17 Surprising Reasons Why Schnauzers Lick So Much + Tips

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You’ve started to notice that your schnauzer is licking a lot. So much so that it may have even started to bother you! So what’s behind this? Why do schnauzers lick so much?

Why Do Schnauzers Lick So Much:

Schnauzers will lick excessively for many reasons. Some of the more common reasons for your schnauzer to lick a lot are they’re bored, they want to groom you or themselves, they’re demonstrating their love for you, or they’re trying to tell you they’re hungry.

In this post you’ll discover 17 reasons why schnauzers lick so much. Some are more obvious while others will likely surprise you. 

Reason #9 was the biggest surprise to me!

We also discuss some helpful tips to stop the behavior if it becomes too much.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

17 Surprising Reasons Why Schnauzers Lick So Much + Tips

Why Do Schnauzers Lick Themselves?

Reason #1: Grooming

Since your schnauzer is without thumbs, it makes it quite difficult for them to grab a bar of soap to clean themselves.

Because of this, the only way your pup knows how to clean themselves is to lick themselves.

They also learned from their mother that this was how to not only clean themself, but other members of their pack as well.

Whether it’s their privates, one of their paws, or a leg, if they’re spending some time licking a spot on their body they are likely just giving themselves a good cleaning.

#2: Boredom

When a dog is bored, anything can become a somewhat fun activity. Even if it’s just licking themselves.

However, this isn’t good for your schnauzer to do too often. If they get caught up licking the same spot for too long they could remove all fur in that spot and even make their skin sore.

If you can’t see any logical reason for them to be licking themselves, they could simply be bored.

And if that’s the case it’s a good idea to discourage this behavior. This is a bad habit that you don’t want to continue.

When you see them licking due to boredom, don’t give them attention, calmly get them to stop.

Then once they’ve stopped, engage in some play time to help their boredom.

Related Reading: 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog | Boredom Buster Toys

#3: Anxiety

Sometimes a dog will over-groom themselves if they’re feeling anxious.

The very act of them licking has been proven to increase endorphins in their brain.

And endorphins are known for being the body’s natural painkillers.

If they’re excessively licking themselves they may be trying to cope with their environment.

Be on the lookout for any possible triggers. Are there loud noises that could be bothering them?

Have they experienced a dramatic change in their daily life/environment? Do they have separation anxiety?

It’s important to do your best to find the trigger behind what’s causing your schnauzer to feel anxious.

If they’re left to continue to excessively lick themselves they may lick themselves raw in the spot they’re choosing to lick.

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear

#4: Pain

Your schnauzers wolf ancestors would lick their wounds to keep it clean to help it heal properly.

Obviously in the wild they didn’t have any other devices to help their wounds heal, so licking had to do.

So if you notice your schnauzer frequently trying to lick an external wound, it’s the right thing to do in their mind to help it not get infected.

Of course with the medicine you have available to you and the clean home you live in, it’s not necessary. But your pups instincts likely don’t understand you have a better way to heal their wound.

It’s important for you to stop them from licking a cut as much as possible.

It’s likely to only make it worse.

If it’s not an external wound, and instead something internal that’s bothering them, they may lick to apply pressure.

Similarly to how you’ll put your hand on something and apply pressure to provide some relief.

*Important note: Any wound, external or internal, should be looked at and treated by your vet.

#5: Allergies

Allergies are no friend to your pup either.

If they have skin irritations because of allergies, this could definitely be the culprit behind their licking.

Allergies are actually quite common in dogs, and your schnauzer is no exception.

More often than not, allergies come from seasonal pollen.

But, it could also be from their food.

If you notice them often licking their paws, it could be allergens caught in their paws making them itchy.

If this is the case, try wiping them down after walks outside when it’s springtime.

Related Reading: 8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Itch So Much + 4 Helpful Tips

#6: Pests

If your schnauzer has ticks, fleas or mites, this would cause them a lot of irritation.

And most places on their body then aren’t able to scratch with a paw. So they’ll lick it instead.

These kinds of pests can be extremely bothersome for your pup and they’ll do whatever they can to stop the itch.

If you walk in and around tall grass on your daily walks be sure to give them a quick inspection.

You should be able to notice fleas and ticks if they’ve found a home on your pup.

Mites however, are virtually invisible to the naked eye.

If you think your schnauzer is licking excessively due to pests, it’s important to take them to the vet.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

Why Does My Schnauzer Lick Me?

#7: They Want Your Attention

There’s a good chance that when your schnauzer licks you, they get some sort of attention in return.

Whether it’s a pat on the head, a good belly rub or you decide to play with them.

Your pup might also notice that when they lick you, you light up a bit.

Sometimes you laugh, or sometimes it simply gets you to talk to them.

And if they start to notice a pattern that licking you gets them some additional love and attention, they’ll want to keep doing it.

