Let’s be honest, Chihuahuas are some of the most lovable creatures on earth. They’re little, they’re cute, and they’re always so happy to see you. But the question: Why do chihuahuas lick so much? brings many owners of these tiny pups to Google time and time again.
Why do chihuahuas lick so much? For Chihuahuas, licking can be a gesture of trust and affection. When they lick us (or our shoes, or the walls), they are showing us that they love us without even saying a word. But this behavior might sometimes go out of hand and develop into something that many owners struggle over.
Chihuahuas are infamous for being lickers. But why? And how can you limit it? Together in this article on Chihuahua’s Land we will be discussing the roots and triggers of this behavior, and what you can do to fix it.
Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much?
Licking is a very common behavior found in Chihuahuas and dogs in general, although many owners struggle with it. The key to solving this is to be very thorough in understanding all possible triggers and follow each step to resolve them.
The reasons may change over time. Also, multiple triggers may also be at work simultaneously. It’s your job to recognize them so you know when this behavior is occurring spontaneously.
There are several specific reasons why do Chihuahuas lick so much, and here are some of the top ones:
Affection: This an the obvious one. Chihuahuas are known to use licking to show affection and love for their owners. Also, dogs in general might use licking as a form of communication between them.
Grooming: Chihuahuas are arguably one of the cleanest breeds of dogs. They keep themselves very clean by licking and grooming themselves very thoroughly. That’s why you only need to bathe your chihuahua once a month.
Communication: As we mentioned earlier, licking can be utilized as a form of communication among dogs, as well as for dogs to communicate with their owners and send them messages and communicate their needs.
Seeking attention: This one is by far what could be triggering most owners and annoying them about the licking issues. Here, licking can be a sign of a Chihuahua that’s demanding attention or simply being a needy Chihuahua.
- Also Read: Why Are Chihuahuas So Needy
Anxiety or Stress: Some dogs compulsively lick themselves, specifically their paws, as a coping mechanism to deal with anxiety and stress. Licking can also be a symptom of separation anxiety.
Boredom: Dogs that are overly bored will need two things: a busier schedule and the resources to keep themselves busy. Make sure that your Chihuahua is getting enough exercise time, and invest in some toys to keep him/her busy.
Allergies: This may be one of the most common causes; however, owners may mistake this as a possible cause if the Chihuahua shows no other signs. It is important to note that itching may be the only sign of allergy.
Submission: Submission is a common behavior in the canine world. Your Chihuahua is perhaps trying to demonstrate that he sees you as the ruler of the house.
What to do if your dog licks you a lot?
As we have mentioned, dogs perceive licking as an act of communication, so if you scold him for licking, it will be very confusing for him. In this case, the best thing to do is to redirect his attention to other, more enjoyable activities.
For example, you can take a KONG toy and smear it with some kind of cream or paste that the dog can lick and enjoy. This way, the dog will suck on the toy until he is completely satisfied and calm.
If his behavior is very repetitive and he spends all day attempting to lick himself, he may have an obsessive-compulsive condition that should be discussed with a veterinarian or canine behaviorist.
You must be very careful when dealing with these behaviors and always consult a professional, as they can stray into self-love, which can lead to extensive injuries or skin problems. Remember that sometimes, by eliminating one behavior, we make way for a worse one and that is not what we intend.
Dogs, in contrast to people, are unable to speak, but they have many means of communicating and expressing themselves.
Barking, howling or whining are just some of the elements of a verbal communication system that we know well, just as tail wagging or ear position belong to their non-verbal communication system.
Licking is another element of their means of communication, so it’s your duty to understand and guide this behavior so it doesn’t go out of hand and become unwanted issue.