Q: I recently adopted a six-year-old mongrel. She is very affectionate and good-natured. However, she is extremely fond of licking our faces. What can we do to stop that habit?

A: It should be no surprise that your mongrel loves to lick. In general, dogs do so when they clean themselves, and also to show affection. There are a few possibilities why your pooch won’t stop licking your face.

Showing love

Your dog adores you and he demonstrates it by giving you slobbery kisses. From maternal licking to licking among littermates, dogs learn as puppies that licking strengthens familial bond and your furkid is just doing the same with you.

You are tasty

Canines are attracted to the saltiness of our skin, as well as any new scents that humans carry. An unfamiliar scent may be worth an investigation.

Seeking attention

If you have been ignoring your dog although she has been giving you the stare, the nose-nudging and the whining, she may just start licking your face to get your attention. You will have to interact with her to get her to stop but to your pooch, she has already discovered that doing so captures your attention. Unfortunately, she is not going to relent that easily.

To stop excessive licking of the face, give your dog something to do to redirect her attention. Offer food-filled puzzle toys, such as a KONG toy stuffed with peanut butter, mashed potatoes, or Greek yoghurt. You can also give her a durable chew to work on when you are sitting on the couch watching television or doing your work at the study table. Giving your mongrel plenty of physical and mental stimulation will help in tackling and preventing unwanted behaviours.

 

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