Why Does My Cocker Lick Excessively?

by Janet
(UK)

Excessive Licking

Excessive Licking

Hi, My blue roan cocker spaniel, Archie, is 18 months old, he licks feet, arms, hands, basically anything he can.

When told to stop he will move onto another body part, if you move your foot or whatever he just thinks that you are playing with him and he gets excited.

We have Archie's brother Barney as well but he doesn't show any over excessive licking tendencies.

Does anyone have any ideas why he's doing this?

Many thanks.

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

Hi Jan, Am I right in thinking your dog is licking YOUR 'body parts' and not his own? (Ha Ha!)

I'll cover both, just to be on the safe side.

If he's licking his own, the following may apply.

Dogs lick themselves for many reasons, one such reason is that they can! LOL Seriously though, dogs will lick a wound, a painful area, or where they have picked up dog ticks and fleas.

However, fleas usually cause dogs to scratch and bite the offending area too. Check his coat for fleas, but from what you describe, I don't think its fleas (unless it's an allergy to dog fleas).

If you're certain that your dog's not in pain, he may have developed a skin allergy and that's what's causing him to lick himself all the time.

Have you changed his diet recently? That could be the cause of an allergy. They can develop dog food allergies at any time in life - even if they have been fed a particular food for years without any problems.

I recommend you get your vet to check this for an accurate diagnosis. Once you know what it is, you can then go on to treat it successfully.

If he's licking your hands and feet, etc. well, I'm not really sure. It may be a comfort thing, or he may be trying to get at the salt on your skin. Dogs groom each other in the pack - it may be that he's doing this?

Anyone out there have any other ideas?

If you want him to stop, why not try the following?

When he licks you, say 'No' in a firm manner and stop him. If he stops, tell him he's a good boy and give him a treat.

Next time, wait for a few seconds before giving him praise and a treat.

Continue to extend the time between giving him praise and a small treat and eventually he should stop.

If he understands the word 'No' and hears it each time he licks you, eventually he'll get the message that you don't want him to lick you.

The key to this working is CONSISTENCY!

Good luck and give him a little cuddle from us!

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Excessive Licking ( You're driving me nuts Simon )
by: The Dude

My guess plain and simple....is salt. Yes, obviously allergies, fleas, etc. play a role but Simon will lick our feet, hands , face and if we make him stop he just licks air...lol

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Excessive Licking
by: Anonymous

He may be showing either dominance or subserviance by licking you - I'm not sure which? I always thought that the act of grooming was a dominance thing but I read somewhere recently that subservient dogs will lick (groom) others.

Sorry I've not been very much help - perhaps someone tell me which is which?

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