We should never forget that our dogs are designed to communicate with others without using words. Licking is one form of communication that we should not avoid. Most of them do ignore or push off, this really hurts Dog’s relationship with us. As a dog owner, it is important for you to understand the hidden meaning behind this behavior in order to strengthen the bond. Dog licks mean a lot from attention-seeking to some serious behavioral problems. Below are certain observations as an owner I have put across.
Dogs lick food bowls, other dogs and even themselves, but why do they lick our feet? Before you decide to eliminate this behavior, you should know why your dog is doing it first.
In the animal world licking is used to groom one another and is a non-verbal way of expressing love and trust within the family. Dogs like to lick, but affection is a common reason for this behavior. Dogs will lick toys, other dogs, cats, humans, and anything else they’re affectionate towards.
One of the main reasons a dog will lick a person’s feet is to indicate their submissiveness to their master. Some dogs use licking as a way to show they know they rank lower than you and they’re happy to be in that role.
Licking as Attention Seeking
Dogs’ communication interpretation is over the top for some of us. Though it’s trying to make contact with us, it’s hard to understand initially. To seek our attention to go play with them or fill the water bowl. Dogs do communicate with other dogs/siblings, in the same way, to seek their attention – like let’s be friends, let’s play or lets hangout.
To Gather Information
When a dog lick our feet, it gathers information through the millions of scent receptor cells in its nose and mouth to process information. As a human body secretes, the sweat released relays information regarding the individual that the dog can process. Sweat glands release moisture that contains salt, water and waste products. Sebaceous glands release sebum and are located near hair follicles. The sweat can mix with these secretions to provide an even more complex message for the dog regarding the human they just licked. The salt in our sweat may be also tasty to them.
Sometimes it’s because you’re late giving them breakfast, and other times it’s because you’re a bit too engrossed in Facebook and they’re trying to break you away from it. It’s usually a last-ditch effort, meaning they’ve tried other ways to grab your attention but they haven’t worked.
Our skin tastes salty to licking dogs, as our many sweat glands release water and salt, together with other chemical secretions.
Licking for affection causes your dog to release pleasurable endorphins that calm and comfort them, but sometimes it can just get to be too much for people.
When Should I Begin To Worry?
When the dog’s licking becomes repetitive to the point of obsession. This can indicate a problem. Constant licking can quickly become a learned mechanism for dealing with stress. Most stressed-out dogs pick one item to focus on, and it can be a really hard habit to break once it’s instilled in them. When it has reached this stage, it is the opposite of stress reduction and may require behavior modification and possibly medical intervention.
Know Why do dogs lick?