.

  12. Ed says:

    I’m not talking about licking people (he does that too) what he does is just sit there and stick out his tongue for no apparent reason

  13. Deb says:

    OMG, Sir Thumbless Lickalot, I was laughing my head off reading your comment. . .Hilarious!! Hope someone came to your rescue! hehehehe :)

  14. Bo says:

    My new girlfriend seems to need and like her dog to excessively and constantly lick her. I think this is a strange need and she refuses to untrain the dog, and I do not want to be around this abnormal behavior – that is, her having a need for it. Am I wacko??

  15. mizlady says:

    I have a pit bull mix and she loves to constantly lick. There are times were she acts like she can not stop what she is doing. When I tell her to stop that makes her more crazy. Also if I yell or act like she is hurting me thats when she licks me in the mouth (she is very good at that. . .she also does that to guests which is very embarrassing as an owner.) Eventually she’ll get tired and stop. I have tried everything even hot sauce and still nothing :( but I have noticed as she is getting older (shes now 2) she is not doing it as much but it is still annoying!

  16. kylie says:

    My schnauzer/pug mix licks my other 2 dogs and my husbands/males hair obsessively. he used to do it more to my other male dog mostly around the eyes and ears (which is ok because I rarely ever have to clean his eyes and his ears are always clean) but he is obsessively licking my female dogs eyes,feet and ears and then whimpers like hes hurt when hes doing it. He constantly licks my husbands hair and any male visitors that we have. I tell him no all the time and punish him when he does not obey. He is a freak of nature and likes the lemon juice and biter apple that ive tried. any more advise? anyone? its driving me nuts! :)

  17. kylie says:

    ok hes licking a bald spot ON MY OTHER DOG! HELP ME PLEASE!

  18. Brianna says:

    My dog has the announcer lick ever.Whenever somebody gets close to him all he does is lick,lick,lick.Sometimes I teach him to lick a wall or his brother so he will not lick humans.What’s really aggravating is him trying to lick an females body or tail.I have no idea how I’m going to survive with this nonsense so I’ll try to be reallycalm to Solomon,my dog

  19. esther says:

    my 8 mth old miniture duschund licks me at every oppertunity she gets.Its driving me insane.she recently started to lick the wall where she sleeps[on my pillow]she is cute but its a major turn off for me.I’ve tried pushing her away- she just comes back and continue where she left off, i’ve tried sternly speaking to her and sayin No but she just rolls over on her back and a few minutes later crawls back and gently licks whatever part of my body is exposed.Please help!!

  20. Jan says:

    I have 2 female Blue Heelers (sisters). One is calm and a tad aloof and very “all-together”. Her sister who aspires to be the Alpha is a nut-case. She is the sweetest girl and loves EVERYONE. So much so she rushes to any person she sees, jumps as high as she can and plants a big wet kiss right on their mouths. Some people find it cute, some are a bit taken aback and some – she knocks over – usually a small child which I am mortified at. She will not take any notice of anything. She is anything if not a single-minded creature…. Her worst trait is the licking…second one is to following me EVERYWHERE. Now I know that is a dog thing and many dogs trot along happily behind their owners wherever they go – but her sister and my little year-old Chihuahua don’t do it. She just feels the need….and hates me out of her sight. But the licking is incessant and now – after almost 5 years I’m getting to the point where I’ve totally run out of ideas and tricks and am at the end of my tether. She will not listen to one word of admonishment and is totally unfazed when I raise my voice. I hate to yell at her but at times it is the only thing that works. I’m the only one she does it with….and she has this blank look on her face as she’s doing it – it’s just pure habit – one that I have no idea how to break…..

  21. kay says:

    hah i have a Pomeranian Yorkie mix, and hes about 10 yrs old. def doesnt act it though. but, he will lick the couch, his own paws for literally hours at a time. when we go to bed, he will lick his bed, start smacking his lips together (with that really annoying wet lip/tongue sound) as if he is parched and letting you know out loud (yet he has a full bowl of water). He will lick and smack loudly throughout the entire night. its an extremely annoying sound to hear when you try to sleep. he literally does it, ALL NIGHT LONG. if we move him into another room, he will whine. well,not “whine” more like a frequency. his whine is like hearing your ears ring but louder lol. i’m not sure which route to use with this since hes MAINLY licking his hands and his own mouth lol.

