Dogs lick for different reasons and this behavior may or may not irritate you. If you mind the habit, then it becomes a behavior habit that needs to be curbed. First you need to check with your vet that the licking does not result from a health problem such as anal irritation. Check also to make sure it’s not a result of compulsion which would need the attention of a behaviorist to rectify.
If the dog licks to attract your attention, don’t scold him. Scolding gives him the attention he needs, even if it’s negative attention. Instead, whenever he licks you, walk out of the room. Walking out of the room or ignoring him makes the dog realize that licking leads to your leaving him or ignoring him, and since a behavior that’s not reinforced dies the dog will eventually stop.
Keep the dog entertained with toys, such as Pet Qwerks’ talking babble ball. When he is distracted, he won’t need to spend much time licking.
Dogs get anxious mainly due to lack of exercise so he has a lot of pent up energy that he needs to release. When your dog’s licking is caused by anxiety you can curb it by ensuring he is exercised on a daily basis whether that involves playing with him for thirty minutes or taking him for a walk.
You can train your dog to lick on command, so that it is clear he can lick only when you initiate. Train him by using the command of your choice such as ‘lick’. Reward him for following the command, then train him to stop by using the ‘stop licking’ command. Reward him for stopping and be patient with him in your training.
As with any other behavior you want your dog to adapt to, you need to be consistent with your furry friend. If you want him to stop licking permanently, make sure no licking at all is allowed. If you want him to lick on command, stick with that. Just make sure you don’t give the dog contradicting messages as this could confuse him. Dogs hate citrus, so you can use citrus-based products to deter him from licking you as a last resort.
How to Stop Excessive Licking in Dogs