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I can not get my dog to stop licking us! We've done what we can to train him to stop when I say "Enough" but it seems that he's just so excited (1 yr old terrier/maltese) that he just can't help it. Bitter Ick doesn't work for him, and i don't really want to lace myself with it anyways. Anyone else have licking issues?
 

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I can not get my dog to stop licking us! We've done what we can to train him to stop when I say "Enough" but it seems that he's just so excited (1 yr old terrier/maltese) that he just can't help it. Bitter Ick doesn't work for him, and i don't really want to lace myself with it anyways. Anyone else have licking issues?
There are a couple of things you can do. Either will work in time. Don't switch between both of them, decide on one and use it. You MUST be consistent. You MUST use which ever method every single time he licks. No exceptions. You must not loose patience. You must not yell, scream or otherwise upset the dog. He will learn much faster when he doesn't get upset for reasons too long to go into here.

The dog is doing this because he is soliciting attention. He must not get this attention. It is a reward and rewarded behaviors are always repeated. Unrewarded behviors soon extinguish and that is the goal we are after here.

The first method is to ignore the dog when he licks. Get up walk away from him. Keep your back to him for 2 minutes. Don't say a word. Don't look at him. He doesn't exist. There is no dog in your house for 2 minutes.

You can not SOMETIMES pet him when he licks because he looks so cute. Intermittently rewarded behaviors are impossible to break. As soon as he realizes that lick = ignore, he will stop licking. After the 2 minutes don't praise, don't fuss, be completely neutral in your attitude, just stop ignoring.

The second method is time out. Time out is 2 minutes in his crate, in the laundry room or bath room alone with the door closed. Again, don't say anything, just pick him up, take him to the time out place, put him in there and walk away. If you put him in his crate, don't stay there with him. Go into another room for 2 minutes. Again, when you let him out be completely neutral. When he learns licking = time out, he will stop.

When you start this, expect the behavior to get worse before it gets better. He is used to getting attention when he licks even if it's negative attention. When that stops, he will try harder to get it. He will lick harder, faster, more often. That is called an extinction burst and when you get it don't get discouraged. It means you are winning and he is figuring it out.
 

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Great advice from above, the only thing that I would not do is use a kennel as a time out place. The dog will learn that his kennel is a bad place and wont feel comfortable in it. Kennels should never be used as a form of punishment. Your dog should feel comfortable and have no problem going into his kennel or crate, unless you are not crate training your dog, although I highly recommend it! I had a friend that would always crate/kennel her dog as a punishment and she always had a really hard time getting him to go in his kennel when it wasn't time-out time.
Good luck!
 

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Great advice from above, the only thing that I would not do is use a kennel as a time out place.
I have been doing it for over 15 years with countless dogs in my training business and never had one become adverse to the kennel because of it. We are talking about 2 minute time outs here, not one hour time outs. Long time outs would be a different story but 2 minutes won't do any harm.

I can tell my two dogs right now to "get in" and they will run to the crate and be there waiting for me with tails wagging for me to hand them a treat. When I get there I can close the door and they are perfectly content. I used to use the same method of time out with them and will again if it ever becomes necessary. It's been at least 2 years, maybe more, since I have had to use time out.
 

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Thanks for the info! We'll give it a shot. Although, you are definately right - it sure is hard to resist that sweetheart face and sad puppy eyes!!
 

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Good advice - here is another view point to try, if you'd like
It worked WONDERs for me, when my German Shepherd was licking us constantly... ;)

RedyreRottweilers
This is a PERFECT thing to use a clicker for.

Put the dog on a leash. Have SOMEONE ELSE hold the end of the leash, from behind the dog. (use a buckle collar).

have tasty treats in your pocket, and something with which to make your desired behavior. You can use a clicker, or you can use a verbal marker. I use the word YES!.

Let the dog come up to you and begin licking. Let her get in a couple of licks, and then have the person behind her pull her back just far enough that she has to stop licking. The instant she stops licking, mark and treat.

Then allow slack in the lead. If she goes back to licking, have the person behind her put enough pressure on the lead to stop her again. Mark and treat.

Goal being she will sit there on a loose leash and not lick. End the session when you get even a few SECONDs of her sitting there on a loose leash not licking. End the session with a jackpot of treats.

Once she will sit there for a few seconds without licking, you can start giving this a name. I like to think of cute names for behaviors that I'm going to be using around other people. You could say "zip it", or "stow it" or whatever you like. Just make sure she ONLY hears these words when she is NOT licking.

I bet if you are diligent and practice this for a couple of nights, you will have her up to a minute of so of not licking. Once you get to this point, start proofing a little. Move closer to her. If she does not lick, mark and treat. If she does, move out of her reach. ONce she is not licking any more, mark and treat.

I would bet money that in a short time too, you could shape her into "air licking", now THAT would be a cute trick. Think of a different word for that. Like "Raspberry". In seperate sessions, mark her for any showing of the tongue. You will be surprised at how fast she will learn to do these things if you just stay quiet, and mark the behaviors you want.

:D
 

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I have been doing it for over 15 years with countless dogs in my training business and never had one become adverse to the kennel because of it. We are talking about 2 minute time outs here, not one hour time outs. Long time outs would be a different story but 2 minutes won't do any harm.

