Many owners of dogs wonder why their dogs lick other dogs, even why they do it in such a compulsive way. Is this normal? Should I let my pet suck other dogs?
In this article of My Animals we will deepen this usual behavior of dogs, the lick. We will learn whether or not it is normal behavior and, if it is, at what point it ceases to be, to give way to obsessive behavior.
The communication between dogs
Dogs are sentient animals with a high capacity for reasoning. They are also social beings who live in a group. For this reason, dogs have a wide range of behaviors that serve to express different emotions that can happen throughout the day or your life.
For humans, certain behaviors that dogs have can be negative. For example, if a dog growls at another when it approaches, we try to correct it or remove it from the situation. However, the growl tells the other dog that he does not want to be disturbed. If the other dog knows how to communicate, he will answer with a sign of calm:
- Lick the snout
- Lick the dog that growls
- Look away
- Turn around and leave
- Show belly
In order for a dog to learn to communicate, it does not need to have met hundreds of dogs of different breeds, ages or sex. Simply, having spent some time with one or two dogs that communicate correctly is enough.
With this, we understand that quality is better than quantity. For example, there are dogs that have not received any kind of education from the human and they communicate perfectly with those of their kind.
Some dogs have problems communicating with other dogs for different reasons, such as fear, reactivity, lack of self-control, stress, etc. Each of these problems is solved differently, but they all have in common that they need time and a lot of work. As part of the therapy, Smell jobs, walking through quiet places where the animal can know the environment through the nose and a good bond and trust with the tutor are essential to ensure that the animal is psychologically healthy.
Dogs that lick other dogs, normal behavior?
Licking in dogs is a completely normal behavior. A dog can lick itself as a way of grooming and self-care. In addition, you can lick other dogs to clean them and strengthen the bond. We can see this clearly when a dog washes her puppies or when two dogs love each other.
On the other hand, Dogs can lick each other. In this way, they communicate or obtain information from the other individual. For example, in the genitals as well as in the ears there are glands that secrete pheromones. Pheromones are chemical compounds that serve, among other things, to give relevant information to those of the same species. The organ that detects these substances is the vomeronasal organ and is found in the mouth.
Likewise, A dog that licks the mouth of another dog is getting information. Sucking will know what the other dog has eaten and when, approximately, he ate it.
By last, Dogs also lick each other to try to calm themselves down or calm down. After a brawl or a very tense situation. One dog can lick another. In this way, he is telling you that everything is fine.
Do I have to intervene when some dogs lick other dogs excessively?
For this question there is no affirmative or negative answer. It all depends on the animal, its mood, if it has other problems or if it is a stable dog, if it knows how to communicate, its age, etc.
Puppies tend to lick more than adult dogs because they still don’t know how to relate perfectly. On the other hand, dogs that suffer from stress or tend to be very excited also lick more.
If you think your dog licks others excessively, you must first find the cause. Sometimes, it is good to make an appointment with a dog educator to help guide us in the problem. Depending on what is causing this obsessive behavior in the dog, the treatment will be different.
In any case, if you want to intervene, never do it by fighting the dog or using aversive stimuli. It is better to take it quietly from the presence of the other dog, entertain it with toys that stimulate its smell or walk, at first, in areas where there are no dogs.