For a dachshund, the tongue is a helpful organ that can be used to taste things, familiarize with a particular surrounding, new animals, or people, and also show compliance.
Whether you find the licking adorable or a nuisance, it is a common behaviour regardless of the dog breed. You come home after being at work all day, walk in through the doors, and your dachshund jumps with joy and licks you all over. It is a sign of affection, of course, and you may not think too much about it. However, excessive licking can be an indication of an underlying behavioural or health issue.
Does the Dog Want More Attention?
Perhaps your dog is simply seeking your undivided attention, and the only way to do so is by licking itself or you. Apart from you, the dog may lick itself, people, furniture, or any other objects. You may not be looking to stop him/her altogether, but it is imperative that you intervene if the licking is relentless.
Attention-seeking dachshunds require adequate amount of physical and mental activities. If these requirements aren’t met, chances are you will find behavioural issues in them. So, start by taking your dog out more often; perhaps at the dog park or beach. The point is to keep your dachshund active and entertained enough to alter the behaviour of licking.
Is It Health Related?
What you need to point your attention toward is the actual reason behind it–which can be triggered due to fear or anxiety, bacterial or fungal infection, or pain caused by an object stuck in the flesh. So, first and foremost, have the veterinarian check the dog to nullify any underlying health issue.
Before the visit, write down all the times when the dog starts licking itself or other things. This way, you can explain the vet as to how many times a day your dachshund has this issue; or the major question, why? If the vet has given a green signal that the licking is not related to any health concern, you can work on stopping the dog from licking excessively on your own.
How to Stop Dog’s Excessive Licking Habit
Basically, it all boils down to your dachshund’s demeanour at the time he/she starts the licking. Is he/she idle or bored when it happens? Or perhaps it occurs right after you two come back home after a walk? The idea is to keep an eye on these minute, yet essential, trigger points as it will work in your favour.
Whenever you wish to change or instil any behavioural changes in your dog, it is always a good practice to seek advice and consult with a professional trainer. That way, you know you are following correct and rewarding techniques.
Following are some helpful tips to help your dachshund from licking excessively.
- We’ve already discussed giving your dog ample amount of exercise and mental stimulation every day. If you’re going to be leaving the dog alone at home all day, take him/her out for a walk or run in the morning. That way, he/she will get tired and not resolve to lick himself on his own.
- Similar to cats, even dogs like to clean themselves. Perhaps this habit is triggering your dog to go on a full-on licking frenzy. So, after you’ve come back from a walk, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe his/her paws, face, eyes, and ears. That way, your dachshund won’t be interested to do the job by itself.
- Provide as many chew toys as you possibly can. This way, your dog will have something to bite on and forget about licking.
- Ensure that you don’t reward your dog with treats every time he/she shows affection toward you. Now, occasional licking is fine; perhaps something he/she does after seeing you at the end of the day. However, if the licking occurs at random times, you can try to stop it immediately. First thing to do is to turn away from your dog. If he/she is persistent, you can sit somewhere else and not let him/her get close enough to lick.
- Don’t pay attention to the dog and instead, say ‘No’ or ‘Stop’ in an intense manner. Your dog needs to understand that when you say no, it means he/she has to obey you. Be consistent and don’t give in. Of course, being this stern may be tough on you both. But in the end, it’ll all be worth it.
- One of the reasons why dogs lick their owners is because they like the taste of salt that often remains on our skin. So, a good way to eliminate the temptation is by applying a little bit of lemon juice on the skin.
- If your dog licks furniture, clothing items, or any other object, change its place so that he/she cannot reach it. This will be a step toward controlling your dog in a way that’s convenient for you. What he/she needs to learn is that you are the boss and will set the tone of what is tolerable, what isn’t.
- As soon as your dog comes to lick you, get up and leave the room and shut the door. Come out of the room after 30 seconds and see if this tactic works. If not, continue the process until he/she gets the message.
We are not asking you to keep your dog away from you at all times. The focus should remain on times when excess licking becomes an intolerable issue and you have to step up to take charge.
In the end, it is all about being consistent with your training and making your dachshund figure out what types of behaviour are acceptable. By making these lifestyle changes, do not think that you are being mean to your dog. In fact, it is just the opposite. You are trying to help him/her overcome this issue. Disciplining your dog has nothing to do with how much you love him/her.