I can tell my two dogs right now to "get in" and they will run to the crate and be there waiting for me with tails wagging for me to hand them a treat. When I get there I can close the door and they are perfectly content. I used to use the same method of time out with them and will again if it ever becomes necessary. It's been at least 2 years, maybe more, since I have had to use time out.
Punishment is punishment no matter how long it lasts. Two minutes is a very long time for dogs. Their attention span is far less than that. Just because you have had success in using your kennels as a time out place, doesn't mean that it works for every dog. It would really be unfortunate for someone using a kennel for time out and then needing their dog to use it and the dog refuses to.

What I am saying is: Why risk using a kennel and losing its worth, when you can use another neutral spot like a laundry room or spare room? Makes complete sense to me...
 

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Just because you have had success in using your kennels as a time out place, doesn't mean that it works for every dog.
I'm not talking about just my kennels. I'm talking about hundreds of my clients with hundreds of dogs and hundreds of crates.

It would really be unfortunate for someone using a kennel for time out and then needing their dog to use it and the dog refuses to.
Never had it happen once the dog is kennel trained.

What I am saying is: Why risk using a kennel and losing its worth, when you can use another neutral spot like a laundry room or spare room? Makes complete sense to me...
I don't have a problem with those places if they happen to be closer to where the infraction happened. The quicker you can get him into the timeout place the better.

Another thing I don't know if I mentioned or not. You MUST take the dog to the time out place IMMEDIATELY the instant the infraction happens. You can't let a dog lick on you for 5 minutes then take him to the time out place and expect him to understand why he is there. There is no need to verbally communicate with him at all. No fussing, no yelling. Just instantly and matter of factly take him to whatever timeout place you choose. It's much more effective that way.
 

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I'm not talking about just my kennels. I'm talking about hundreds of my clients with hundreds of dogs and hundreds of crates.
Never had it happen once the dog is kennel trained.
I should make it clear that I am only defending this if a kennel is used for when dogs are left alone or when kennels are used for other things than punishment. If a kennel is used specifically for punishment, then this does not apply.

Dogs will associate going into their kennel as time out even when they are not in trouble. They will then become confused at why they are put into their kennel in the first place. They do not have the mental compacity to know that they are in trouble when going into their kennel only for some of the time.

Dogs need very consistent training techniques. Using a kennel for time out doesn't always carry consistency because you are not always around your kennel, like when you are at another persons house. I personally will NEVER advocate using a kennel as time out, it causes lots of problems in some dogs and if anyone would like to discuss that point with me feel free.

To get back to the point at hand, which is licking, I personally have found that just plain out ignoring the dog who is licking you is enough to solve the problem, which has already been mentioned but I want to back it up. Dogs lick for attention, so if you do not give them the attention they seek, they will stop. They will learn that licking equals you ignoring them, which is the last thing that they want! Just turn your back on them and walk away. This also really helps with the jumping up thing as well.

Good luck!!!
 

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Dogs will associate going into their kennel as time out even when they are not in trouble. They will then become confused at why they are put into their kennel in the first place. They do not have the mental compacity to know that they are in trouble when going into their kennel only for some of the time.
Maybe it's just the way I train dogs but in 15 years of training well over 1,000 dogs, I have never had a problem. They know when they are in trouble and when't they aren't.

Dogs need very consistent training techniques. Using a kennel for time out doesn't always carry consistency because you are not always around your kennel, like when you are at another persons house.
I just don't forsee the time when it would be necessary to use timeout at someone else's house. It doesn't take that many trips to the kennel to get the point across. 3 or 4 trips and they usually get the message if it's done correctly.

I personally will NEVER advocate using a kennel as time out, it causes lots of problems in some dogs and if anyone would like to discuss that point with me feel free.
I think you are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. I have never had a dog that became adverse to his kennel just because he was put in it for time out a few times. With my method, you use a completely neutral attitude with no fussing or yelling or arguing. Just put the dog in his kennel. No fuss, no negotiating, no begging to go in, no nothing. Just put the dog in there, leave him for two minutes then let him out with a neutral attitude. It doesn't cause problems. I think you are overthinking the proceedure.

To get back to the point at hand, which is licking, I personally have found that just plain out ignoring the dog who is licking you is enough to solve the problem, which has already been mentioned but I want to back it up. Dogs lick for attention, so if you do not give them the attention they seek, they will stop. They will learn that licking equals you ignoring them, which is the last thing that they want! Just turn your back on them and walk away. This also really helps with the jumping up thing as well.
Exactly! :)
 

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I agree with the people who are against using the crate as a form of punishment- even if it's just for 2 minutes.
I like the positive renforcement approach - what a great idea!
 

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I think the ignoring technique was the best one! Dogs hate to be ignored. My little rescue used to lick us constantly, I called him a violent licker because he would just go to town on your hands until you were afraid he was going to lick clear to the bone. Finally, after our first day with our new trainer, we learned to say "UH UH!" in a firm voice, stand up, ignore the dog. Same goes for him jumping up on people too.

Well he's a very clever and quick learner, so it took him all of two times of doing this before the violent licking and jumping up on people stopped almost entirely. He still slips up every now and then but now all it take is that "UH UH" and he remembers very quickly that he doesn't like to be ignored.
 
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Compulsive Disorders

I can't remember if you mentioned what kind of dog you have but some are genetically predisposed to licking. Different breeds can be predisposed to different compulsive behaviors and licking is one
Dobermans and Dalmatians are genetically predisposed to "flank sucking", a nice way of saying they lick their butts all the time.
Purdue did studies on Compulsive Disorders and has a protocol for treating it.

I also once knew a dog that licked only certain people. Salty people. It could be that yoru dog needs some salt added to his diet. You might want to check with your vet about that.
 
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