If your Corgi is excessively licking you, themselves, the air, or other random things, it’s a good idea to find out why and whether it’s something to worry about.
- Why your corgi licks you so much
- Why your corgi licks the air
- Why your corgi licks their paws
- Why your corgi licks surfaces
- When to see a veterinarian
- How to respond to licking behavior
Most common reasons: Your Corgi might be licking to taste your skin, to show you love and affection, to smell something, wet their nose, or due to feeling stressed/anxious.
It could also be due to an underlying health problem. So it’s important to consider all the possibilities before deciding what to do. I’ll give you more information on each one below.
Corgi Licking Explained
Depending on why your Corgi is licking, we’ll break down the reasons into different sections. This way, you’ll be able to quickly identify the area that’s most relevant to you and find a solution.
1. Licking you or your face
When your Corgi tries licking you or your face, it’s typically down to at least one of three different reasons:
- To show affection,
- gain your attention,
- or to smell/taste an interesting scent on your skin.
The natural smell of our feet can also prove too irresistible for a Corgi not to give a few licks.
Of course, not everyone loves this kind of affection (most don’t!) And if the licking becomes too much, it can create an awkward situation when you have guests over.
This is why it’s best to make sure your Corgi knows their boundaries.
AKC extra info
Psychology today extra info
2. Licking the air
If your corgi is frequently licking the air, this is usually something worth observing and checking.
Air licking is caused by 5 main things:
- Wetting his nose
- Moistening airways
- Something is stuck in his throat
- Stress and anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (habit)
Corgis will often lick their noses either because they’re dehydrated OR because they can smell something tasty nearby and they want to enhance their smell (scent particles stick better to wet surfaces!)
Moistening his airways could mean your corgi is dehydrated, stressed, has a throat issue or other dental problems.
And believe it or not, licking the air is what your corgi will do if they have something stuck in their mouth. So if you spot this, then it’s important to check.
Lastly, if air licking has continued for long enough (due to any of the above reasons), it can eventually turn into a long term habit.
3. Lick their paws
We often receive messages from owners specifically about paw licking, so here it is explained.
If your corgi is excessively licking their paws, it can be a sign of something more serious…
Possible causes of excessive paw licking include:
- yeast infections
- bacteria build-up
- small wounds
- stress or anxiety.
If you see your corgi licking their paws just a few times here and there, it’s likely nothing to worry about.
But if the licking becomes excessive, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on and it’s important to investigate further.
4. Licking surfaces in general
Licking surfaces is another surprisingly common behavior owners witness too.
If your Corgi is constantly trying to lick walls, floors, carpets, etc., it could mean they have PICA, which is a condition that makes them crave non-food items.
This could mean that their diet is missing some vitamins or minerals. In rare cases, it could suggest a digestive or gastrointestinal problem.
Of course, this is only likely to be the case if your corgi is constantly licking multiple surfaces. If they’re mooching around the kitchen floor, it’s probably because they can smell some food or old food spills.
When To Visit a Veterinarian
If you’re wondering if you should contact your veterinarian about your Corgi’s licking habits, here’s what you should consider.
Simply put: If your Corgi is excessively licking anything for an extended period of time and you can’t find a logical explanation for it, then you should reach out to your vet for advice.
On the other hand, if your Corgi is licking periodically but not excessively, you have a good idea of what’s causing the licking, and they otherwise seem in good health then you likely don’t need to contact the vet.
That said, it’s never wrong to reach out to your veterinarian for advice.
So if you ever have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
How To Stop Your Corgi From Licking So Much
Let’s run through the best ways to stop this licking nonsense! (assuming health issues have been ruled out)
1. Ignore the licking
While it might not be appropriate to ask guests to simply “ignore” annoying licking, it’s definitely something owners can try first.
The thing is, when your corgi licks you, they are trying to gain your attention. And when you respond to their licks directly (even if you’re not too pleased) you’re satisfying their need for attention. Because you just gave them it.
While it can be hard to do, sometimes the best way to train against this is to show no recognition.
Instead, put much more emphasis on rewarding, praising, and showing attention to yoru corgi when they’re engaging in things you do approve of.
Over time your corgi will know that licking you does not gain anything. But chewing their toy quietly gets them far more attention.
I know, it’s easier said than done. For some this will work well, and for others, not so much.
2. Redirect the licking
If ignoring the licking doesn’t do the trick, then it’s best to redirect it.
Redirect their licking to something you approve of, like chewing their toy.
Once their focus remains on the new distraction for at least several seconds, reward and praise them heavily.
What this does is it teaches your corgi that instead of licking, they should in fact be chewing their toy.
This is simple positive reinforcement training at its best, and it’s one of the most well-known methods of training ALL dogs, pretty much anything.
With time, this will work.
3. Increase exercise and mental stimulation
Licking caused by stress, anxiety, boredom, and even licking turned into a habit can all be helped with extra exercise and especially mental stimulation.
Putting their mind to work with puzzle games, brain training games, nose work games and more has profound effects on behavior and mood throughout the rest of the day.
While it’s not to be considered a magical cure… It might be the next best thing!
Over the years we’ve seen thousands of dogs cured of very unusual behaviors by increasing their exercise and mental stimulation.