When we first brought home our Cavachon, Kirby, we didn’t notice him licking much. As time went on, we started to see that he sometimes spends his days licking his paws or his privates. We wondered whether this behavior was normal and what caused him to engage in this licking. Why do Cavachons tend to lick so much?
Cavachons tend to lick as a way of expressing affection and promoting their bond both with you and with other animals. Dogs tend to lick each other as a sign of submission or when they are eager to play. They may also lick their owners for the taste or to demonstrate submission.
If you are curious why your dog tends to lick so much, here are a few reasons you may want to keep in mind.
Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other?
Have you ever noticed that your Cavachon likes to lick other dogs when you go to the dog park? If you have multiple dogs in the home, you might see this behavior from time to time. There is no need to be concerned. Dogs lick each other for several reasons, but none of them are cause for concern.
Here are a few of the most common reasons why dogs lick each other:
One of the most common reasons dogs may lick one another is because they are looking to bond with another canine. Licking is a relaxing behavior that promotes affection between two dogs.
This is typical behavior in the animal kingdom. Consider how monkeys may groom one another to show the bond between them. Grooming and licking another dog is your Cavachon’s way of displaying their affection for another dog. This is why it is so common in households that have two or more canines.
If you have an adult Cavachon, you may notice that they lick the faces of other dogs when you take them out and about. This can be a sign of submission to a dog who has more authority than they do. Subordinate dogs often do this to show deference to the alpha. You can pinpoint this behavior when they lick underneath the chin.
You might notice that the other dog begins to lick back. This is their way of indicating that they accept the submission your dog has displayed.
Time to Play
No matter the situation, your Cavachon may lick both known and unknown dogs when they are in the mood to play. Often, this behavior is accompanied by other displays of playfulness, such as the play bow.
Why Do Cavachons Lick Their Owners So Much?
Licking is a natural behavior that begins when your dog is just a puppy. They start to lick their mother’s face as a way of convincing her to feed them. Unfortunately, the behavior sometimes carries over to their new human owners as well. It is common among most breeds, including the Cavachon and the Morkie.
While some people don’t mind an excessive amount of puppy kisses, others may prefer not to have their dog’s tongue all over them. Why do dogs insist on this type of behavior with their human masters?
Oftentimes, licking is a sign of affection toward you. It is your dog’s way of grooming you and bonding with you. It can be quite a sweet gesture if you feel that this is why your Cavachon is spending so much time bathing you with their tongue.
Much like when they lick other dogs, it can also signify submission to your authority. They are acknowledging you as the pack leader.
It could even be more straightforward than that. Perhaps you have something tasty on your hands or just the general taste of salt. Because your dog prefers to explore the world through his tastebuds and nose, licking you can be an appealing option.
Of course, you might have thought that this licking behavior was cute when your Cavachon was a puppy. You may have inadvertently rewarded them for the conduct, which leads to reinforcing the licking. If this is the case, breaking them of the habit may take a bit of concentrated work.
When Does Cavachon Licking Behavior Become Too Excessive?
As I mentioned earlier, our Cavachon tends to lick his paws and his privates. While some of this grooming behavior is perfectly normal, owners often wonder when it crosses the line of being too excessive.
If your dog licks certain areas, you may find that they are suffering from allergies. When this is the case, they will often lick between the toes, around the hind end, and sometimes on their inner thighs. This can also be the result of a flea allergy.
Pay attention to the quality of the skin to determine if your dog is licking too much. Color changes are one indicator that your dog may be suffering from a medical issue. According to PetMD, your dog may also develop wounds, pimples, or a crust on the skin. Licking accompanied by scratching should be a sign that your dog may have a flea problem.
Of course, licking can also be a sign of boredom or anxiety. Try to engage your dog in both mind and body throughout the day to see if it decreases the amount of licking that they engage in.
Keep a close eye on this behavior if it is relatively new. Persistent licking that just developed can be a sign of gastrointestinal upset or nausea. If it persists for more than 24 hours and is accompanied by other symptoms like lack of appetite or vomiting, you should take your dog to see the veterinarian.
Can You Train Cavachons Not to Lick Too Much?
If you feel like your dog’s licking has become excessive, there are a few things you can do to try to curb this behavior. The best way to minimize licking behavior is to reward your dog when you see them doing something other than the target behavior.
This might mean that you only give rewards for “good behavior,” which would mean no licking, in this example. When they refrain from licking, you can offer them a reward such as:
- Playtime with their favorite toy
- Affection (pets and cuddles)
If the licking begins again, it is time to discontinue the activity until they get back to more acceptable behavior.
When they stop licking, give a command such as “no licking” and a reward. It can help if you keep a treat pouch in every room that you spend a lot of time in to reward this more desirable behavior.
Eventually, you will be able to issue the command and have your Cavachon cease the licking activity.
Remember that consistency is key here, or your Cavachon may not understand precisely what you expect of him. Every time they start to lick your hands, you need to withdraw from the fun activity that you were engaging in. Otherwise, they will become confused about what you expect from them and when licking is or is not okay.
Ignoring the behavior can take a couple of weeks for your dog to finally get the hint that you don’t like the licking behavior.
Why Does My Cavachon Lick My Hands and Arms?
Your dog is sure to lick your hands after you eat a tasty meal that might have a strong smell. If you have been eating chips and have the flavor dust still on your hands, chances are that your dog will want to have a taste. However, many Cavachon owners complain that their dogs lick their hands and arms, even when it is not surrounding a mealtime.
The reason your dog may be licking you is very similar to why they lick other dogs. It is a sign of affection. Like many animals, dogs groom and lick you as a way to bond with you further. It is also a relaxing activity that they can engage in during downtime, such as when you are cuddled up on the couch watching a movie with them.
If you notice this behavior surface when you return from an absence, it might simply be your Cavachon’s way of greeting you. They miss you when you are away if they are closely bonded with you. Licking is their way of reconnecting with you when you come back to them.
Of course, your dog loves to explore their world through their senses. Even if you haven’t been eating recently, your skin has a salty flavor to it. Your Cavachon may want to get a quick taste of this unfamiliar skin. It is a different flavor than they can get from licking their paws or their privates.
Curbing Excessive Licking Behavior
Cavachons are known for their propensity to lick themselves, other dogs, and even their owners. The good news is that this behavior can be curbed through training and consistency on your part as the owner. If this behavior is bothersome, you can follow some of these critical steps to reduce the licking with your Cavachon.
More on Cavachons
If you’re simply in love with Cavachons and can’t get enough, then check out our other posts below:
- All About Cavachons By Actual Owners [The Ultimate Guide]
- How Much Do Cavachons Cost in 2021? [Complete Price Guide]
- Do Cavachons Bark a Lot? [Triggers and Training Guide]
- Do Cavachons Like to Cuddle? [Our Kirby Sure Does!]
- Are Cavachons Good For Apartments? [Our Kirby Thinks So!]
- Our Cavachon Vs. Your Cavapoo [Which is Best?]
- Are Cavachons Smart? [Our Family’s Personal Experience]
- How Long Do Cavachons Sleep? *Sleep Habits & Training Guide
- Are Cavachons Hyper? [Our Personal Experience]
- Cavachon Lifespan: How Long Do Cavachons Usually Live?
- How Big Do Cavachons Get? [Firsthand Experiences Shared]
- How Long Does it Take to Potty Train A Cavachon? [9 Top Tips Inside]
- Do Cavachons Have Dew Claws? [All is Revealed]
- Do Cavachons Get Tear Stains? [Treating + Prevention Tips]
- Our Cavachon Vs. Your Cavapoochon [Which Is The Best?]