Have you ever wondered why does your dog lick your legs after a shower? For some dog owners, this behaviour may seem odd, especially if your dog’s licking becomes a regular occurrence.
Licking is a perfectly normal behaviour for dogs. They lick to communicate and to take in their surroundings. Dogs have an additional sensory organ known as the Jacobson’s organ. It connects the dog’s nasal cavity to the roof of its mouth. This organ allows your dog to taste and smell at the same time. So, your fur buddy will be able to take in even more information.
Related Reading: Why Do Dogs Lick Lotion Off of Me?
Reasons Your Dog Lick Your Legs After a Shower
There are many reasons dogs enjoy licking your legs after a shower. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to stop doing it.
- Attention seeking behaviour: When your dog licks your legs, chances are you respond immediately. This can quickly develop into an attention-seeking behavior, especially if your dog thinks it’s a game.
- Affection: Your dog might also be doing it because it is being affectionate. When it’s licking your legs after a shower, it’s letting you know that it trusts you and that you are a part of its pack. They do that because they are comfortable with you. This type of licking is normal and will often happen when you try to pet it.
- Boredom: If your dog is bored and looking for ways to stimulate itself, it might lick your legs due to boredom. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more before getting exercise.
- To get rewards: It might be the case that your dog has learned that it gets rewarded when it licks your legs. If you tend to give it things such as toys or treats when your dog licks your legs, it will likely repeat the behaviour in order to get more rewards.
- Grooming: Dogs often groom themselves by licking. Your dog has been licking your legs due to grooming. This would be more likely if it tries to lick you when you are not petting it.
- Excitement: Your dog may lick your legs after a shower due to excitement. This would be more likely if it tends to do it in situations where it gets really exciting. Such situations can be when you come home or when it is going out for a walk.
- Likes the taste and smell of your legs: A likely reason why your dog licks your legs after the shower is that it likes the taste and smell. Your dog may also discover that your skin tastes great after a shower, so they will want to lick it. It might actually be the case when you have used a smelly lotion.
- Due to submissiveness: In the wild, dogs will lick the more dominant dogs as a way of letting them know that they are in charge. When they lick you, they treat you as part of the pack. So, it might actually be the case that your dog is being submissive.
Why Does My Dog Lick Me So Much?
There is a difference between an occasional lick and a licking habit. If your dog lick your legs too much, it could be a behavioral problem. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards for doing it.
How to Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Legs After a Shower?
The good news is that with a bit of training, you can spare your legs from further assault. Below are some things you can do to get your dog to stop licking your legs after a shower.
- Understand: You should get to know your dog and how it communicates its needs. Study your fur buddy’s body language. Understand what they want from you so you can respond accordingly. There’s no harm in letting your dog lick your legs a few times.
- Stop encouraging this behaviour: Of your dog starts licking your legs, stop giving it rewards or attention. Later, give it attention and rewards again once it has stopped.
- Train Your dog to stop: Positive reinforcement training is where you get your dog to do the desired things. Use positive reinforcement techniques to distract your dog from licking. Teach your dog to sit and stay until it calms down.
- Give your dog exercise: It would also help to ensure that your dog gets the daily amount of exercise and mental stimulation for its age and breed. If it is already getting daily exercise, another way to stimulate it would be to give it more training. You can play tug of war, give belly scratches, or play frisbee or ‘fetch’. Also, give walks twice a day around the neighborhood or them to a dog park.
- Give your dog distractions: You could also try giving it things to be distracted by such as puzzles or toys. In this way, it is less likely to start licking your legs.
If your dog is a determined licker, it may require more drastic measures.
It’s perfectly natural for your dog to be interested in your legs. Whether it’s a sign of excitement, submissiveness, or love for you, your dog finds comfort in licking you. You shouldn’t punish your dog for this behaviour, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of licking. You can always consult your vet or a trainer to develop a strategy to deter licking your legs in the future.