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So you’ve noticed your dachshund licks a lot. They may even lick you to the point where it bothers you! So what gives? Why do dachshunds lick so much?
To find out I did some digging and reached out to experts like my father, Dr. Littlejohn, to get some insight on why dachshunds may lick so much.
Why Do Dachshunds Lick So Much:
Your dachshund may lick for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, they’re demonstrating their affection, grooming you or themselves, showcasing their respect, they like a smell or taste, or they might be trying to tell you they are hungry.
In this post we dive deep on some of the more obvious reasons why your dachshund licks you so much as well as ones that’ll likely surprise you.
Reason #5 was news to me!
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
Why Do Dachshunds Lick You So Much?
Reason #1: Affection
At its simplest form, your dachshund licks you to show their affection!
Much like how you kiss your loved ones, and your pup, they lick you as a way to show their love for you.
When they were a puppy they were likely licked by their mother as a way to care for and clean them.
Which would only happen if love and affection was present.
So because this is how someone they loved dearly treated them, when they love someone dearly they’ll do the same. Lick them!
Related Reading: Top 8 Ways Dachshunds Show Affection (#7 Is Funny)
Respect is usually shown through acts of service.
When you respect someone, you do things for them not to get something in return, but because you hold them high in your heart.
Since they can’t take out the garbage, or clean up a mess they made, a lick is one of their only ways to demonstrate a labor of love.
Your dachshund licking you may be a sign from them that they respect you.
Why Do Dachshunds Lick Your Face?
#3: Getting Any Leftovers
You likely eat lots of different smelling things that your dachshund would love to have a piece of!
Sometimes you might unknowingly have left a little piece on your chin or some sauce in the corner of your mouth.
And your pup will happily be the clean up crew to get rid of any lasting pieces of your most recent meal.
How kind of them to make sure you don’t walk around with anything on your face!
Even if there’s nothing physically there for them to get a taste of, your breath may smell like the food you just ate which makes them want to lick your face.
In the wild, young wolves or wolves lower on the pecking order will lick the face of their superiors as a form of submission.
They’re letting the other know that they’re more dominant than them and want to keep their spot in the pack.
Similarly to why your dachshund licks your face, it’s a way for them to demonstrate their understanding of their role in your pack.
You’re the alpha, their leader. And they want you to continue to be so they’ll lick your face to show their submission.
#5: Letting You Know They’re Hungry
In a wolf pack, the pups will lick the mouth of the adult wolves to let them know they’re hungry.
The adult wolves would then regurgitate their food for the pup to eat.
If your dachshund is licking your face, but more specifically your mouth, they could be letting you know they’re hungry.
See what happens when you fill their food bowl after they’ve been licking, or trying to lick, your mouth.
If they gobble the food down, you know this is mainly the reason for them licking your face.
Why Do Dachshunds Lick Your Feet?
It’s been a long day. You’ve been on your feet the majority of the day and you know those bad boys have been sweating.
You take your shoes and socks off to then relax on your couch. Next thing you know your dachshund is licking your feet and toes.
And you’re probably thinking, “Why the heck are you licking my stinky feet??”
#6: Likes The Smell
Dogs, and especially dachshunds, love things that have interesting smells.
Dachshunds were bred to be hunting dogs so their sense of smell is extremely heightened.
And the only two ways for them to interact with smells is to lick them or roll around in them.
In your feets case, they’re licking them.
What you find to be a rather unpleasant smell, your dog likely enjoys. They’d much rather lick a natural smell that we feel stinks than the fragrance of soaps.
#7: Salty Taste
Inevitably, with sweat comes a salty taste.
And dogs love things that taste salty. Whether it’s your feet or anywhere on your body really.
If you’ve been outside on a warm day and come inside all sweaty, you’ll likely find your dachshund licking you clean.
This can be quite irritating when they simply won’t stop licking you, but the salty taste is apparently too hard for them to resist!
#8: Want To Clean You
Dachshunds lick themselves to keep themselves clean. Whenever something smells, dogs will lick it to clean it.
If your feet smell, they may be trying to help you out by licking them clean.
While they may enjoy the salty taste, they’ll also have the goal in mind to help clean you.