  22. Shanaye says:

    Is it just me or does ” you need to train him that’s it’s not…” make any sense lol although thx for the tips the ouch thing really helped Alott :)

  23. Morky licker says:

    My Morky licks excessively, so I started to use a spray bottle w a Sturn NO! I rescued him at 18 mo’s and a lot of already established bad habits. Is this ok?

  24. naomi hughes says:

    i allow the licking post shower.. my dog runs up to me and helps dry my feet… she thinks she is doing a gr8 job and is very pleased with her self… just trying to please her master…cute as.

  25. Tom says:

    My dog jumps on me and licks my face and if she cant get there fast enough she will lick any revealing flesh

  26. [...] Does Your Dog Lick You Too Much? How to… : I have a neighbor who has a large Dalmation. If you get within a foot of him, he sticks his tongue out for a quick lick of whatever piece of skin he can reach. [...]

  27. Holly says:

    My dog licks all the time! Any contact with skin she can get. It’s super annoying and also makes me welt up (I’m slightly allergic to her).
    I was desperate to try anything! I tried the ouch technique and she stopped -immediately! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!!

  28. Lickoppotomus says:

    My dear chihuahua has the licking prob. Her tounge is too long for a 3 pound dog. I think she is part lizard. She always needs to lick and it grosses me out. She has seriously bad breath so her licks are stinky. Bella is such sweet little thing just loves attention and wants to make us happy. This post is working. It is taking consistency. She gets a bit depressed which we felt bad about. We give her alot of positive attention for her good behavior which seems to work. she is doing good. It took a little bit of work but consistency works. Thanks for post. :)

    • robin says:

      Lickoppotomus, you said ‘this post is working’, but can i ask which suggestion(s) you tried? i have 3 chihuahuas & the new one is a crazy ‘in your face, push the others out of the way to get to me’ licker. she is VERY very sweet and is quite submissive but she craves attention to the point that she makes me crazy. i’m just wondering what worked for you with your chi. thanks!

  29. John says:

    My Dog never licks me . Like whenever I come to kiss him he backs away like “Woah”. But when he is pleased he licks me once or twice but it’s once in a blue moon sort of frequency.

  30. Cole D. says:

    Esther, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have a Dachshund also and he acts the same way, and when I fuss at him he just rolls over innocently and sometimes pees. I’ve tried holding on to his bottom jaw only to find his paws push away my slobbery hand. I will try the things listed on this page. I sure hope they work!

  31. Netti says:

    My Maltdoodle licks day and nite. She is 8 months olds so this is the time to train her for life.

  32. rose says:

    My dog likes ears, but the thing that drives me absolutely nuts is what she does to my nose in the middle of the night. She sneaks up and jabs her tongue practically all the way into my brain. Horrible! Of course, I instantly bolt upright in bed and look at her, which is probably exactly what she wants. She usually then scratches the door to go outside and pee.

    The problem with getting her to stop is first, I’m asleep so can’t avoid it, and second it gets an instant dramatic response and I have no way to avoid doing it, it’s reflex to the tongue being shoved into my skull. She won’t listen or go lie down or sit or anything, she just rolls over and does a boneless-carpet imitation so I can’t pick her up but have to bend down to make eye contact. If I stand up she pops right up and bounces around, but as soon as I look at her or move she flops back down into carpet mode and gives me huge sad ‘don’t beeeeeeeeat me’ eyes like I’m an ogre or something. It’s so frustrating!!!

  33. Mandy says:

    My friend has a dog that licks people and since my husband and I find it so annoying I thought maybe I could find a way for my friend to cure her dog of this habit. As my husband says all dogs cleans “their parts” and then wants to lick a person in the mouth. Yucky, yucky no matter how much you love your pets. I was surprised after reading this web site how many people these day have this pet problem Growing up we had dogs my entire life as well as neighbor dogs and I never saw this annoying, on-going excessive habit. I now think it may come from dogs be locked inside the house all day (we had a fenced yard for the dog to run around in all day as did all the neighbors)with not enough out side activity for the dog to not become obsessive and also, people letting their dogs become “like people” with little to no training.

