excessive licking

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tanis60617, May 2, 2008.

  1. tanis60617 Experienced Member

    My BC has an excessive liking problem. Not just people but inanimate objects. He will lick our hardwood floors and lately our couch. I'm sick of sitting down only to realize i'm sitting in a soaking wet pile of drool. I have tried to bitter apple spray but he really seems to enjoy it. People have recommended hot sauce but i'm not crazy about that idea. Kinda cruel
    plus i dont want to pour hot sauce on my brand new couch. so does anyone have any suggestions.

  2. CollieMan Experienced Member

    Before I even opened this thread I saw the title and just knew that I was going to be reading about a Border Collie. I know so many Border Collies that do this, including my own. Like you say, there are only so many times you can sit in yet another wet patch and retain your sense of humour about it. :)

    I really don't know what to suggest to be honest. Because there are so many BCs that I know which do this, I'm inclined to think that it's one of those BC traits that we owners need to learn to adapt to.

    Sorry that I don't have any ideas to help you more on the issue.
  3. storm22 Experienced Member

    whens the last time you wormed your dog, i know of a dog that licks things and nibbles things and they took it to a vet, which told them to try worming they dog more often than every three months, they now worm every two months and that seems to have stoped the licking, but check with your vet there could be an underlying problem
  4. leema New Member

    Victoria Stillwell on "It's Me Or The Dog" once dealt with a dog which obsessive chased light. I would use a similar method for breaking obsessive licking.

    The dog is called "Max" and is a Gordon Setter. It is featured on the DVD I have for "It's Me Or The Dog", but I can't find it online...

    Basically, it uses a loud noise (UH-UH) to distract the dog, and rewards for offering alternative behaviour.
  5. sarhaspups New Member

    I agree Leema, interupt them with a noise and then give them something they are allowed to chew on.
  6. hivin New Member


    I recently read an article ( If I can find the link to it I'll post it ) that also attributes excessive licking to dominance behaviour. By licking people or objects in the environment the dog is marking/claiming the person or item as their own. Of course the author of the article recommended not allowing the behaviour to occur. I think that, especially in the situation where the dog is licking people, most owners tend to attribute it to the dog being affectionate. Of course the author of the article recommended that this behaviour be discouraged. After reading the article we did start to notice that Bailey did tend to engage in this behaviour, especially after she was corrected for an incorrect response or undesirable behaviour ... sort of her way of turning the tables and saying ... ya you may be the boss but you're still "my" human!

    Take care all: Hivin
  7. montsterdog Well-Known Member

    hivin- Very interesting. I'd love to read the article if you find it. I thought that licking (people and other dogs) was part of calming signals.
  8. CollieMan Experienced Member

    Personally, I find it extremely dubious attributing licking to any form of "dominance". I too would love to read the article. As stated previously, I know so many Border Collies that do this and to suggest that any one of them are dominant would raise more than a little smile in the faces of their owners, I can tell you.
  9. hivin New Member

    Hi again:

    Personally ... we look at dog behaviours like we do behaviours in humans ... you have to know the individual to understand the reason behind the behaviour .... just like people claim that when you're talking to someone and they cross their arms, it means they don't like what they're hearing and they're signalling that they're cutting you off and not listening ... well, sometimes the person is cold and they're warming themselves, sometimes it's because it's just the way they're comfortable positioning themselves ... the same behaviour can occur for multiple reasons and needs to be interpreted according to the context of the situation, the individual and a host of other things going on in the environment.

    We have no doubt that in some dogs, licking could be interpreted as a dominance behaviour ... personally, our dog is quite submissive and licks herself and others, we think it's more of a submissive behaviour in her on most occasions ( although we're inclined to believe she's laying claim to us -- marking us with her scent -- when she licks us specifically ) ... we just don't like classifying things absolutely ... much prefer the individualized approach and taking the behaviour in context of the situation and environment the dog is in at the time ... like parents with children ( no one know's a child's behaviour and temperment better than their own parent ... well, usually anyway ) the same goes for dogs and other animals ... we know our animals best and are the best suited for interpreting our pets' behaviour under various circumstances ....

    Sorry, we recently got a new computer and we're still having a problem transferring info from the old one to the new one ... once we find the link to that article we will pass it on.

    Hope everyone is well tonight, take care: Hivin

  10. snooks Experienced Member

    there's a great article in whole dog journal this month (www.wholedogjournal.com) about ocd behavior, specifically licking in dogs. this could be a self rewarding way to relieve stress. if it its ocd it is very important to stop it by distracting and engaging etc. the longer it goes on the worse and more habituated it can become. esp with younger dogs it is easier to stop and should be stopped. lick granulomas and worse can happen if the dog becomes fixated on this way of behaving. some breeds have a high propensity for certain ocd behaviors.

    first ask a vet to go to a behaviorist if you are really worried and be sure there is no physical reason the dog is doing this. for a bc i suggest more exercise and a job to do. tired dogs are less stressed and less likely to have the energy for hours of licking. i do think sometimes this has nothing to do with dominance but more with anxiety, frustration, or boredom. In any event if you want to stop it you need to supply something else to do like good enticing chews or kongs. but don't sit and watch or scold both will not stop and could ingrain the behavior.

    Hope this works out for u. :dogblush:
  11. stormi Well-Known Member

    I agree to try to distract your dog to stop it licking.

    How old is your dog? Excessive licking can also be due to senility (which is not uncommon in aged BC's).
  12. snooks Experienced Member

    saw some more really good stuff on border collies and OCD today and posted to another thread. go see training forum--behavioral problems--border collie won't stop chasing shadows help!

    hope this helps. :)
  13. Marijke Findlay New Member

    Don't think it is just BCs that do this,my jack russell / bull terrier x does the same thing!!! Article I read suggests it is separation anxiety or insecurity but my dog gets heaps of attention.....so what now?

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