ANSWERS: 2
  • Have you talked to the dogs vet about this? My guess is that it's more than licking the ground that's causing bacterial infections -- lots of dogs eat garbage and "deposits" made by other animals -- has your dog had his/her gums checked lately? It might simply be gum disease that's causing the infections. As for preventing your dog from licking, have you tried obedience training??? A dog trainer could give you some tips, but this doesn't sound like an easy behavior to overcome, as dogs can also sniff through their tongues, and that's probably what your dog is doing. For dogs, a thorough sniff test is an important part of finding the exact right place to go potty. You could put a muzzle over your dog's face during potty time -- that will keep the tongue inside the mouth, and might, over time, alter the licking behavior.
  • The best thing I can suggest from a training/behavioral point is to work on your basic Sit command and then work on Stop Licking or LEAVE IT. While Stop Licking isn't a common command...Leave It and Drop It ARE common, so I see no reason you couldn't teach your dog to stop licking on command the same way you would the other two. You'd simply be specifying what exact behavior you want the dog to stop doing when ever he starts to do it! Zip lock bag of PRIME TREATS..like human grade beef jerky (plain), cut up tiny. Dog on regular lead NOT a retractable one and with a flat collar or a Gentle Leader or Halti type if that is what you normally use. Do NOT use a choke or pinch for training work. (I don't even let my students use them at all...if you don't use them correctly you hurt the dog's neck, shoulders and back. FYI You never do corrections with a pinch collar, the dog does their own corrections, YOU never should pull on one, simply hold on to the lead) Practice your Sit command until the dog plops his butt down immediately when asked to do so. I would go right for the NO LICK after that. (If your dog is fairly well trained and pretty quick to respond to all basic commands...run through them each day for practice...the more a dog learns and is proficient at doing, the more the dog is CAPABLE of learning, the faster they generally learn, and the better they are at following directions...practice really does make perfect! YOU must be sharp and aware so you can catch the dog about to lick the ground. Command SIT! BIG PRAISE AND TREAT...When you release...(OK!) move on. This may solve the problem on it's own. If not then next lick say NO LICK/SIT! HUGE PARTY for stopping the lick and taking the sit...repeat, repeat, repeat...it may take a while because HIS behavior is not only rational to HIM, it is a HABIT that you are counter conditioning...in his world it is entirely acceptable to do this behavior. Your goal is to give him a DIFFERENT/ACCEPTABLE alternative behavior to do and SHOW HIM why YOUR idea is so very much better and more fun than his idea...make sense? I have Hannah to the point, as I have with all my dogs (excepting Hannah is a "special case" <LMAO> a five yr.old GSD/Husky girl and Huskeys have their OWN agendas...at least 50% of the time..maybe more!) where I can make a YUCK sound and say leave it! and 99% of the time she immediately looks for something else, accepting that "this" needs to be ignored, no matter how interesting it smells...usually rabbit or squirrel poop, which I assuredly would prefer she did not nibble upon! (no accounting for taste!) Work daily on the training...the more you work with your dog the more he will surprise you with really great behaviors and he will become even smarter than you thought he might be...they get in tune with us and our ideas a lot more when they get regular practice at doing what we want. (besides...+R Positive Reinforcement training is really all about having a great deal of FUN! Dogs love Fun! Good luck!

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