  34. Hannah says:

    We’ve had dogs too all our life, police dogs no less. So we know how to look after, train and properly excercise our dogs.

    Out newest member however is a little pugapoo. She licks too much and we assumed she would grow out of it but didn’t . Apparently it can be a sign that they left they’re mother too young, since the mother usually discipline her pups when to stop coming to her for milk etc. Ruby (our dog) left her mother at 7 weeks as the mother had a lot of pups and wasn’t doing well.

    She licks clothes or bedding if she’s not allowed to lick a person, so this confirmed to us that perhaps it is an attention thing. As such we simply used the whole acting like it was painful trick, she stopped immediately.

    You could always try re-enacting how a mother to her pups trains them which is to apply a slight pressure on the necks and push them away. NO HITTING OR RAISED VOICES THOUGH. This shouldn’t be used as an aggressive method, just gently, but it only works with pups. And if you tell they’ll only assume they did something wrong and want to make up with lots of LICKING!

    Good luck.

    Xox

  35. Hannah says:

    Sorry lots of autocorrect there!

  36. Bill gates says:

    Hi I have toy poodle and he is fun to play with he will lick and not stop and when I cover the part of my body that he is licking he will put his tongue in my ear

  37. Bill gates says:

    Which is really annoying and when I’m on my phone or my new laptop he will lick them to which is kinda wasting my money on repairs Oh ye there will be a new computer being released next year so I hope everyone is looking forward to it

  38. Gretchen says:

    I have a very large dog, pitbull/mastiff. He licks and licks and licks everything! He won’t stop! We have been telling him “no licking” and retracting whatever body part he is licking. He continues to do it. He licks my Shih Tzu too! And his weiner! All the time….lick, lick, lick! We have put bitter bite on some things, doesn’t work. Telling him no only stops him for a second, then he gets right back to his lick fest! It’s really hard to push his big butt away. He weighs over 100 lbs and is only 1 yr. old. He is gonna get bigger…then what! I’m having a hard time now! LOL He is a great dog and super sweet. I don’t like telling him no all the time, but I don’t like him licking me constantly. If there is anything anyone else can suggest, please, please let me know.

  39. Sarah says:

    My dog does not stop Leaking me no matter what I say!!!!!!!! :-(

  40. Cissy says:

    What works for me, is when the dog is licking you, is to blow in their face. They HATE that, and will usually stop licking.

  41. Lauren says:

    I got my dog to stop licking so much by giving her a wet washcloth to lick. Found this out completely by accident! She likes the texture and the warmth I think.

  42. Rebekah says:

    Cissy that could also cause a dog to bite you. We have a Sharpei Staff mix and a Miniature Fox Terroer. Im sick of their licking the Sharpei is currently on heat and both the dogs lick her bits then go to lick me or my 19 month old son which is extremely disgusting. Tjeyre always licking his face and hands and he hates it. I dont mind if they lick themdelves but licking us is totally disgusting. Ive said No firmly and push them away and my son even pushes them away. Im tired of them licking us, they are 2 years old both outside dogs who get plenty of attention and pats if they sit as i refuse to pat them if they arent sitting as they try jump up on me if not sitting. As mini foxys do they jump and the shrpei mix is younger than him shes learnt his behaviour and thinks its okay to jump up. Im just tired of the constant licking i hope these things work

  43. Rach' Hop' says:

    I am so glad that I found this page – I have a toy poodle named Laila and she is absolutely OBSESSED with not only licking you any and everywhere – but her favorite spot to try and get to is the inside of a mouth- whether she’s trying to do it to us humans or to our other dog – a pug named Ming – She even licks the cats inside their ears until they’re flipped over and pasted to their heads!! I’m so happy to hear that this is not just her – - that it’s more common than I thought – I just assumed she has OCD and can’t help herself – she is the sweetest little dog and I wouldn’t trade her for the world – licking compulsively or not!!

  44. ethan says:

    Has anyone ever tried holding a 9 volt battery in your hand? When the dog goes to lick make sure it licks the contacts on the battery and bingo, nasty taste! I have not tried this but, reading several comments on several forums gave me the idea. After several attempts of hand licking the dog should associate licking with nasty 9 volt discharge taste. If anyone has success with this idea please let me know how it pans out.

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