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Lickety-split: How to teach your dog to stop licking people

March 1, 2018

Does your dog like to lick people? If so, you or others may not necessarily like the licking.

You can help teach your pet what behaviours are wanted and unwanted – such as licking – with your own behaviour, says animal behaviour consultant Chirag Patel.

“Your dog doesn’t understand ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – he just understands that he’s getting attention,” Patel says.

“We have to remember licking is a normal behaviour for dogs and one of the things we can do is that if a dog licks you, you don’t give attention.”

By rewarding him when he doesn’t lick, with praise, treats and attention and ignoring him, or withholding your attention when he does lick, you can teach him that if he doesn’t lick, he gets good things in return, Patel says.

For more information about training your dog, behaviour questions and more, visit our dog care section.