How To Train A Yorkie Not To Lick Your Face, You, Itself (10 Easy Steps)

Yorkies are known for their affectionate nature, often showing it through licking. While it’s a natural behavior, excessive licking can become bothersome, especially when directed towards faces. Whether it’s your face, someone else’s, or even their own, training your dog to control this behavior is essential. In this guide, we’ll walk you through ten easy steps to help curb this habit and ensure a harmonious relationship with your furry friend.

Understanding the Behavior: Before diving into training techniques, it’s crucial to understand why dogs lick faces. Licking is a way for dogs to communicate and show affection. It’s also a means of gathering information about their environment and the people or animals in it. However, excessive licking can signal anxiety, boredom, or a lack of boundaries.

Set Clear Boundaries: The first step in training your dog not to lick faces is to establish clear boundaries. Decide whether you want to completely eliminate face licking or simply reduce its frequency. Consistency is key, so ensure that all family members are on board with the training plan.

Provide Alternative Behaviors: Dogs often lick faces as a way to seek attention or express affection. Provide alternative behaviors that fulfill these needs, such as offering a toy or engaging in a game of fetch when your dog shows signs of wanting to lick.

Use Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in dog training. Whenever your dog refrains from licking faces, offer praise, treats, or affection to reinforce the desired behavior. This will encourage them to repeat the action in the future.

Redirect Attention: When you catch your dog in the act of licking faces, calmly redirect their attention to a more appropriate behavior. Use a command such as “leave it” or “come” followed by a reward when they comply.

Practice Consistency: Consistency is crucial in dog training. Practice the established boundaries and techniques consistently to reinforce the desired behavior. Remember that it may take time for your dog to learn, so be patient and persistent.

Avoid Punishment: Avoid using punishment-based methods to discourage face licking. Punishment can create fear and anxiety in your dog, potentially worsening the behavior or damaging your relationship. Focus on positive reinforcement and redirection instead.

Address Underlying Issues: Excessive licking can sometimes be a sign of underlying issues such as anxiety or boredom. If your dog continues to lick faces despite training efforts, consider consulting a veterinarian or professional dog trainer for further guidance.

Be Mindful of Your Own Actions: As a pet owner, be mindful of your own actions that may inadvertently encourage face licking. Avoid rewarding the behavior unintentionally by pulling away or reacting with excitement when your dog licks your face.

Patience and Persistence: Training your dog not to lick faces requires patience and persistence. Every dog is different, so the timeline for success may vary. Stay consistent, remain patient, and celebrate small victories along the way.

Conclusion: Training your dog not to lick faces, whether it’s yours, someone else’s, or their own, is achievable with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By understanding the behavior, setting clear boundaries, and practicing gentle redirection, you can help your furry companion develop more appropriate ways to express affection. Remember, building a strong bond with your dog takes time and effort, but the rewards of a well-behaved and happy pet are priceless.