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How To Stop A Cocker Spaniel from Licking

A cocker spaniel is one of the most loving dogs, especially if you treat them right. One if the ways they have of showing you how much they love you is by licking your face, or whatever other body part they can reach. Whilst these random sloppy kisses from your favourite canine are endearing, they can be irritating and messy if they are dished out too much.

If your doggie licks too much, you need to know why they do it and reduce it as much as possible. Nobody wants to contend with loads of doggie saliva despite the fact they are showing you they love you or are excited to be around you.

Does Boredom in cocker spaniels lead to licking

Your dog could be dishing out saliva all over your face because they are bored. Do you exercise your dog or at least play a game of fetch to distract them? If not, your dog is bored silly and the only way they can figure out to keep themselves entertained is to shower you with saliva-filled love.

bored cocker spaniel that can lead to licking

Engage your dog more and keep them busy. Take them for walks, also, train your pup on basics such as sitting, standing and heeling. The more engaged they are, the less time they will have to muse and drool over you.

Is licking a sign that your dog has fleas or parasites

If your dog keeps on licking its fur then it could be a sign that they are flea or parasite-infested. Fleas and parasites cause nasty itches and discomfort on dogs and they will constantly lick their fur to soothe the irritation.

Removing tick from cocker spaniel

When you bathe your dog, look out for fleas, mites and any other unwanted parasites. If they can’t be washed out with dog shampoo and water, you might have to go for something stronger. You can even visit your vet and get something medicated to treat the parasites.

Check out my guide on how to clean cocker spaniels ears which is also where you can often find ticks

Licking could be a sign of a cut or thorn

Your dog’s excessive licking could be because they have a wound on their body. A dog will lick their wounds to try and soothe the irritation, itch or pain. If you already know that your dog has a wound, get it treated to relieve it. However, if your dog just recently started the habit, check if they are wounded. The licks are most like accompanied by whimpers if they are injured.

Teach Your Dog Other Ways To Show Love

Your dog might just lick you to say, “Hey human! I love you so much!” And whilst a loving cocker spaniel can be the best part of your day, if they lick too much, you’ll find yourself avoiding them.

Figure out new ways for your furry friend to bond with you, such as belly rubs and petting. If you are consistent with the training, your cocker spaniel will forget the excessive licking and adopt the new love language.

You can also try ignoring your dog’s licks when you feel you’ve had enough. This might be hard, especially if you have a soft spot for your pet and like to shower them with attention. However, this could be your only saving tactic if you don’t want to be smothered with dog saliva every time you bond with your cocker spaniel.

You can turn your back against your cocker spaniel whenever they try to lick you. If they listen and respond to commands well, you can command them to sit every time they try to lick you. Cocker spaniels are as intelligent as they are energetic. Your pet will understand that you don’t fancy the licks and would rather do something else to communicate the love with time.

In this guide, I talk about how to train a cocker spaniel from the first day you bring snuggles home. From crate training to potting training and leash training

Every time your dog responds to your commands to stop licking, reinforce their behaviour with treats, praise or rewards. This is called trick training and it works well to distract a dog from one behaviour to another. For instance, if you prefer bonding through belly rubs instead of licking, reward your cocker spaniel every time they stop licking and lie down for a belly rub.

Reinforcing the positive behaviours in your dog will encourage them to stop doing what doesn’t make you happy (licking) and enforce better traits such as belly rubs.

Does your cocker spaniel bark more than you think it should?Check out this guide on how to stop a cocker spaniel from barking

Redirect Your Dog

Redirecting means introducing your cocker spaniel to a new behaviour every time they try to shower you with sloppy kisses. For instance, you can throw a stick for them to fetch when they start with the licks. Gradually, your cocker spaniel will forget licking and start looking forward to your games of fetch. See, problem solved!

Is Your Dog Anxious?

Excessive licking can also be a sign that your dog is anxious. The first step is to identify why they are anxious, then look for ways to help them deal with it without the licks.

Once you identify the why, you can use desensitising tricks to distract your cocker spaniel and help them overcome their anxiety. You can also bring in your vet’s perspective on the problem so they can advise how to help your pup.

If the anxiety levels are too high, your vet might prescribe a low dose of anti-anxiety medication for your cocker spaniel. However, only administer those with a prescription from a qualified veterinary and only if it is absolutely necessary.

Keeping cocker spaniels well exercised can help prevent licking

Check for Neurological Disorders

If you have tried all hacks to stop your cocker spaniel from licking too much, you might need to take them for a neurological assessment. Their licking could be a result of a problem in their brain, but this is usually rare. However, it does not hurt to get an expert’s opinion.

Get them checked and rule out any medical problems. If the vet discovers a neurological problem with your dog, they will advise on how to help your cocker spaniel.


In Conclusion,

Nothing is as heart warming as a random lick from your cocker spaniel to tell you just how much they love you. However, it can also be annoying if your pup won’t stop licking you or themselves.

If the constant and irritating licks are coming between you and the bond you have with your dog, you should help them overcome the habit. Attend to the boredom, keep them clean and teach them alternative ways of showing love. If they struggle with anxiety, find ways to help them deal with it and consult a veterinarian if the problem persists.


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