If your dog has been licking your eyes, 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 to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog lick my eyes? Possible reasons why your dog has been licking your eyes are that it is looking for attention, it is trying to get you to do something such as walk it or that it is just being affectionate.
Since there are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely.
Reasons why your dog licks your eyes
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been licking your eyes and what would make each of them more likely.
Looking for attention
The cause 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 tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it but to avoid rewarding it with attention when it licks your eyes by redirecting its behavior when it starts.
The cause could be that it has learned that it gets rewarded for licking your eyes. If you tend to give it things such as more attention, treats or toys, when it licks your eyes, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
It could be the case that your dog does it because it is bored and looking for ways to stimulate itself. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more before getting to do stimulating things such as exercise and training.
It would help to ensure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed, if it is already, another way to calm it down would be to give it training.
When dogs are young, one of the first ways that they will explore the world is by licking and sniffing things. If your dog is a puppy then it is likely to be the case that it is exploring when it is licking your eyes. The habit of licking things will stay with it as it gets older which is why they will naturally lick quite often.
It might also be the case that it does it because it is being affectionate. When it’s licking you it’s letting you know that it trusts you and that you are a part of its tribe. This type of licking is normal and will often happen when you try to pet it.
The reason why it licks your eyes could be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it tends to do it in situations where it gets very excited such as when you come home or when it is going out for a walk.
In this case, it would help to avoid doing the thing that it gets excited about and to wait for it to stop licking your eyes before continuing.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why it has been doing it.
What is different when your dog licks your eyes
If there is a certain time that it tends to lick your eyes, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it tends to do it when you are about to leave home, it could be due to separation anxiety.
What else happened when it first started
If your dog did not always lick your eyes, it would also help to consider what else changed when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly it could be due things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded or if you stopped giving it as much attention causing it to do things to get you to give it more attention.
What to do about your dog licking your eyes
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want it to and to stop rewarding it with attention when it starts misbehaving.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you get your dog to do things that you want by rewarding it for doing them or showing signs of doing them.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop licking your eyes you would:
- Stand up and turn away, when it starts licking your eyes, leaving the room if necessary.
- Wait a few moments and then go back to giving it attention and then turning away again if it starts licking your eyes
- Repeat the above until it learns that licking your eyes causes it to lose your attention
- Reward it with a treat when it does particularly well
Give it attention
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day so that it is less likely to try to get attention from you. Ways to give it attention would be to train it, exercise it and to play with it.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also try giving it things to be distracted by such as bones or toys so that it is less likely to start licking your eyes.
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