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Guest antiqueal

Licking Lips When Being Petting

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Guest antiqueal

We have had our 21 month old, adopted female for 3 months. When I lay down beside my girl "Ciara" to pet her, she licks her lips. Has anyone else experienced this behavior?

I am wondering if this a "I don't like this", "I am uncomfortable", or something else?

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Hmmmm.....She is very young....so maybe some type of juvenile behavior. As long as she isn't tense or growling....sometimes some of them don't like to be touched while sleeping....it is possible it is a bit of a nervous reaction as they are not used to being touched when they are resting. Does she seem settled? Does she interact with you at the same time....eye contact? Or is she asleep (even if her eyes are open, she can be asleep - it depends if she is really looking at you.)

Sorry if this sounds rambling.....just thinking outloud.


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Yes.

 

Lip licking *can* be a sign of anxiety. I would suspect she is very anxious of being crowded on her bed when she is lieing down. If she becomes more anxious, she may give a warning growl. If she is pushed beyond this point, she may air snap. If she has bad bite inhibition, she may connect with someone. It's called space aggression, and many greyhounds have at least some form of it. They are never in a position where people lay down with them like this in their previous lives. Most settle out of it, but some never do.

 

She is young and she is a relatively new adoptee. Give her space when she's on her bed. Call her to you to give pets and attention. Let her relax into home life and get used to being around you before invading her personal space.


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Guest antiqueal

She has never growled at me. She watches me (but no 'stink eye), but after a few minutes her eyes start to close and then will open her eyes again if I change the petting motion.

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Payton will lick his lips if he is anxious, especially if he is lying down.


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Guest PiagetsMom

We have had our 21 month old, adopted female for 3 months. When I lay down beside my girl "Ciara" to pet her, she licks her lips. Has anyone else experienced this behavior?

I am wondering if this a "I don't like this", "I am uncomfortable", or something else?

 

It's a calming signal from her, and at the very least she is unsure, or uncomfortable with this. I've been told that dogs feel their most vulnerable when they are laying down. My bridge girl, Piaget, was perfectly fine with me laying down beside her, but Mirage and Maya, not so much.

Edited by PiagetsMom

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Uncomfortable.

 

I would leave her be when she's on her bed and instead give her pets when she's up on her feet :) .


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Uncomfortable.

 

I would leave her be when she's on her bed and instead give her pets when she's up on her feet :) .

:nod

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It's a calming signal from her, and at the very least she is unsure, or uncomfortable with this. I've been told that dogs feel their most vulnerable when they are laying down. My bridge girl, Piaget, was perfectly fine with me laying down beside her, but Mirage and Maya, not so much.

 

I agree. She may become accustomed to being petted lying down - and may even come to love it, as mine have - but you always need to be aware of any dog's body language (and calming signals) when you lay down next to them. It is not something they are used to and many never, ever like to be petted in this way. Sid LOVES being petted, almost anywhere, almost any time. But there are still occasions when he will tell me (lip licking, turning his head away a little bit, or simply being a little less relaxed) that he is not enjoying it at that particurly time, and I back off.

 

Sometimes you'll find that just giving them a few inches space between you is enough. Sometimes you simply need to stop. As greysmom said, if you push it, she may growl. If she does, it is wise to stop immediately but don't tell her off for it. It is never a good idea to tell a dog he or she mustn't growl. :)


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Guest june

My new girl (20 months old) is learning to like being petted while laying down. I approach her and make sure she knows I am coming. I'll give her a couple pets and neck scritches (her favorite) and she will reach out and lick my hand. I keep it short and end it with a small yummy treat. She is beginning to look forward to it.

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Guest ayimera

Our new girl does this. She's just about 2 years old. When I approach her (slowly, letting her know I'm there first) in her bed, she will lick her lips. She did it a lot at first, but now it's just in the beginning when I first touch her (we've had her about 2-3 weeks). She never showed any other signs of anxiety... and when I would stop petting her she'd lick me or paw at me or expose her belly more... I guess as a sign to keep going. I'm still learning doggie body language, and sometimes the mixed signals confuse me!

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It can be very confusing! One of our greys will come for a stroke/cuddle and then turn his head away and lick his lips when you stroke him but as soon as you stop he leans in and nudges your hand to do it some more. He is always free to walk away but initiates the contact frequently himself, so I'm never quite sure what he really does want.


Sue from England

 

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Guest grey_dreams

With my dogs, there are different types of lip-licking that mean different things. When they extend the tongue far out and swipe the nose with it, that's a kind of anxious/calming signal. When they swipe the nose plus the sides of the mouth, that's a stronger kind of anxious response that is starting to escalate into more direct action (snapping, biting). But there is another kind, when they barely extend the tip of the tongue, and it's kind of like they are licking the roof of the mouth plus just the front lips, with only a little bit of tongue showing. That type is a happy, content kind of signal that I get often when I am stroking them and loving on them. So sometimes dogs may be "licking their lips" from contentment.

Edited by grey_dreams

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Look up Calming Signals. They are signs that a dog shows when they're uncomfortable. Lip licking, yawning, averting their gaze are all calming signals. There are more than that, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

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I would call it an "appeasement" gesture, she may be unsure but not necessarily uncomfortable. It is good that you have noticed her little ways of communicating, but remember that she needs these little challenges to become more confident, just keep up your level of awareness and I am sure you will be just fine.


<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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Guest chickenpotpie

Lucky does lip licking but she will always lean in for more rubs. She will yawn when I do. If I don't lay down with her for 20 minutes in the afternoon she will complain. When she doesn't want to be bothered she will get up and go elsewhere to which she's like respect my space which is cool. I think the longer your with your pup, the more you get to know their signals.

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Guest Anya

Lara did that a lot when we first got her (including when we petted her at the adoption place!), and she also had some space aggression around her bed, so it was obviously a stress/uncomfortableness thing. Once I read about calming signals and figured that out, I back off whenever she licked her lips, yawned or turned her head away, but if she was OK with it, I would keep petting, and maybe give her some treats at the same time to create a positive association. Now, just over a year later, I can pet her even when she's sleeping. She is so much more comfortable with affection than she was at first. On rare occasions she will still lick her lips or turn her head, and then I just back off. I think knowing what she's communicating went a long way towards curing the space aggression also.

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Guest carriej

I try to invite Chance to come cuddle with me, rather than inviting myself to his bed. I have a big fluffy blanket that I put on the floor, and now almost immediately as soon as I sit on it he comes bounding over for cuddles and scritches.

 

At first though he was all lip licky and shifty eyed, but now he mauls me.. lol

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Guest antiqueal

Update....Ciara is licking her lips a lot less in the last week. I am working on respecting her space and have been working on inviting her into mine (the bed), she is warming up more and more each day.

I must say....I do love this greyhound!

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