So, you have come back home after a long tiring day at the office. You enter your room and lie down on the bed to relax for some time.
All of a sudden, your canine comes to you and starts smothering you with warm slobbery kisses on your legs.
While some people may find it filthy more than others, you may be wondering why does my dog lick my legs. Why he is showing this creepy behavior?
Pooches display all sorts of strange behaviors that we cannot understand, such as licking bare feet or legs, but they use these weird behaviors to communicate with their human parents.
Knowing the reasons why your dog licks your legs and feet helps further strengthen the loving connection between you and your four-legged baby.
They normally lick your feet and legs to grab your attention, express their feelings, show affection to you, get information about where you have been the whole day, or simply because they may love the salty taste of your legs or feet.
No hounds are the same because they all have their own distinctive temperament. With that being said, there are various reasons why your dog might lick your legs or other parts of the body.
Below are a few reasons behind his dog psychology.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs?
They Are Feeling Happy
When they lick you, they feel good because their minds create and release a hormone called endorphins.
This hormone is responsible for giving them a feeling of happiness and wellbeing as well as reducing pain and uneasiness.
Human brains release the same chemical after we perform intense exercise.
Next time when your little one licks your legs, she maybe is feeling joyful.
It’s Their Nature
The young hounds start exploring the world by licking things. If your mutt is a pup, then the chances are that he is exploring when he is licking your feet or legs.
The habit of licking things will stay with him as he grows older; hence, he will naturally lick you occasionally or frequently.
They Are Trying To Communicate Their Feelings
Mongrels cannot talk, but it does not mean that they cannot express their feelings.
If your canine is hungry or wants to go outside, he will possibly lick your legs to tell you what he wants.
They can also show this behavior if they are not feeling well or in pain.
If you notice that they are licking you excessively and have low energy levels, it is a clear indication that they might be sick.
They Want To Groom You
If you have showered, they may lick you to groom you, so you are clean and dry. Dogs lick to dry themselves, so it is a significant part of their nature.
Since you are his parent, she has a sense of responsibility to dry and clean you off.
They Are Bored
If your dog is bored, he will chew your furniture or boots. They get bored when you don’t provide them with enough physical or mental stimulation.
Some breeds of hounds need regular physical activity, while some need toys to teach them or keep them entertained.
If you won’t provide them these things, they will lick your legs excessively to entertain themselves.
They Show Empathy
Dogs can understand our moods, so they may lick you to show empathy when you are sad, depressed, or crying.
They display this behavior to make you feel better, and it can be uplifting for you to get this response from him.
If he licks you whenever you feel upset or lonely, then you know that he is licking you to tell you that you are not alone.
They Love Your Legs’ Taste
They lick your legs because they love their smell and taste. Have you ever noticed that your pooch licks you after you apply lotion or after exercise?
When you perform the exercise, you sweat, and seemingly, they love your skin’s salty taste or the lotion that you just have put on yourself.
They Are Anxious
If you observe that your dog is anxious, try to find the root cause of his stress.
Is he scared of something, or did you moved to a new house, and he finds it difficult to adjust?
If you are concerned about it, take your canine to the vet. He will figure out why your hound is tense and what you can do to prevent the problem.
Should You Allow Them To Lick Your Legs?
Licking is a harmless behavior, but if you have open wounds, then don’t allow him to lick your legs or other parts of the body because his saliva has bacteria.
The bacteria could lead to infections if you have weak immunity. Therefore, you should be careful than feeling sorry later.
On the other hand, if you don’t have open wounds, licking won’t harm you.
Simply make sure that you have not applied creams to the area where your dog most commonly licks because the cream may contain ingredients that can be dangerous for your hound.
In conclusion, it is your personal choice whether you allow him to lick or not. If you want to correct this behavior, we have valuable tips for you on how to do so.
What Should You Do To Prevent Your Dog From Licking Your Legs?
Here are a few tactics you can use to stop your canine from licking your legs.
Try To Understand Him
You should try to know your mutt and how he expresses his emotions and needs.
Read his body language and try to interpret what he wants from you when he licks your body.
If he licks occasionally, there is no harm in allowing him, but if he licks too much, find the answers to these questions:
- Is he hungry or thirsty?
- Does he want space or attention?
- Does he want to play with you or want to go outside?
If he chases you after exercise to lick your salty sweat, you can try to offer him a salty treat. You can also consider providing him with a toy or blanket that he can carry around with him and lick on.
If he enjoys licking as an activity, you can buy a licking pad and spread some peanut butter or dry food on it and permit him to lick away.
Modify His Behavior
To stop him from licking your legs, you can work with a professional trainer to apply positive reinforcement methods to transform his licking behavior.
It involves asking your furry companion not to lick your body and giving him a treat or toy for it. Over time, it will inspire them to stop this behavior.
Give Him Attention
If he licks to grab your attention, try to give him enough attention so that he is blissful. But don’t give too much attention because it will spoil him.
Sometimes, you will need to ignore him to give him a message that he needs to change his strategy to get what he wants.
Talk To The Vet
If he has unexpectedly started licking your feet or legs and has become needy, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
In such situations, you should talk to the vet and pinpoint the root cause of his behavior. Based on the problem, the vet will suggest what you should do to stop or control his behavior.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs After I Take A Shower?
They may lick you after you showered because they like your lotion’s smell, or they may be trying to dry you just like they dry themselves.
2. Why Does My Dog Lick My Wounds?
When they lick your wounds, their saliva that has healing abilities can help cleanse that area and heal it. Vets say that their saliva has healing and antimicrobial properties.
3. Why Does My Dog Lick My Ears?
They can lick your ears due to boredom, excitement, ear infection, social structure, grooming behavior, or simply because they like your ears’ taste.
4. Is It A Good Idea To Stop My Dog From Licking My Legs?
Well, it is your personal choice to allow them or stop them from licking your legs. If you are uncomfortable with this behavior, you can rely on positive reinforcement training to slowly transform his behavior. Otherwise, his licking won’t harm you. However, you must wash your feet or legs every time you come home from the office to get rid of germs.
Canines display odd behaviors. Their behaviors may seem strange to us, but to them, they have a solid reason behind them.
Mostly, when a dog licks your feet or legs nonstop, he is trying to show affection and love to you. It is also one of their fundamental approaches of communicating their feelings and telling about their needs.
We hope our detailed guide on “why does my dog lick my legs excessively” has helped you identify the reasons why your dog displays this behavior and some useful strategies to help control this potentially infuriating behavior.