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My dog licks things on his walks

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by FrettyNorwich, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. FrettyNorwich

    FrettyNorwich PetForums Newbie

    Mar 23, 2014
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    Hi, I'm new here, but I hope you can help me. My family are the proud owners of a 9 year old Norwich Terrier called Pepper. Lately, he has started licking things obsessively while out on his walks.

    The licking is something that he has done since he was about 1 - he started just darting his tounge out at a patch of wet grass, then moved on to fully licking things. We've always tried to discourage it, and until lately a "leave it" or clapping your hands gently above his head would jolt him away. He only used to do it a few times every walk, but as time has gone on we've found ourselves having to stop him more and more. This of course makes walk times rather frustrating!

    To make matters worse, he is now ignoring all our attempts to stop him. We have to physically pick him up and move him away from whatever it is that's so enticing (I dread to think!) and we're at our wits end. He loves his off lead walks and we'd hate to have him on the leash all the time, but that's the way it's heading.

    So for one, how do you stop a dog licking things while out on his walks? He doesn't enjoy toys very much, so distracting him is not an option, and he is on a diet so if we were going to use food we'd have to cut back on his meals.

    Secondly, I know that some of you are going to suggest a muzzle. We have considered this, but a) are not sure how he'll take to it, and b) are wary of other dog owners thinking he's agressive. Is there such a thing as a band muzzle (like a headcollar without the lead) that we could use, which would be more subtle, and still let him breathe but stop him licking?

    Any help you can offer would be most useful. He was at the vets about 3 months ago and they said that he was healthy, but I am also aware that a change in behaviour can be a sign of an underlying problem.
  2. Bisbow

    Bisbow PetForums VIP

    Feb 20, 2012
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    Firstly, welcome to the forum.

    I am no expert but it sounds to me as though he is lacking some mineral or vitamin and is trying to make up for it.

    I would get the vet give him a good examination to get it sorted out
  3. metaldog

    metaldog PetForums VIP

    Nov 11, 2009
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    All my dogs are conditioned to wear a muzzle. I have one dog who wears a muzzle all the time outside and no one seems to think she's aggressive, they just let their dogs and children run up to her regardless. Only one dog has ever had a bad reaction to her when she was wearing her muzzle and that was a Jack Russell who are temperamental at best ;)

    I would advise you use a baskerville type muzzle. There is a halti type muzzle but they can open their mouths enough to get the tongue out to pant so he would still be able to lick things. To accustom him to a muzzle will take a week or two. When you first get it put some primular cheese spread or peanut butter inside and hold the muzzle in your hand at his head level. Let him go to the muzzle investigate it and in his own time lick the goodies from inside. Repeat over and over and then start to fasten the muzzle until he has licked it clean. Slowly extend the time in small increments you leave the muzzle fastened. Never force it on him and he will learn to love it. My Shannow gets really excited when the muzzle comes out because she knows it means walkies :) She's been muzzled for nearly 3 years a now and for about 2 years I always put a treat in the muzzle for her to put it on. But she doesn't need one now she just shoves her face in it before I have a chance to drop a treat in it :lol:

    If you are totally anti muzzle you could use a long line so you can grab it and give your dog a pull away from whatever he's licking.

    Here's Shannow wearing her muzzle

  4. Canine K9

    Canine K9 Bailey Woof

    Feb 22, 2013
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    Confession: Bailey has always done that. I never knew he shouldn`t :eek:
  5. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

    Jul 4, 2010
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    I`d be suspecting a bitch in season has peed there......;)
    I`d train a better recall. I don`t see how or why you should stop a dog using his senses. It`s the throwing a deaf `un that I`d be more bothered about.
  6. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2011
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    I don't think a muzzle would stop it to be honest. My muzzled dog always stopped and sniffed/licked at interesting spots. Not sure how much he managed to lick with the muzzle on but it didn't stop him trying

    My current dog is a sod for stopping to sniff and lick where other dogs have peed, especially if there's a bitch in season around. I generally leave him to it to be honest, he'll spend a couple of minutes sniffing and licking if he's off leash then catch me up until the next interesting spot. On leash he's been taught a "let's go" and I give him a minute or two to sniff then give him the lets go cue. If this is the sort of thing yours is doing then it's normal as far as I'm aware. All mine have certainly done it.
  7. bay20

    bay20 PetForums Senior

    Aug 14, 2013
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    Depends what he's licking I guess. If its something that could be potentially dangerous than a muzzle may be the way to go whilstnyou train a solid leave it. Least I know he's safe and I'm not loosing my mind each walk worrying what he might pick up:) most doggie people i cross seem to get that a dog off lead with a muzzle isn't aggressive and have already assumed its for a different reason. As metal dog suggests the best type of muzzle is one they would still be able to pant wearing and a slow introduction is key.
  8. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2010
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    Has he really started the obsessive licking and wont be distracted very recently, and does he always go on the same route or walk, in the same place. If its got very bad recently plus his walks are always the same, then it may be a bitch in season, leaving the scent in her pee that's being walked.

    Maybe worth an experiment taking him somewhere entirely different maybe somewhere where not many dogs go if you have anywhere like that and see if he still does it or to the same degree, if he is walked in the same places/routes and its gotten very bad very recently.
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