If there were a doggie carnival, the Dachshund would be in charge of the kissing booth. These loveable smoochers can’t seem to get enough; from your face to the floor, they seem to want to lick stuff all day long. Dachshunds lick instinctively, looking for food, a form of greeting, as submissive behavior, and so much more.
We’ll explore why Dachshunds lick so much more than most dogs, as well as discuss some techniques you can try to get her to stop licking so much.
Dachshunds Are Instinctively Driven To Lick
Hailing back to their wild wolf days, Dachshund puppies instinctively love to lick their mom’s faces for food. When momma wolf would come back from the hunt, puppies would lick their faces in the hopes that they would regurgitate food for them.
Zip forward to modern days, your Dachshund may be licking your face in the hopes that you might have a tasty treat for her. And if you don’t open your mouth and feed her something delicious, you can bet that your face and fingers have some tasty leftovers from your last meal.
Whether you’ve just eaten or not, your Dachshund is especially fond of how salty your skin tastes. Especially after exercising, our sweat contains tons of salt that dogs just love.
According to the AKC, the Dachshund can be traced back to Germany some 600 years ago. These little dogs were bred to hunt badgers. Their long, wiry bodies were perfect for working underground.
Hunting with their noses also went hand in hand with licking things which is another way for a dog to smell and ‘taste’ its query. Because Dachshund’s bodies are so close to the ground, licking the ground was a natural way to help them hunt down their prey and explore their environment.
Love and Affection
Dachshunds, also affectionately known as Doxies, are an incredibly loyal and loving breed. It’s what makes Doxie moms and dads so devoted to this unique breed.
Doxies express this devotion with a lot of kisses for their human family. Licking is a form of greeting between other dogs, and they use it as a way to greet their humans. So it is comforting for them and reassuring to express their devotion through licking.
Dachshunds Lick as a Sign of Submission
Dachshunds are pack animals, like all their fellow dog cousins. Packs have leaders and followers. The followers show their submission to the pack leader through licking.
In your human household, you are part of your Doxie’s pack. So naturally, your Doxie is licking you as a show of respect and submission to you.
When Excessive Licking Might be a Sign of a Problem
If your Dachshund is licking herself a lot, she may be suffering from allergies. Some common allergies for dogs that may express themselves on their skin are allergies to flea saliva, food, or something in the environment.
If your Dachshund has an allergic reaction to flea bites, her skin will feel very itchy. In addition, she might develop red and inflamed skin, especially around the base of her tail. Make sure you get her flea protection right away if you think your Dachshund may be suffering from flea allergies.
Food allergies may be accompanied by gastrointestinal issues as well as skin inflammation around the paws or ears.
Your pup can also be allergic to mold, dust, or pollen, just like humans. Or you may notice symptoms that come and go seasonally. You will probably see inflammation on her skin.
If you think your Doxie’s licking may be allergy-related, a visit to the vet may be in order.
Dachshunds lick even more than usual when they get stressed out. Think of it as a nervous tick the way humans do when we grind our teeth or tap our toes when we are stressed.
Licking provides a sense of well-being and comfort for your Doxie. It’s a self-soothing behavior that makes her feel safe.
Licking out of boredom can be a way to get your attention. However, if your Doxie is bored she may need extra exercise to use up some of that pent-up energy.
Walks or running around in the yard may be just the extra thing she needs to help cut down on licking that may be getting on your nerves.
Why Does My Dachshund Lick the Floor?
If you’re a Doxie owner, you probably have a pretty clean kitchen floor.
While it’s true that Dachshunds use their tongues to explore the world around them, sometimes it can seem to be obsessive. For example, your pup could be licking out of boredom or stress and seeking your attention. Or, maybe she is just cleaning up the crumbs after you’ve made dinner.
How Can I Stop My Dachshund’s Licking?
There are a few things you can do to help stop your Dachshund from licking so much. Try different approaches until you find one that works for you and your pup.
As we mentioned above, sometimes, good old-fashioned exercise will be enough to stop undesirable licking behavior.
Chew Toys or Bones
Give your Doxie something to refocus her attention on. A kong with peanut butter will keep her distracted.
Change Soap or Lotion
If your Dachshund is licking your hands a lot, she may like the taste of your lotion. Try an unscented soap or lotion to see if she will stop.
If there is a particular licking behavior that you want to discourage, like licking the floor, try a diversion activity every time you notice the unwanted licking.
For example, every time she starts to lick the floor, take her outside for a game of fetch. Or have her got her bed and give her a treat. When she’s in her bed, she can’t lick the kitchen floor.
If your Dachshund seems to be winning an award for Best Licker, don’t be alarmed. They love to lick to show their affection for you as a form of greeting and an act of pack submission. Not to mention she loves to help you keep the wolf den clean.
But if you think your Doxie may be licking out of stress, boredom, or health issues, there are ways to help her stop. Check with your vet or a trainer if you think you may need a little extra help in getting that tongue to behave!