Vet-Approved! ✅ This article has been reviewed and approved by a qualified Veterinarian. Read more!
When your poodle licks you, you either love it or seriously hate it. Whether it’s a hygiene thing or you just don’t like the feeling, it’s understandable you want to know how to stop it, and why she does it in the first place.
There are several reasons why your Poodle tries licking so much. These include: enjoying the salty taste of your skin, she’s bored, anxious, showing you affection, it’s a habit, or she finds it soothing and relaxing. In rare cases, excessive licking may be caused by an underlying health issue.
Why Your Poodle Tries Licking You So Much
As explained above there can be a wide range of reasons as to why your Poodle tries licking so much.
Fortunately, most dog-licking behaviors (especially when it’s to you) can be explained through behavioral reasons.
1. Salty skin. Our skin is naturally salty and for your Poodle this can be rather tasty. This is especially the case in the mornings after having sweat through the night.
2. Bored / Anxious. Excessive licking is also classified as pacifying behavior and has the ability to calm her nerves. If she’s anxious, she may come to you for a licking session.
3. Showing Affection. Dogs unfortunately can’t communicate using our language, so they do it in other ways. Licking can be seen as a sign of affection and is frequently seen among packs of dogs in the wild.
4. She’s Grooming You. Similar to showing affection, dogs often help out with grooming each other. Licking your arms, hands, and feet could be interpreted as your poodle trying to help keep you clean.
5. Makes Her Feel Good. According to Animal Planet, when dogs lick us, their brain releases endorphins that both relieve stress and make them feel good.
6. Out of Habit. There’s a chance that there is no logical reason other than it’s one of her habits. What once started as a curious lick, slowly turned into a habit.
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How To Stop Your Poodle From Licking You
Let’s get into the ways that you can teach your Poodle that licking is not the behavior you like or want from her.
1. Ignore the behavior ⭐
The first step is to ignore the behavior. Most of the time, your poodle will be seeking your attention and she can interpret your response in many different ways. When you react, she will deem this as receiving your attention, and to her, that’s a good thing.
2. Say no and pull away from her licking. You can also walk away. ⭐
Sometimes ignoring her will not work. So it’s time to actively tell your Poodle that you don’t like this behavior. In a clear strong tone of voice say “No!” and pull away from her licks. If she stops, that’s excellent and it means this will be a sufficient enough lesson for her. Although you will need to be consistent.
3. Redirect her licks. Give her a toy ⭐
The next thing to try is replacing your arm, hand, foot, or face with a toy. Try a puzzle toy that you can insert treats into for the ultimate distraction. To make this more of a lesson, before you give the toy, give her a stern “No!” while she’s licking you. Give her the toy, and once her attention is with the toy, praise her. Slowly but surely this will teach her that she should be licking or biting her toy, and not you.
4. Use bitter spray ⭐
If you’re not familiar with bitter spray, you can check it out here. You can get non-toxic, completely safe bitter sprays that taste foul to dogs. You can spray a little on your skin where she usually tries to lick you and this will immediately discourage her.
5. Stay on top of her exercise ⭐
Licking can be caused by boredom, or through having pent up energy in the first place. Poodles can be very hyper and are known for having rushes of energy. If your Poodle is in her prime (2-7 years) she will be capable of receiving 1-2 hours of exercise per day. And this excludes playtime that you should be giving her throughout the day.
⭐ Related Poodle Article on The Puppy Mag: Can Poodles Be Left Alone?
When Licking Is a Sign Of Something Worse
Sometimes, excessive licking can be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
When this is the case, your Poodle will typically be licking themselves, rather than you. The No.1 spot where your Poodle will excessively lick is her paws pads and feet.
Excessive licking could be caused by anxiety, allergies, gastric reflux, dry skin, or an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
If your Poodle won’t leave a certain part of her body alone, it may indicate there is an issue specifically in that area, which you can visually inspect yourself.
Fortunately, excessive licking is easily spotted, and that allows you to take action sooner rather than later and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Why Do Poodles Lick The Air?
This is a little different from what’s previously been discussed. So let’s find out… why does your Poodle lick the air!?
Thankfully, the occasional air-lick is nothing to be worried about and is fairly normal behavior.
However, if you notice your Poodle either licking the air frantically or for long periods of the day it could be a sign of one of the following:
● Something is stuck in her mouth or throat
● Obsessive-compulsive disorder
● Partial seizure
● Acid reflux issues
Before worrying too much, simply call your veterinarian for advice over the phone if your Poodle excessively licks the air. Your veterinarian will ask you a few questions and will more than likely book an appointment for you.
Whether you don’t mind the lick or you hate it, it’s good to know why it’s happening and whether or you should be calling the vet.
When the licking is directed to you, it can usually be explained with behavioral reasons. But when excessive licking seems to be up in the air or directed onto herself, it could mean there’s something wrong.
Remember, If you are ever unsure, always consult a trained veterinarian.
Most Recommended For Poodles
Best Brush For Your Poodle ⭐
The best brush to keep your poodle tangle-free is without a doubt a simple Slicker Brush. This brush will also do a good job at removing loose hairs and debris from the coat.
Best Online Training Program⭐
Brain Training For Dogs has become increasingly popular in the last few years and is now recognized as one of the best ways to train dogs in the most stress-free, positive way.
Best Low-Calorie Treats ⭐
Keep your poodle at the correct weight by switching out the high-calorie treats and opting for something healthier. Zuke’s Mini Naturals contain only 2 calories per treat and are made from natural ingredients, making these some of the healthiest treats on the market.