How can we teach our dogs NOT to lick?

Our question this week was:

We have two adorable YorkiePoo puppies, 8-month-old littermates. How can we teach them not to lick hands, toes, legs, visitors – everything?


Angela F.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking – how can you teach your dogs not to lick. The best thing you can do is to use positive reinforcement when they are NOT licking and distract them or ignore them when they are licking.

For example, If you pick your puppy up and he starts licking your hands, put him down and ignore him. Or give him a dog to play with that distracts him. If you pick him up and he is not licking – give him or her positive reinforcement with praise and petting.

Your dogs are still puppies and licking can be normal. It is also important that everyone in your home and environment be consistent. One person should not allow or encourage the puppies to lick.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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