Do Dogs Often Lick Furniture?
While it might seem like your dog is licking the couch all the time, he’s probably only doing it occasionally. Dogs typically lick furniture when they are bored, anxious, or seeking attention. If your dog licks the couch more frequently than other dogs do, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Why Does My Dog Lick the Couch?
Dogs lick the couch for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the most common answers to “Why does my dog lick the couch?”.
If your dog is left alone for long periods of time, he may start to get bored and restless. Couch licking can be a way to relieve that boredom and pent-up energy.
They’re Anxious or Stressed
Dogs can also lick the sofa as a way to cope with stress and anxiety. This may be due to separation anxiety if they’re left alone often, or it could be caused by other changes in their environment or routine. If your dog seems particularly stressed or anxious, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about how you can help him feel better.
They Have a Compulsive Disorder
In some cases, dogs may develop a compulsive disorder where they feel the need to perform certain repetitive behaviors, like licking the couch. This can be due to underlying medical conditions, or it could be caused by stress. If your dog is showing signs of compulsive behavior, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian so that he can get the help he needs.
They’re Trying to Get Your Attention
Dogs are very good at picking up on our emotions and body language. If you’re frequently scolding your dog or pushing him away when he licks the couch, he may start doing it more often as a way to get your attention. Try to ignore the behavior and give your dog positive attention when he’s not licking the couch.
They Like the Taste or Smell of the Couch
In some cases, dogs may simply enjoy the taste or smell of the sofa. This is more likely to be the case if your dog is licking a particular spot on the couch that has a strong scent or flavor.
They’re in Pain
Dogs can also lick their surroundings as a way to self-soothe when they’re in pain. If your dog seems to be licking the couch more frequently than usual, and you can’t figure out why, it’s important to have him checked out by your veterinarian to rule out any medical problems.
They’re Just Being Curious
Finally, it’s also possible that your dog is simply curious about the sofa and wants to explore it with his tongue. This is especially common in puppies who are still exploring their world and learning about all the new things around them.
What to Do When Your Dog Keeps Licking the Couch
You know the answer to “Why does my dog lick the couch?”, but do you know how to stop him? Whenever your dog starts licking the furniture, there are a few things you can do to try to make your dog stop the licking behavior.
Rule Out Medical Problems
If you can’t figure out why your dog is licking the sofa, it’s important to have him checked out by your veterinarian to rule out any medical problems that could be causing it. For example, pica could cause him to want to eat inedible things such as fabrics.
Provide More Mental and Physical Stimulation
If boredom or stress is causing your dog to lick the couch, try providing more mental and physical stimulation. This may include things like increased exercise, interactive toys and games, training sessions, and so on.
Change Your Own Behavior
If you think your dog is licking the couch to get your attention, try to ignore the behavior and give him positive attention when he’s not licking the couch. Sometimes, we’re unknowingly reinforcing our dog’s unwanted behaviors by scolding them.
Try a Deterrent
In some cases, using a bitter-tasting spray or gel on the couch can deter your dog from licking it. You can also try covering the couch with a blanket or piece of furniture so that he can’t access it.
How to Train Your Dog to Stop Licking the Couch
While the sole action of licking the sofa may not bother you, you might be concerned for the state of your furniture. If you want to train your dog to stop licking the couch, there are a few things you can do:
- Start by teaching your dog the „leave it” command. This will help him learn that he needs to listen to you and stop what he’s doing when you give the command.
- Once your dog is consistently responding to the „leave it” command, start using it when he starts to lick the couch. Say „leave it” in a firm voice and then give him a treat when he stops licking.
- If your dog doesn’t respond to the „leave it” command, you may need to employ more advanced training techniques. Consult with an experienced dog behaviorist or trainer for ideas on how to teach your dog to leave the couch alone.
Tips to Stop Your Dog From Licking the Couch
Here are a few additional tips that may help you stop your dog from licking the couch:
- Avoid using cleaners with strong smells on the couch, as this can attract your dog’s attention and make him want to lick it.
- Keep your dog’s nails trimmed so that he can’t additionally damage the couch with his paws when he licks it.
- If possible, keep your dog off the couch altogether. This may mean using baby gates or crate training if necessary.
The Bottom Line
You already know the answer to „Why does my dog lick the couch?”, so now all you need to remember is that you can put a stop to it if you want to. Just be sure to consult with your vet or a professional trainer first to make sure you’re using the correct methods for your dog.