If your dog has been licking you, in the morning, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog lick me in the morning? Possible reasons why your dog licks you in the morning are that it is being affectionate, it is excited, it is trying to get you to give it something, it’s looking for attention or that you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
Since there are multiple possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why does my dog lick me in the morning?
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been licking you in the morning and what would make each of them more likely.
Hunger or dehydration
The cause might be that it is hungry or thirsty. This would be more likely if it starts licking other things as well such as areas where there has been food and if it starts licking its lips a lot. If you think that this is the cause then give it a bowl of water and some food. If it drinks the water quickly then it probably was the reason. It would also be more likely to be the cause, if it stops licking you after you give it food and water.
It could be the case that something has been causing it to be anxious in the morning and the licking is a soothing behavior. The reason why it might be anxious could be that it has some separation anxiety and it licks. This would be more likely if it starts becoming anxious when you are about to go to bed at night and if it sleeps in a different room to you. It would also be more likely if it licks your skin excessively in the morning.
The reason why it licks you might be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you give it extra attention when it does it and if it tends to get excited and tries to lick your face when it does it.
In this case, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, exercising it and training it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with extra attention when it licks you.
Encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that you have encouraged it to lick you more by giving it things that it wants when it does it. If you give your dog things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it licks you then it will likely do it more in order to get more of those rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to avoid rewarding it when it licks you.
The reason why it does it could be that it is showing that it loves you. Dogs are social animals and a part of the way they communicate with each other is by licking. This would be more likely if it does it in response to you being affectionate towards it such as when you are petting it. When it’s licking you it’s letting you know that it trusts you and that you are a part of its tribe.
It likes how you taste
Another possible reason why your dog licks you might be that it likes the way you taste. This would be more likely if your dog licks you more before you have showered when you might be more sweaty or if it licks where you have been sleeping because it likes the salty taste.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
If your dog always licked you in the morning
If your dog did not always lick you, in the morning, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly it could be due to things such as something causing it to be anxious, getting hungry or thirsty in the mornings or learning that the behavior is rewarded.
What is different when your dog does not lick you in the morning
If it does not always lick you, in the morning, it would help to consider what is different when it does not do it. For example, if it does not lick you on mornings after sleeping in the same room as you, it might be the case that it has some separation anxiety.
What to do about your dog licking you in the morning
Below are some options you have when dealing with your dog licking you in the morning.
If it has been licking you excessively, in the mornings, it would help to take it to a vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your specific dog and hopefully rule out medical causes.
Avoid encouraging it
One option would be to avoid rewarding it when it does it. By doing so you should be able to teach your dog that licking you does not result in it getting things that it wants. One way to do this would be to get up and turn away from it when it starts licking and to avoid giving it attention until it calms down.
Ensure that it has access to water
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it does it because it is thirsty or hungry in the mornings. It would help to make sure that it gets access to water in the mornings incase it has been doing it due to being thirsty.
Reward it for not licking
It would also help to reward it when it does not lick but it normally would. By doing so you should be able to teach it that not licking results in it getting rewards. If it does start to lick, you would stop rewarding it until it stops licking.
You can watch the video below to see how to do it.