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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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He thinks he's a lizard !

Can anyone help me ? Alfie (13 months) thinks he's a lizard.

Every time he sees anyone his little tongue starts going in and out. It's not such a major issue with us but not everyone enjoys being licked by him. At first we thought it might be the salt he was after as it has been pretty hot but now it seems a constant thing and we really need to stop it.

I realize that we need to stop him doing it to us and then he will stop doing it to others but does anyone have any suggestions ?



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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 07:24 AM
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Will be interested in the responses you get because Molly is a licker too. She is not so bad with us but loves to give any bare skin on guests lots of kisses.



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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 01:12 PM
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I'm not sure if this would work with a dedicated licker, but I can tell you one thing I've tried with my little guy. He likes to lick but not excessively. Sometimes he will lick my foot excessively if it is in proximity. I don't mind this, but I want to be able to ask him to stop when it's time to stop, especially for guests and the like. When he started licking, I got a treat in my hand. I said in a sweet tone of voice "Archer, enough". That caused him to turn his head and look at me because usually anything I say that starts with his name is cause to pay attention to me. Then I would give him a treat and remove my foot from the area.

Now, I say "Archer, enough" (or you could say "Thank you" which guests may be more comfortable with) and when he stops for a moment, I praise him and pet him and love on him. We don't really have any problems with excessive licking now. But each dog is different and Archer has not been an extremely devoted licker as some are- my technique was more for proactive management.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Worth a try ...

Sounds like a good idea - I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes in a week or so.



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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 01:37 AM
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I should add that I say it in a very friendly tone of voice. I find that people often say "Leave It" and stuff like that in a more commanding or negative tone of voice just due to the nature of the command. But there's no reason for that as we are just teaching them the meaning of words we choose to define to them. Then if ever a sharp tone is needed (hopefully rarely), it seems to have more effect.

I'd be very curious to find out if this does work so please report back!

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 09:01 AM
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yeah I wouldn't worry about trying to curtail it. Most likely its one of two things and something that is natural for dogs. It's either a calming signal/appeasement behavior to convey that they are not a threat (more with strangers) or a displacement behavior indicating that they are a little stressed or uncertain of the situation. Either way its only "changed" by the events around it, not by anything you can teach or command. You can after a few licks try to distract with something or ask for an alternate behavior.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-31-2014, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Hi DaveTGabby,
Thanks for your comments. It's interesting to hear your view. I've been saying "No!" When he licks which seems to confuse him a little. He puts his head to one side and looks at me as if to say 'it's what I do'. He seems to have reduced it a little with me and my HH (handsome hubby).
We have guests in our gite at the moment and I've asked them to do the same when he greets them.
Summary; so far so good but watch this space.



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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 06:56 PM
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Licking is absolutely a natural behaviour, yes, but there are many other natural dog behaviours, such as barking, that left unchecked don't help dogs to fit into our modern lives and families very well. I know two obsessive-lickers, and the obsessive licking that these dogs do actually limits how they can interact with family and friends, especially new people who may not be keen on an endless tongue bath on any area of exposed skin. It means less cuddles and less pets for the dogs as people literally don't want to be near them after a while. And it also makes it hard for anyone who may have dog allergies to interact with your pup as the saliva tends to trigger many people.

So I don't think it's reasonable to ask a dog never to lick, but to have a limit on it and have them earn something preferable when they do stop when you ask. You may want to stay away from using "no" as that might discourage it too strongly, and usually that should mean "That behaviour will not be rewarded". What if "Thank you" or "That's enough" meant "If I stop doing this thing (licking) that is very reinforcing to me, I will receive something I like even more" instead? Beginning of course with food reinforcement, and eventually praise and a pat for complying. That might alleviate some of your concern about saying "No" and the confused and or disappointed look you're perceiving from your pup.

Just my point of view- I'm still learning and continually evolving my point of view on this stuff too!

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think I agree. I will change it to thank you. Thanks for your comments and suggestions it's always interesting to hear alternative ideas.



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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-22-2014, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Its now been nearly a month since I posted this problem and I MAY have sorted it out. It has been really hard and I know some of you will tut tut at this. Each time he starts the licking he gets a firm but not brutal slap on the nose. I must point out that its not hard but just for the shock factor. He then gets ignored for a few minutes while he thinks things over. Then he gets petted again and if it happens again we go through the process all over again. The hardest part has been enforcement through our friends and some (who refuse to do it) have been banned from the house until the problem has been rectified.

As I say hard to enforce but it certainly seems to be working.

Hopefully this will help anyone with the same problem.



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