Last Updated on November 24, 2023
Australian Shepherds are known for their affectionate and playful nature. However, their constant licking can become a problem for many pet owners. Excessive licking by your Australian Shepherd can be frustrating and even uncomfortable, whether it’s your face, hands, or feet.
Why does my Australian shepherd lick me so much? This article will explore the reasons behind this behaviour, the science behind canine licking, and how to reduce excessive licking habits in your Australian Shepherd.
Understanding Your Australian Shepherd’s Licking Behaviour
If you are confused about your Aussie’s licking behaviour, then you might just want to know why they behave in such a manner, as licking is one such behaviour that can sometimes be confusing for pet owners. Here are a few reasons why your Australian Shepherd might be licking:
- Affection: Licking is a way for your pet to show affection and love. It’s a sign of trust and bonding between you and your pet.
- Taste: Dogs have a strong sense of taste, and licking is a way to explore and learn about their environment.
- Comfort: Licking can also provide comfort and help relieve stress in dogs.
- Health Issues: Excessive licking, however, can also indicate an underlying health issue such as dental problems, allergies or skin irritations.
Why does my Australian Shepherd lick me so much? If you notice any signs of excessive licking, consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.
The Science Behind Canine Licking: What Does It Mean for Your Aussie?
Why does my Australian shepherd lick me so much? In general, licking releases endorphins in a dog’s body, providing comfort and relief from stress; this allows dogs to explore their environment and gather information through taste.
In essence, dogs such as Australian shepherds may lick you to release anxiety or seek comfort from you. They may do the same if they want to play with you or your attention.
On the other hand, a dog licking itself can mean trying to clean itself or get rid of fleas and other dust or debris.
Canine licking is a complex behaviour that has various motivations and meanings. By observing your Australian Shepherd’s licking behaviour, you can understand their needs and ensure their well-being.
Common Reasons for Excessive Licking in Australian Shepherds
While licking is an expected behaviour in many dog breeds, it can also be a sign of a more significant disease in some cases. Therefore, any dog owner should get their dog checked up by an animal vet for such. Some of the reasons your Aussie might be doing excessive leaking are:
- Skin Allergies: Aussies are prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching, redness, and swelling. This itching can lead to excessive licking as the dog tries to soothe the affected area.
- Boredom and Separation Anxiety: Excessive licking can signify boredom or separation anxiety in dogs. Aussies are brilliant and active dogs that require plenty of mental and physical stimulation. They may resort to excessive licking when they don’t get enough of it or need attention from you.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: A lack of certain nutrients and vitamins, such as Vitamin A or alike, in a dog’s diet can lead to skin and coat problems, which can cause itching and excessive licking.
- Pain and Discomfort: If a dog is experiencing pain or discomfort in a specific area, it may lick it excessively to soothe it.
- Infections: Skin infections can cause itching, redness, and swelling, leading to excessive licking. Flea infestation and fungal, bacterial or yeast infections are common in dogs. Various factors, including poor hygiene and weakened immune systems, can cause them.
Why does my Australian Shepherd lick me so much? The owner may need to get their Australian shepherd checked by a professional animal vet to assess the condition of their Aussie’s skin and what to do if they are licking excessively.
How to manage and Reduce your Australian Shepherd’s Licking Habits
If your Aussie has been going way overboard with their licking, then it might just be time to try and control their licking behaviour; some of the ways you can do that are:
- Identify the underlying cause: Licking can be a symptom of an underlying health problem such as skin allergies, joint pain, or digestive issues. Before trying to modify your dog’s behaviour, it’s essential to rule out any underlying health issues and address them if necessary.
- Provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation: Aussies are an active breed that requires plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. This can include regular exercise, playing with toys, and training sessions. Providing your dog with plenty of stimulation can help reduce the urge to lick.
- Offer alternative behaviours: When your Aussie starts to lick, try redirecting their attention to another behaviour, such as chewing on a toy or playing fetch. This can help to shift their focus and distract them from the licking behaviour.
- Train your dog: Positive reinforcement training can be one of the best ways to reduce excessive licking. When your Aussie licks, simply say “No lick” in a firm but gentle voice and reward them with a treat when they stop. Repeat this training until your dog understands that licking is unacceptable.
Why does my Australian Shepherd lick me so much? Managing and reducing your Australian Shepherd’s licking habits requires addressing any underlying health issues or mental distress that may be causing them to lick too much.
When to Seek Professional Help for Your Australian Shepherd’s Licking Behaviour
Excessive licking in dogs can sometimes indicate underlying behavioural or health issues. If you suspect your Aussie has a health problem, you might be right.
Suppose your Aussie is constantly licking its skin or has developed hot spots. It could indicate an underlying skin condition such as allergies, infections, or parasite infestations. In such cases, a veterinarian can perform a physical examination, conduct skin tests, and provide treatment to address the underlying issue.
Another reason for excessive licking could be stress or anxiety. Dogs may lick themselves to cope with anxiety or boredom or to self-soothe. Suppose you suspect your Aussie’s excessive licking is related to stress or anxiety. In that case, a veterinary behaviourist can help you determine the cause and recommend behaviour modification and management techniques.
In some cases, excessive licking may be related to a medical issue, such as a gastrointestinal problem or a hormonal imbalance. In such instances, a veterinarian can perform a physical examination, run blood tests, and perform other diagnostic tests to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.
Why does my Australian shepherd lick me so much? If your Aussie’s licking behaviour is excessive and causes discomfort or harm. Then it can be essential to seek professional help to determine the cause and find a solution.
Why does my Australian Shepherd lick me so much? You will have to focus specifically on your Aussie to stop their licking behaviour if it is bothering you too much; this may include looking for professional help in some cases or simply giving your Aussie the much-needed attention they deserve!