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So Much Licking


cgs
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We've had Percy about 9 months now. He's always licked himself and early on was licking some spots raw on his legs. Someone here advised spraying bactine on the area, which I did, and that helped.

 

What he tends to do now is lick himself in the evening as maybe a grooming thing before he goes to sleep. The problem is that it goes on and one and on, for like an hour. He licks at his crotch for a looooong time, then moves to his legs and sometimes his chest. Eventually, he'll stop and just relax and go to sleep--this is all happening before his last bedtime potty break.

 

He used to sleep in our bedroom and the licking--either before going to sleep or sometimes in the middle of the night--drove me nuts. I would get up and tell him to stop. Now he doesn't sleep in our room, which is fine. Much quieter that way. Not sure if he left so he could lick in peace or if he doesn't like the new bed I got him. Anyway, should I do anything about this? It doesn't seem to do him any harm, but it drives me nuts. It's so loud, usually while we're watching tv at night. What can I do about it?

 

And actually, he licks during the day too. Like right now, at 2:30pm. Going to town on his crotch. This is not new behavior, so I don't think it's anything medical.

Edited by cgs
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It could be displacement activity to relieve boredom which has not turned into a canine version of OCD.

Or... it could be that he's itchy as a result of domestic chemicals, dry air, or a food intolerance issue Give him a Benadryl, if it lessens the licking then you're onto something.

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Ryder used to lick his forearms for about an hour from 230-330 every day for about 2 years (never ever raw though, just methodical licking.) One day he just stopped, so I couldn't really put it together. I didn't know if he was nursing an owie or what, but I concluded that it was a soothing mechanism for him if he was stressed.

 

When was the last time he had a bath?

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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I don't think he's itchy because it's not all the time. Just certain times of day. I'm more inclined to think it's boredom or just something he enjoys. I've tried to distract him with a toy. He's getting more interested in toys, but they still only hold his attention for literally a minute maybe. His last bath was in July maybe. We bathed him outside. I don't think we can get him in the tub, so he won't have another bath until summer unless I take him somewhere.

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If he has set times he licks then schedule something else for him to do at that time. Give him a longer lasting chew like a bully stick (or whatever is your preference). Take him for a walk. Let him outside and play ball or get a lure pole. Do a series of short training sessions or play sessions. Give him a Kong.

 

Basically, keep him active doing something else during that time. It's basically a holdover from his kennel days, so you need to break a longstanding habit with a different, more productive activity.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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If you want to break the cycle, I agree with the above that you need to insert another distracting behaviour like a chewie or kong. Also I never really let the schlopfest of cleaning last very long if I'm around (and I agree it's always when you are trying to watch tv and can't hear it!) so correcting him would help too.

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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