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A number of things I've read state that a dog's licking of a human is an instinctive act of recognition of the pack leader. I'm sure it's individual choice, but how much, if any do you allow?

I'm not that comfortable being licked but want her to have a natural canid life to a certain point. Rory likes to lick my forearm in the morning and I could live without it.

Thoughts?
 

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I don't mind Manny licking us but I hate when he licks someone I don't know. Maybe my OCD/germ phobia kicking in and afraid he's passing on other people's germs? He's a greeting licker but doesn't lick all the time which is fine with me. That little face gets pretty dirty after eating and who knows what he's eating when he goes outside. I do like a little "sugah" when he wakes up.
 

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Jen, Timmy and Mae
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I put up, with it, I figure it's part of our relationship, heck I could be dealing with worse. My two are major lickers, even my jacket covered arm. I don't mind them licking but am a little grossed out with face licking especially with Mae's snack choices. :puke:
 

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Having had medium sized to large dogs for the most part throughout my life, I have always discouraged most licking - just too much wet real estate yuck! So with Leo, though the licks are much smaller, I have continued the previous preference. The occasional quick lick is ok but I don't encourage lots of licking. Also since I take Leo to work with me often, I didn't really want him getting into the habit of lots of licking of people because folks he meets at the office have varying degrees of familiarity with dogs and since Leo isn't in the habit of licking people most everyone is comfortable around him. Some have even commented to me that they don't usually like to be around dogs because they don't like being licked but they like Leo because he doesn't try to lick them.
 

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I discourage it for the same reasons as Leo's owner. My hav still does it a little bit, but not too much. I usually say "leave it" but in a kind voice and give him a friendly little pat. He reverts to nose bumping which I prefer!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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I have never liked getting licked all over, so have always discouraged it. (gently, by redirection… nothing more) As a result, Kodi rarely licks, and he NEVER kicks faces.

Every once in a while, when cuddling on the bed, he will very purposefully, hold down my arm or hand and CLEARLY be grooming it. (Even doing the little "teeth" thing they do) But this is rare, and kind of funny. If he started to do it with any frequency, we'd discourage that too.

That said, I don't think there is anything WRONG with people allowing licking if they are comfortable with it. It's a personal choice.
 

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Dana and John
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I read that too quickly. I thought you said outside SMOkING.
The funniest visual we ever had was when we took Gibbs for a walk before teaching him "Leave It". We were walking down the street and he sniffed a discarded butt. He picked it up with his mouth, but didn't try to eat or chew it. He started to walk with it sticking out of his mouth. He picked it up the "correct" way, so the filter was between his teeth and was prancing down the street with a butt sticking out of his lips. I wish we had a camera because he looked like such the "bad a$$". Neither Dana nor I smoke, but it was funny to see. I tried to grab it before he attempt to eat it, but he started to chew on it as soon as we stopped walking. I'm on my knees trying to fish it out of his mouth. I got it before he swallowed, and "Leave It" training became an immediate priority.

I do wish someone had captured one of those "candid camera" moments because he looked like he knew what he was doing.
 

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I am glad to see there are so many people who discourage licking! I was feeling like a bad parent for not allowing it, but the truth is I cannot bear it. When I see dogs licking people on their mouth it just grosses me out.

Then again, my son loves being licked.... So it is definitely a personal choice.
 

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Teresita
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I let them lick me, mostly on my hands, for a little time. When I say done, it's done and we change activity. They are pretty good with that. They know they can't lick Daddy, he doesn't like it.
 

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Jacqueline
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None of my big dogs have ever been big lickers. well, one liked to lick the lotion off my skin, lol.

Ollie has always done more of a grooming lick and he used to be obsessed with ears (smelling and licking them - canal). he doesn't lick ears so much anymore, but he does like to groom my cheeks and forehead, I guess I have a t zone, ha.

I like it... not non-stop all the time, but I do think it's sweet, and yes not on the mouth.
 

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I'm not a huge fan of licking and I really really tried to discourage it, but Brody was having none of it, he's a licker and carries his licker card proudly and refuses to give it up. Any chance he gets to sneak a lick in, he's on it!
 

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I try to discourage the allover licking, but feet are another story. Maccabee dives under the covers as soon as he gets in bed with us, and licks our feet for a long time. I usually fall asleep during my pedicure.
 

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Because I do have mild allergies to dog saliva I will be wanting to discourage licking with our new pup. Also my friend has a dog who is an OCD licker and it's a big problem- you cannot even wear sandals or shorts to her house. My Mom's poodles also have a bit of an OCD licking habita nd it seems like it gets out of control for a lot of dogs. So when we get our pup, what is the best strategy to start out on the right foot with this? Again, occasional, small amount is ok but for the most part given the choice between no licking ever and too much, I'd go with none!

I know it is really natural for puppies to do, and I don't want to totally surpress the pup from natural behaviours but puppyhood seems the window of opportunity to prevent an OCD habit from taking hold...
 

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redirect pup's attention to another toy when he/she starts to lick. move away a bit when the licking starts. make an "enh" noise then say good pup when she stops. Be consistent and pup will get the message that you prefer others ways of showing affection.
 
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