If your dog licks you when you wake up, this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog lick me when I wake up? The most likely reason why your dog licks you when you wake up is that it is hungry. It could also be due to separation anxiety, excitement, or having learned that the behavior is rewarded.
Your dog might lick you, when you wake up, for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog licks you when you wake up
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog licks you when you wake up.
It is hungry
The reason why your dog does it is likely to be that it is hungry. This would be more likely if your dog does it in the morning before it has been fed, and it stops licking you after it is fed. In this case, it could help to feed it earlier than you usually do.
Another possible cause is that your dog has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if your dog does it more when it has had to be away from you for a long time. It would also be more likely if your dog does not sleep with you, it licks you in the morning and it becomes anxious when you are going to bed.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as extra attention, food, or treats, when it licks you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
The reason why it does it could be that it is being affectionate. 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.
Waking up at a different time
Another possible cause is that your dog is used to waking up at a certain time. If you wake up early during the week and your dog only licks you on the weekend, it could be the case that your dog is doing it because it is expecting you to wake up earlier.
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 has always licked you when you wake up
If your dog has not always licked you, when you wake up, 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 feeding it later, waking up later, or not letting it sleep with you anymore.
What else is different when your dog licks you when you wake up
If your dog does not always wake you when you wake up, it would also help to consider what is different when your dog does it. For example, if it only does it on the weekends, it would be more likely that it is doing it because it is expecting to wake up earlier.
What to do about your dog licking you when you wake up
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Give it food and water
As mentioned earlier, it is likely that it is doing it because it is hungry and thirsty. It could help to give your dog food earlier in the morning if you currently feed it later in the morning.
Let it stay in a different room
It would also help to make sure that the room it stays in, at night, is not too hot, loud, and that there is space for it to sleep. This is so that it is less anxious when you are not around.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.
Redirect its focus
Another option would be to redirect your dog’s focus onto something else when it seems likely to start licking you. Things to redirect its focus towards could include toys, bones or performing an action such as rolling over.
Give it distractions
Another option would be to give your dog things to be distracted by so that it is less likely to want to lick you. Things to give it could include toys, or bones.
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