Have you ever thought “Why does my dog lick my legs?” For many pet parents, this behavior is kind of odd.
But, licking is completely normal for canines. They lick to establish communication with you and their surroundings.
Your canine has a sensory organ called Jacobson’s organ. This organ connects the nasal cavity to the roof of your canine’s mouth.
Jacobson’s organ allows your pooch to smell and taste at the same time. Hence, he can get more information.
Female canines lick their puppies to show affection and provide grooming and care.
Licking also shows a variety of emotions in canines, like anxiety and submission.
For some canines, licking becomes a compulsive nature.
Excessive licking is similar to biting nails and can be irritating for pet parents.
6 reasons why my dog licks my legs?
1) Your canine is showing submission and respect
Canines usually submit to their owners. And show this in different ways.
If your pooch is licking your legs, then it could be a sign of devotion. Submission is a real thing.
Some canines may challenge you when their alpha mindset kicks in.
but, with basic training, canines can understand the roles in hierarchy.
If your canine considers you the head of the family, then he might lick your leg to show respect and submission.
2) The little furball is showing affection
Some canines cannot get enough of you. They might be showing affection to you if you are sitting in front of them.
Licking is a love language for your canine. When pups are born, female canines lick them to clean and show affection.
Hence, dogs lick their owners to show affection and tell you that they love you.
3) Dogs want your attention
If you feel ticklish when your pooch licks your legs, then it is a great way for your canine to get your attention.
In fact, if you react, it will encourage this behavior. Your canine may think you are ready to play with him.
Even if it is unwanted, you should not react negatively to your canines. Hence, try to redirect your pooch’s attention to somewhere else.
4) Our fido is having anxiety or other behavioral disorders
Your canine may get uncomfortable in some situations. If the canine is feeling restless, it might lick your feet to decrease the anxiety. Understand that your canine’s way to communicate is through licking.
Therefore, make sure that you notice what is going on around your pooch. You may also notice that your dog just does not lick the leg. He may lick fabrics, toys, floors, etc. This may be a self-stimulatory behavior due to anxiety.
5) He is grooming you
Just like canines lick while grooming each other, they want to groom you, too.
If you are sitting bare legs in front of him, your canine may start licking the legs.
Canines that groom your legs might also start licking your face or arm. Therefore, it is a social activity that canines do.
6) Salty sweat on your skin
Canines sometimes impress us with their excellent olfactory senses. Their sense of smell is very advanced.
Canines have around 300 million olfactory senses and we just have 6 million of them.
Hence, canines have a 40 times better sense of smell than humans.
You know, our bodies constantly secrets pheromones. Human beings cannot pick these smells, but canines can.
If you are sweating, your canine may lick the salty scent coming from your skin.
So, why Lick feet?
Stinky, sweaty feet contain pheromones. It also contains salt that many canines find attractive.
However, there is a difference between habitual licking and occasional licking.
If your canine licks too much, then it may be a behavioral problem.
When your pooch licks your feet, you may respond immediately.
This may develop into an attention-seeking behavior. Therefore, it is important for you to train your pooch.
How to train a dog to stop licking your legs?
If you ever had a fido, you can tell that leg licking is such an annoying habit. That is why it may be shocking to know that licking a leg also benefits your canine in many ways.
In fact, it helps them to get affection. Also, it plays different important roles like cleaning themselves and keeping the skin healthy.
But when leg licking becomes more frequent, training must be done. Here are some tips on how to train a canine to stop licking your legs.
- Redirect your canine’s leg licking behavior by giving them something else to lick. When they lick other items, just give them a treat and praise so that they do it again.
- Say “No” to the behavior and move away from your pooch while clapping your hands.
- Try to create distractions for your canine before he starts licking your leg. Bring his favorite toys when you see him starting his licking behavior.
- During the night, keep the toys away from your canine’s reach. These things can trigger licking issues at night.
- Speak to an expert if any of the above things do not work.
What to do if your dog won’t stop licking his paws?
While it’s flawlessly natural for your canine to be inquisitive about your feet, if he’s licking his paws incessantly, there can be an underlying clinical reason.
In case your dog is licking the only one paw, search for abrasions or cuts (or maybe an insect bite).
While licking is an instinctual manner for canines to tend to their wounds, it may be counterproductive and cause secondary inflammation and infection.
If your dog is licking more than one paw, examine all of them. Specifically between the toes.
If the vicinity between the paws is swollen, red, and/or inflamed, your canine can also additionally come into contact with a caustic material, which includes fertilizer.
Excessive licking may also be because of allergies, consisting of food allergies, or parasites.
- For Further Reading
- Why Does a Dog Licks Another Dog’s Ear?
- Reasons Why Dogs Lick Their Paws?
- Why does my dog lick my period blood?
In conclusion, I would say that it is completely normal for a canine to lick your leg. But if this habit becomes more frequent, then you see it from a different perspective.
The most common reasons for your canine licking your leg include – showing affection, grooming, having anxiety issues, liking salty sweat, etc.
You can train your canine to stop this behavior. Just make sure that you understand the real cause behind it.
I hope you liked the article. We will be back with more interesting and informative articles. Till then, stay connected. Thank you.
Frequently asked questions
We're an affiliate! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.