If your Labrador has a habit of licking your legs, you may wonder why and what you can do about it. In this article, we’ll show you the common causes and what you can do to stop them.So why does my Labrador lick my legs? The possible reason is that you may want to pay attention, think you’re grooming, loving, compulsively doing it, or if you accidentally reward your actions. Your Labrador may lick your feet for many reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when coming up with the main reasons, and there are a few things you can do about it.
Why Your Labrador Licks Your Legs
Below are the common reasons why a Labrador licks the owner’s leg and is more likely to be the reason why you are doing it.
it wants to pay attention
The reason why it does it may be because it is trying to get extra attention from you. This is more likely if you do more when you don’t pay too much attention, and if you tend to pay more attention when you do it. Instead, it helps to play through it all day, train it and pay attention by exercising it, but when licking your legs by redirecting that behavior at the start, it helps to avoid being careful and rewarding.
It’s grooming you
Labradors often groom themselves by licking. They also groom others, such as when a mother Labrador is touting her puppy. This may be the reason your Labrador is licking your legs.
Cause it’s also possible that you have affection. When it’s licking you, it trusts you and lets you know that you are part of that tribe. This type of licking is normal and often happens when you try to pet it.
When Labradors are young, one of the first ways they explore the world is to lick and smell things. If your Labrador is a puppy, it is likely that you are exploring when you like your feet. The habit of licking things stays with it as it gets older and that is why they naturally lick quite often.
You may also be doing it for compulsive behavior. This is where your Labrador has the urge to get things done, and it can’t stop it self from doing it. This would be likely to be the reason if your Labrador does it excessively and it is doing it for more than a few weeks. If it seems like you’re doing it compulsively, the best option is to seek guidance from a local vet.
It may also encourage action by giving what it wants when it does. If you tend to give toys, sweets, extra attention, etc., you might do more to get more rewards when you lick your legs. Instead of rewarding when you lick your feet, try to recognize when you are likely to start it and redirect the focus to other things.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when understanding why your Labrador is doing it.
how often do it
It will help you to think about how often your Labrador is licking your legs. If it is always licking your feet, it is likely to be compulsive behavior and you will want to get help from a veterinarian or dog behaviorist.
when it started
It helps to think about what else happened when you first started it if you don’t always get your feet on. If your Labrador suddenly started it, you’re more likely to accidentally start it to reward it, because you stopped paying that much attention or perhaps something started to get anxious. Help to think about what else happened when it started.
when it does
It also helps to consider whether there is a certain time when it tends to do more. Timing may be relevant. For example, if you seem to be starting to lick your legs more just before you leave the house, it may be doing it because of separation anxiety. On the other hand, if you do it at random times, it will be more likely to be a natural behavior or you will be doing it because you’ve learned that it gets rewarded.
How to Get Your Labrador to Stop Licking Your Feet
Below are a few things you can do to get your Labrador to stop licking your legs.
They do not reward
As mentioned earlier, it may encourage action by rewarding you when you do. Instead of rewarding when a Labrador does it, try redirecting the focus to other things such as bones before starting it.
Praise not licking your feet
Another option would be to reward it when it doesn’t get your feet, but it would usually be. In doing so, you can enhance the action you want.
Labradors are meant to do a lot of exercise every day. When they’re not getting enough exercise, they often look for ways to stimulate themselves and that may be part of the reason you’re licking yours. In general, it is recommended that you do one hour of exercise a day as a healthy adult.
take it to the vet
If you can’t figure out why your Labrador was doing it, or if it’s doing it excessively, the best option is to take it to the vet. In doing so, you can get professional advice tailored to your particular Labrador and eliminate medical causes.
give a distraction
In addition to the above, you can also give your feet less likely to want to lick and be distracting. What you can give it includes toys, bones and puzzle games.
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