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Canine Behavior/my dog licks my husband insesintly


We adopted Darci almost one year ago. She is about for years old. We believe she is a daschundhound/terrier mix. She has one habit that we wonder about, she licks my husband nonstop given the opportunity. We aren't sure if this a mother instinct or if it is something else. We would also like some ideas on how to stop it or curb it. He is the only person she does this to.

This is a juvenile appeasement behavior.  The way to change it is to remove oneself immediately: stand up, turn your back, turn back to the dog.  After approximately 10 to 20 trials, the moment the dog begins the behavior say a word you don't usually use (in another language if you must), stand up, turn your back to the dog, turn toward the dog again, ask for a behavior trained with positive reinforcement (sit on command) and heavily reward with praise and attention for about 15 seconds. Dog should, after approximately 30 trials, learn to STOP the licking on cue (the word you have chosen) and then wait for the next cue (sit) for reward.  Dog will then eventually chain (connect) the behaviors: the impulse to lick will slowly (over time) be replaced by an automatic "sit" (no cue needed) and must always be acknowledged with praise and affection for a short interval. To teach a dog using positive reinforcement to sit, see the following:

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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