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Terriers/8 yr old Yorkie dog

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Question
My 8 yr old Yorkie constantly licks.  In and out all the time, he will not stop.  He had to have his 4 bottom teeth pulled a few yrs ago because he had a gum disease. But he only does the licking when he is on your lap, which is all the time.  Other wise he is a very good dog.  He has been checked out at the Vets, he is heathly.  Help.

Answer
Hi Betty,
Firstly to be a bit more specific, a Yorkie is a Toy breed and not in the terrier group even though it has terrier in the name- like Tibetan terriers are not in the group either.
This is obviously a behavioral issue. Licking can be a passive dominant behavior. Doubt it has anything to do with the dental issue. More like expressing pleasure and gratitude by grooming you back for your attention. You can probably get him to stop if you try hard enough by scolding him with absolute NO commands but I think you may hurt his feelings… the time to have nipped this in the bud was 7 1/2 years ago. You can just keep him off your lap too.
This becomes a kind of neurotic obsession with some dogs- laying their scent down on things they need to possess - if gentle repetitive "no licking" doesn't work- and you must be ABSOLUTELY consistent, put him down.
He will get it.
A good dog is a wonderful thing… licking is by far easier to cope with than say, constant barking - a trait Yorkies are far more associated with.
good luck

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ElizaBeth CRONK

Expertise

I am an expert in terrier grooming and have been the expert on the dog grooming site for well over a year. While I am trained as an all breed groomer my true expertise is in the art of terrier grooming. Hand plucking for pets, to be specific.

Experience

23 years as a professional pet groomer, 20 of them specifically working with wire hair breeds. Private residential business in Manhattan with over 250 client and have done over 30,000 groomings.

Organizations
Twin Brooks Kennel Club, former Board member Metropolitan Dog CLub, regular contributer to Groomer Talk at petgroomer.com

Publications
website: terrierific.net Allexpert.com educational DVD Groomertalk at petgroomer.com

Education/Credentials
NY School of Dog Grooming, apprenticed with major professional show dog handlers and breeders.

Past/Present Clients
website has testimonials available- I do not list private clients terrierific.net

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