They want you to stay healthy so grooming you is a labor of love.
Why Do Dachshunds Lick Their Paws?
While licking may not seem like a super fun activity to you, when bored, anything can become somewhat interesting.
And if you’re noticing your dachshund licking themselves for what appears to be no apparent reason, they could simply be bored.
Excessive licking can cause their skin to get sore though so it’s a good idea not to encourage this behavior.
If you notice them licking for a prolonged period of time, tell them to stop and engage in some play time with them to curb their boredom.
When a dog is feeling anxious they may handle it by over-grooming themselves.
Studies have shown that the act of licking increases endorphins in their brain so their excessive licking is a way to cope.
If they’re in an environment where there’s loud noises, have separation anxiety, or have experienced a dramatic change in their daily environment, these could all be triggers for their anxiety.
It’s important to stop this behavior or discover what’s causing them to feel anxious.
If they’re allowed to continue they may lick themselves raw wherever they’re choosing to lick.
Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear
Your dachshund is without opposable thumbs which makes grabbing a bar of soap to clean themselves rather difficult.
Because of this, the only way for your pup to clean themselves when they feel necessary is to lick themselves.
Whether it’s their paws, their privates, or one of their legs, if they’re licking a spot on their body they may simply be giving themselves a good cleaning.
#12: Skin Irritation/Allergies
If your dachshund’s skin is bothering them, this could be why they are licking themselves so much.
Whether it’s a rash, dry skin, a cut, an allergic reaction or even a hormonal imbalance, if their skin is bothering them, they’ll likely lick it, and lick it often.
Of all these, allergies are the most common reason for a dog to lick because of a skin irritation.
If you’re noticing them often licking their paws, try wiping them down after walks outside in the springtime.
This can help reduce the allergens caught in their paws which is causing them to lick.
In the wild, if a wolf were to get a cut on their body, they would often lick it to keep it clean so it heals properly.
So if your dachshund has a cut on their body that’s in pain, they instinctively would be licking it to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
This is much less effective than soap and water, but your dog’s instincts likely don’t understand that you have a better way to help their wound heal.
*It’s important to prevent them from licking a cut as it may make it worse.*
Also, if it’s not a flesh wound, and more of a skin problem or internal problem, they may lick it to apply pressure.
Often when you’re hurt in some way, putting your hand on it and applying pressure can provide some relief.
Since dogs aren’t able to do that, they may replicate this behavior by licking the area where they’re in pain.
If you notice a wound, or their licking is persistent over the course of a few days it’s important to take them to the vet to have them checked out.
If your dachshund has fleas, ticks or mites this would cause them to excessively lick themselves.
These pests are quite bothersome for your pup and they’ll do anything to stop the itch or irritation.
And the extent to what they can do themselves is really only licking.
If you walk in or near tall grass on one of your daily walks, be sure to give them a quick inspection to make sure no pests have found a home on your pup.
While mites are virtually invisible to the naked eye, fleas and ticks can be seen.
If you feel your dog is excessively licking because of an infestation it’s important to take them to see the vet.
Why Do Dachshunds Lick The Floor And Other Items In Your Home?
#15: Likes The Texture
Dogs explore the world we live in through their nose and mouths.
For them to get a sense of something, they have to lick it! And the texture of what they’re licking may very well be enjoyable for them.
So if you notice your dachshund licking a blanket, carpet, the couch, your jacket or a chair, the little weirdo could simply be enjoying the texture of what they’re licking.
#16: Leftover Flavor
Odds are you’ve spilled at least one time in your home.
If you have kids, odds are you may not have had a day in a while where a spill didn’t happen!
And your dachshund gets to benefit from these spills.
Since they probably aren’t fed people food on a regular basis, or at all, this is their chance to enjoy what you enjoy.
Whether it’s a drink that was spilled that wasn’t 100% cleaned up or some crumbs that got missed, your dachshund will happily lick these up until the flavor is gone.
#17: Tastes Like You
Wherever you spend most of your time while home will start to smell like you.
Since your dachshund loves you to bits, they may lick a place where you often sit or a blanket you often use because it smells & tastes like you.
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