Related Reading: 11 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Is So Clingy And Needy

#8: Love/Affection

Possibly the simplest reason why your schnauzer licks you is to show you their affection!

Similarly to why you kiss them, or a loved one, your schnauzer licks you as a way to demonstrate their love for you.

When they were just a pup their mother would have licked them to care for them and keep them clean.

And because they loved their mother, they feel licking is an act of love.

So when they love someone dearly (you!) they want to do the same. Lick them!

Related Reading: 12 Surprising Ways Schnauzers Show Affection (#3 Is Funny)

Why Does My Schnauzer Lick My Face?

#9: Letting You Know They’re Hungry

One of the more interesting and less known reasons why your schnauzer may be licking your face is to let you know they’re hungry.

In a wolf pack, the young pups would lick the mouth of the adult wolves to let them know they were hungry.

Then the adult wolves would regurgitate some of their food to give to the pup.

A little gross but when food isn’t always available, they’d have to feed them somehow!

So if you notice your schnauzer is trying to lick your mouth, they could be letting you know they’re hungry.

Next time this happens, go fill up their bowl of food to see if they gobble down the meal.

If they do, from now on you’ll know that they’re trying to let you know they want some food please.

#10: Getting Any Leftovers

You probably eat many different smelling and tasting foods that your schnauzer would love to try.

And sometimes, you might have some sauce leftover on your chin or in the corner of your mouth.

Or in your mustache/beard if you’re a fella.

How kind of them to make sure you don’t walk around with food on your face!

Even if there aren’t actual pieces for them to eat. They may simply like the smell of the food you just ate which makes them want to lick your face.

#11: Submission

Wolves have been known to lick the face of the superior wolf in the pack as a form of submission.

A young wolf, or a wolf lower on the pecking order, would lick the face of the more dominant wolf.

This would show the more dominant wolf that they’re submitting to them and want to keep their spot in the pack.

So for similar reasons, your schnauzer might lick your face. It’s a way for them to demonstrate their understanding of their role in your pack, and wanting to stay a part of it.

You’re the alpha to them. And they want you to continue to be so they lick your face as a form of submission.

Why Does My Schnauzer Lick My Feet?

#12: Salty Taste

Your feet are more than likely to be sweaty after a long day.

Socks on all day in addition to being in shoes all day.

You can’t really avoid it.

And with sweat comes a salty taste. And your little weirdo likely loves the salty taste of your feet.

At first this might even tickle. But can become rather irritating when they simply won’t stop licking you.

Who knew the taste of feet could be so hard to resist!

#13: Likes The Smell

Because your schnauzer has such a strong sense of smell, they love things that have interesting smells.

Schnauzers were bred to be hunting dogs so their sense of smell is even more heightened than other breeds.

And dogs only have two ways to interact with smells they encounter.

Roll around in them, or lick them.

In your feets case, it’s lick.

What you probably find to be an unpleasant smell, your pup likely enjoys.

Related Reading: Why Do Schnauzers Sniff So Much? 21 Things You Should Know

#14: Wants To Groom You

Your schnauzer licks themselves to keep themselves clean. If they feel they need a DIY bath, they’ll lick it clean.

So if your feet are giving off a certain smell, they may feel the need to help you clean them by licking them.

While yes, they may enjoy the salty taste, that’s just an added bonus to their main goal, which is to clean you up.

They want you to stay healthy so their grooming is a labor of love.

Why Does My Schnauzer Lick Random Items In My Home? (Couch, Floor, Carpet, etc.)

#15: Leftover Flavor

It’s virtually impossible to not have a spill at some point. Some people spill much more than others too.

I should know, I’m one of them…

And your schnauzer gets to benefit from these spills.

Whether it’s a drink that spilled on the carpet and wasn’t completely removed, or crumbs on the floor that got missed.

Your pup is happy to lick these up until the flavor is gone.

Since they probably aren’t fed people food on a regular basis, or ever, this is their opportunity to enjoy what you enjoy.

#16: Likes The Texture

Your schnauzers’ only way to explore the world around them is through their nose and mouth.

For us, we grab something with our hands to get a better understanding of it.

For your pup, they lick and sniff something to get a better understanding of it.

When they lick something lick your jacket, the couch, or the carpet, they may simply enjoy how the texture feels.

#17: Tastes Like You

Wherever you spend the majority of your time when at home will start to smell like you.

And since your schnauzer loves you to bits, they will likely lick things or places you spend much of your time.

It helps them get a sense of you when you aren’t around.

If they’re feeling lonely or want your attention, they may lick objects in your home that strongly remind them of you.

Other posts you might find interesting:

14 Reasons Why Schnauzers Bark So Much + Anti-Bark Tips

5 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Has Bad Breath + 3 Tips

7 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Eats Everything + 5 Tips

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Dig + 7 Tips To Reduce It