Why does my dog lick my legs all the time? You could get curious when you see your dog licking your legs too often. While there could be multiple reasons for this – you need to identify the main cause for this behavior. Only then will you be able to do anything about it.
Some of the reasons why your dog is licking your legs are because it wants your attention, it’s grooming you, it’s being lovable, your dog thinks licking your legs will result in them being rewarded, or your dog is developing separation anxiety.
Before you scroll down to a more in-depth answer of this guide, “Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs All The Time,” you can check out these other dog questions answered by our team at We Love Doodles: Why is My Dog Licking the Floor? and Why Does My Dog Lick My Arm?
Why Does Your Dog Lick Your Legs?
Here are the reasons why your dog could constantly be licking your legs.
1. Your Dog is Licking Your Legs For Rewards
Your dog may have learned somehow that licking your legs will bear rewards. If you have been giving your dog extra affection, toys, or treats when it licks your legs, they have probably figured this out and keep coming to lick your legs to be rewarded. If this behavior is not sitting right with you, you should reward your dog when it doesn’t lick your legs and stop rewarding them when they try to lick your legs.
Related: Why Does My Dog Lick My Eyes?
2. Your Dog is Licking Your Legs For Attention
Dogs have unique ways of asking for attention from their parents, and your dog’s method might be licking your legs. Your dog may want some extra attention because it’s obsessed with you. One of the reasons for this behavior would be that you haven’t been giving your dog too much attention. And when your dog starts licking your legs, you give them an extra dose of attention.
3. Your Dog is Licking Your Legs Out of Boredom
This is normal, but your dog could be bored, which is why it’s hyper-licking your legs. Your dog is probably looking for ways to keep itself entertained. This is more likely if your dog does this before getting its daily dose of exercise.
You must ensure that your dog is getting their recommended amount of daily exercise. If your dog is getting their daily exercise, then another way to stimulate your dog is to train them. This reduces the chances of your dog getting bored and trains your dog to know what is right and wrong.
4. Your Dog is Licking Your Legs Just Out of Basic Nature
Animals and humans love to explore things when they grow up and develop their habits and quirks. When dogs are young, they explore the world by smelling and licking.
If your dog is a puppy, then it’s likely that they are exploring whatever is close to it. This habit of licking things tends to stay with the dog till they become adults. If you don’t want your dog to end up with this behavior, you must train them.
5. Your Dog is Licking Your Legs Out of Affection
All dogs express themselves differently. Your dog may like to lick your legs frequently because they are simply trying to show affection. When your dog licks you, it tells you that it trusts and loves you and that you are welcome in his/her tribe. This licking is normal and will happen more when you pet your dog.
6. Your Dog is Grooming You
It is a known fact that dogs often groom themselves by licking their bodies. If dogs need to groom you, they will lick you. In this case, if your dog needs to groom your legs, they will lick your legs. Dogs also groom their pups by licking their fur.
This could be one of the reasons why your dog is licking your legs. If you are not petting your dog and they are still licking your legs, then this is the most likely outcome.
7. Your Dog is Licking You Out of Excitement
Every dog expresses their level of excitement differently. Dogs are known to attach themselves to one person in the family or people who love them and care for them the most. If you leave the house, even for a bit, your dog can miss you immensely.
Once you return, your dog can get excited. Some dogs run around their owners, while some start is licking their owners. Your dog may be the latter and tends to lick you, especially your legs. If your dog gets excited by little things, then you should train it to express itself differently.
8. Your Dog Likes to Lick Your Legs
Human skin is naturally salty, and dogs are attracted to salty flavors. Hence, your dog may enjoy the taste of your legs because of the saltiness. You can’t let this behavior continue if this is the case.
You must provide your dog with other foods that can satisfy its salt requirements. If your dog continues to lick your legs because it enjoys the taste, then that can lead to unhealthy attachment habits.
9. Your Dog is Submissive
In the wild, dogs tend to lick animals superior to them. It could be another dog or another animal. If your dog feels like this at home, then your dog will most likely lick your legs. Your dog may feel that you are in charge and will start licking you, in this case, your legs.
If your dog licks your legs to indicate that you are in charge, it may also engage in other such activities. For example: putting its tail in lower positions may even hide its tail or stick it between its legs. These are some common signs indicating that your dog is being submissive.
Some Things to Consider When Your Dog Licks Your Legs
If your dog hasn’t always been licking your legs and has only recently started with this behavior, you should consider what else happened when it first started licking you. If it is a sudden change, you need to change how you reward them or start giving them more attention.
Observe when your dog licks your legs. When you come back home, it’s probably because your dog missed you and is showing you affection. But, if your dog licks your legs randomly during the day, you need to start to discourage them.
Dog-Related Questions: Why Does My Dog Lick Me in the Morning?
What Should You Do About Your Dog Licking Your Legs?
Here’s what you should do if your dog constantly licks your legs.
1. Discourage the Behavior
The first thing you want to do is discourage this behavior. If you don’t take steps to discourage your dog from licking your legs, it will continue to engage in this behavior.
You can start by not giving your dog rewards or attention when it starts licking your legs. That is, of course, if your dog licks your legs because it knows you give them affection or rewards.
2. Positive Reinforcement
In this method, you make your dog perform tasks and reward them upon completion. If you want your dog to stop licking your legs, then you can start by standing up and running away for a few moments when it starts licking your legs. Come back to your dog and see if it starts licking your legs again.
If it does, then repeat the step mentioned above. Continue to do this till your dog realizes that licking your legs will result in you running away. Once your dog realizes this and loses attention, reward your dog with treats or affection.
Giving your dog exercise helps to stimulate its mind. Exercise also gives your dog attention throughout the day, making it less likely to come to you for attention.
4. Distract Your Dog
In addition to the steps mentioned above, you can give your dog chewy toys or bones to chew on and play with so that it remains distracted throughout the day. Your dog licking your legs may not be something to worry about, but you want to discourage such behavior.
Related: Why Does My Dog Lick My Hair?
Conclusion For “Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs All The Time”
Your dog could be licking your legs for many reasons. All you have to do is utilize a few methods to distract your dog from your legs and make it understand that licking your legs will not earn them a reward or affection.
If you find this guide, “Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs All The Time,” helpful, you can check out these other dog-related questions from our team at We Love Doodles:
- Why Does My Dog Lick My Underwear?
- Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears?
- Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much?
You can learn more about why your dog keeps licking you by watching “Why Does Your Dog Lick You” down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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