If your husky has a habit of licking your feet you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might lick your feet a lot and what you can do to make it stop.
So, why does my husky lick my feet? Possible reasons are that it wants attention, thinks that it is grooming you, is being affectionate, is doing it compulsively or it could be the case that you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
There are actually many reasons why your husky might be doing it and it could be a combination of multiple different reasons. Fortunately, there are also some things that you can consider that will help you figure out the exact reason. Once you have a good idea of the cause of it licking your feet, you should be able to get it to stop more easily.
Why your husky licks your feet
Each of the different reasons why your husky licks your feet will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your husky might lick your feet and what would make them more likely.
It wants attention
The reason why it licks your feet a lot could 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 feet by redirecting its behavior when it starts.
It is grooming you
Huskies will often groom themselves by licking. They will also groom others such as when a mother husky licks her puppies. This is could be why your husky has been licking your feet.
It’s being affectionate
Another common reason that huskies will lick you is that it is a sign of affection. 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.
It is exploring
When Siberian huskies are young one of the first ways that they will explore the world is by licking and sniffing things. If your husky is a puppy then it is likely to be the case that it is exploring when it is liking your feet. The habit of licking things will stay with it as it gets older which is why they will naturally lick quite often.
It could be the case that it has been doing it compulsively. This is where your husky has an urge to lick things and it cannot stop itself from doing it. This would be more likely to be the reason if your husky does it excessively and it has been doing it for more than a few weeks.
If it seems like it might be doing it obsessively the best option would be to seek the guidance of a local vet.
Negative reinforcement is where you train your husky to behave the way that you don’t want by giving it things that it wants when it behaves that way. If you have been giving your husky things it wants when it licks your feet it could be the case that it has learned to do it more.
Instead of giving it rewards when it licks your feet, try to recognize when it is likely to start doing it and to redirect its focus on to something else.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider that will help you in figuring out why your husky has been doing it.
How often it does it
It would help to consider how often your husky has been licking your feet. If it has been licking your feet constantly then it would be more likely to be compulsive behavior and something you’ll want to get help on from a vet or dog behaviorist.
If it does it less often then it would help to consider what is different when it does do it and when it started doing it.
When it started doing it
It would also help to consider what else happened at the same time that it started licking your feet. It could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If your husky started doing it suddenly it would make it more likely that it started doing it because you inadvertently rewarded it, you stopped giving it as much attention or possibly because something caused it to start being anxious. It would help to consider what else happened when it started.
When it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when it does it. If it does it more at a certain time it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it seems to start licking your feet more just before you leave home it could be the case that it is doing it due to separation anxiety.
Whereas, if it does it at random times it would make it more likely to be natural behavior or that it does it because it’s learned it gets rewards.
How to get your husky to stop licking your feet
Below are a number of options that you have when getting your Siberian husky to stop licking your feet.
Don’t reward it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that your husky has learned that licking your feet results in it getting rewards. Instead of rewarding your husky when it does it try to redirect its focus onto something else such as a bone before it starts doing it.
Reward it for not licking your feet
Another option would be to reward it when it does not lick your feet but it normally would. By doing so you will be able to reinforce the behavior that you want.
Give it exercise
Huskies are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally. Generally, it’s recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day. If your husky is not getting that much it would help to make sure it does by walking it yourself or getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your husky has been doing it or it has been doing it excessively the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular husky.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to lick your feet. Things you could give it would include toys, bones or puzzle games.