How to Stop Dog Licking
by Brittany and Suggestion from our Veterinarian on how to stop dog licking
Reader question for our vet on how to stop dog licking
I have a 4 year old, wired haired Jack Russell Terrier named peanut! I adopted her about a year ago and she spent most of her life in a crate before I received her.
I know she loves me dearly and I feel the same way about her! But... She licks me constantly, every chance she gets she licks and licks! Why is that and what can I do to minimize it or stop it all together?
Brittany & PeanutVet Suggestion on how to stop dog licking
Hi Brittany & Peanut,
I suspect your Jack Russel is licking you as a sign of affection and as a way to indicate that she is deferring to you as “pack leader.” It is important to remember that she is not being bad, she is relating to you from a totally appropriate point of view, it’s just the way she is expressing herself isn’t ideal.
Start your training sessions after you have spent time with her doing something that doesn’t involve licking (e.g., a walk, tossing a ball, etc.). Then sit on your couch, or wherever it is that she is most likely to lick. When she starts, say “NO” in a firm, low-pitched voice and walk away from her. Ignore her for a minute. When you sit down again, offer her a chew toy, treat, or something else to distract her.
If she focuses on that and doesn’t lick, calmly tell her “good dog.” If she starts to lick you, repeat the “NO,” walk away, and ignore pattern.
Try to end each training session on a good note, even if she only restrained herself for 10 seconds, tell her “good dog” and hand her a treat.
Jennifer Coates, DVM