The Yorkie is a popular breed of dog, known for its friendly temperament and love of people. They’re cute, cuddly, and fluffy ‒everything you could dream of in a companion animal.
They’re also one of the few breeds that curl up into a ball when they’re sleeping and like licking their owners. Though this is normal, it can be due to behavioral or medical reasons.
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Why Does A Yorkie Lick? Behavioral Reasons
There are many behavioral reasons why your Yorkie Licks you so much. Let’s look at the most common:
Attention and Affection
Yorkies are highly intelligent, which is why they learn tricks at a young age. Due to this, they will often lick you to get attention or get something they want from you.
Yorkies are also very affectionate and love to cuddle with their owners. They enjoy it when you hold and give them your undivided attention.
React To Stress
Yorkies are often known for being sensitive. They’re often emotional when something makes them feel uncomfortable ‒ especially in the presence of their owners.
Their young age, small size or even the fact that they’re pack animals make them want to be in front or at the center of everything around them. For instance, your Yorkie might react when they see strangers, not family members entering the house.
Your Yorkie may want to come over to you and lick your face just to see how you taste, or maybe they want to take a nap on your lap while you’re watching TV.
Even if you’ve told them not to play with your shoes or other items in the house, their curiosity can still attract them and result in a few licks.
Although many people think that licking is always a sign of affection, playfulness also triggers this habit. As such, your Yorkie might be licking you, thinking that they are playing with you.
If this is the case, we recommend that you find some other activities that will keep your pup engaged and busy instead of focusing on you all the time.
Depression or Fear
Many dogs lick their owners when they feel depressed or scared. Usually, this happens to calm them as it’s instinct how a dog comforts its owner during stressful times.
Although dogs don’t like to show they’re angry, licking you can signify that your Yorkie negatively feels towards you. If the behavior has been going on for a long time and keeps increasing, there might be something wrong with your dog.
If you suspect your Yorkie is licking due to being upset, contact your vet to understand the situation if they’re licking a lot and appear angered.
If your Yorkie’s diet has changed or they’re not eating enough, they might be licking you to signal he is hungry. Most Yorkies are food motivated, and any or all of them can develop food obsession or what dog experts call food fixation.
Why Does A Yorkie Lick? Medical Reasons
Licking may also be a sign your Yorkie needs medical attention. Here are some common medical reasons why your Yorkie licks your so much:
When a Yorkie or any other breed is itchy or scratching itself, it will most likely lick you to relieve the itch. It could be an allergic reaction to something like pollen, dust, grass, chocolate and more.
The licking can be excessive and might worsen when they’re around you, hence your dog’s tendency to lick you so much. Talk to your vet if the licking continues or your Yorkie shows signs of allergies.
Another medical reason why your Yorkie may be licking you excessively could be because they are in pain. Underlying pain may result from injuries such as broken leg or bone, or due to diseases such as arthritis.
Licking might result from your dog’s nervous system responding to the pain and signaling that it needs medical attention.
Your puppy may lick you due to an infection that may be affecting its gums. The infection might be related to bacteria, yeast or fungal infection.
One of the most common infections that dogs suffer from is oral candidiasis.
Oral candidiasis is an infection that begins in the mouth and goes down into the skin and hair roots. The fungus which causes this type of infection can be contracted from other dogs or cats, and there are very few that show signs.
When there are intestinal problems with your Yorkie, they might lick you in an attempt to relieve discomfort. This may be for any reason, such as diarrhea, constipation or stomach upset.
The skin of Yorkies is quite fragile and can easily break. Usually, this results from any kind of injury, even minor scrapes.
When this happens, your dog will lick you so you can help it relieve its pain.
How to Stop Yorkie Licking
Although licking doesn’t affect the quality of your Yorkie’s life, excessive licking needs attention and intervention. Therefore, if your dog licks you excessively, consider:
● Make an Appointment with Your Vet: Take your Yorkie to your veterinarian if it licks you excessively because it might be suffering from a skin condition, dental problem or another health issue that requires treatment.
● Change Their Food: If you have tried other solutions with no success, consider changing his food to one with no flavor or smell added. Though all Yorkies are aggressive eaters by nature, some are more selective of their meals rather than gulping down everything they see on their plate. It’s also essential to try and refrain from feeding them foods with higher sodium content.
● Consider Training: This will help your Yorkie learn how to behave and establish good habits in the future. Also, don’t forget to establish rules and guidelines with your Yorkie like: no licks in public places, no licking in the house when you’re not around and only lick when getting attention.
Before you jump to conclusions, you should note the age and gender of the dog. Male dogs tend to lick more than females, and puppies will naturally lick more frequently than adults.
All dogs lick!
Whether your Yorkie licks you, it’s often a natural behavior that leads to bonding and affection. While the affectionate instinct may be good for the well-being of your Yorkie, it can lead to problems if excessive licking causes discomfort.
You should first be aware that your Yorkie licks for several different reasons. If you spot the root cause of licking, you can easily overcome the problem. However, if you can’t pinpoint the reason for excessive licking, consult your vet or your dog’s trainer.