A lick on the hand becomes a whole arm lick, which turns into a full face of slobber. Hate it or love it – dogs, especially dachshunds love to lick.
This is natural and common behaviour amongst most dogs. There are a number of reasons as to why dogs lick their pack members and themselves.
What are the reasons?
Dogs love salt – sometimes we just simply taste good!
If your dachshund is licking you directly on your skin, such as your hand or arm, it could be because they like the salty taste of skin.
If your dachshund is licking you, it is most likely to show you affection. If your dog is licking for affection, pleasurable endorphins are released that calm and comfort them.
It is also a sign of submission, which shows that they are submitting to you as their boss.
If your dog has a cut or a wound, they will repeatedly lick it to soothe it.
Dog saliva is full of enzymes that kill bacteria, so licking a wound can help get rid of dead tissue, as well as clean it from dirt.
Just like cats like to lick themselves to keep clean, dogs also like to do it.
If you catch your dachshund licking themselves from time to time, they are most likely grooming themselves.
Dogs communicate with each other by licking each other. They can be sending another dog all sorts of messages through licking, such as ‘I submit to you’ or ‘let’s be friends’.
Dogs also try and communicate with humans through licking but we usually aren’t very good at picking up on the message.
If you notice your dachshund excessively licking your hand, check that everything is alright. Perhaps they need their water bowl refilled.
Sometimes, your dachshund thinks you actually like them licking you.
If your dog enjoys licking and you have never encouraged them to stop, they assume you like it and will keep doing it to please you.
When licking becomes a problem
As mentioned above, licking is a normal behavioral trait of a dog. But sometimes, you may notice your dachshund licking too much.
This is usually due to a medical or behavioral issue that needs to be addressed straight away.
Pain and infections
If you notice your dachshund licking their joints, it could be because they feel pain from a medical condition such as arthritis.
When they are experiencing an infection of some sort, fungal and bacterial infections, as well as parasites can lead to itchiness which in turns makes your dog lick themselves.
If they lick too much, this can also cause a wound or cut to open up and become infected.
Lots of dogs can develop allergies at any time of their lives and this can cause itching.
When a dog is feeling itchy, they will either nibble at their fur or skin, or lick themselves – a lot.
This also includes fleas and ticks, so make sure you do a thorough check of their body if they are exhibiting these signs.
It may sound strange, but if you notice your dachshund licking odd surfaces a lot, you should get them checked out by their vet as it could be linked to an underlying gastrointestinal issue.
Anxiety and boredom
If you notice your dachshund excessively licking themselves or you, when they are healthy, it could be a sign of anxiety or boredom.
You should ensure your dog is getting regular walks every day, as well as play time and stimulation.
If a dog is left alone for too long regularly it can develop into anxiety as well. If the anxiety is very bad, your vet can diagnose your furry friend various medications.
Irritated anal glands
All dogs tend to lick their nether regions, but if you notice your pooch licking their anal area a lot, it could mean their anal glands need to be emptied.
Check with your vet and never attempt to do it yourself.
Why does my dachshund like licking me on the mouth?
Even though most dogs like to lick their owners on their mouths, dachshunds in particular enjoy doing this.
In the beginning, dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs and they had a very strong bond towards ‘the pack’.
Hundreds of years ago, when a dachshund was a puppy, he would greet the adult dachshunds returning from hunting by licking the adult’s mouth.
This was in hope that the adult would regurgitate whatever food they had been feeding on and share some with the pup.
This way, the pup would start feeding from the ‘top dog’ or leader of the pack.
These days, a dachshund will most likely lick their owners mouth, to show that they see them as the leader. It is a sign of respect!
How to stop your dachshund from excessive licking
While most people don’t mind the odd dog lick here or there, some people really don’t like it.
Perhaps you have a baby and you want your dachshund to stop licking their face or perhaps it is just not behaviour you want your dachshund to have.
If the excessive licking is from affection, you need to put a stop to it, otherwise it may become worse.
The most effective way of teaching your dachshund not to lick is through a combination of verbal and body language.
When you see him licking excessively, give him a stern look and a short command – ‘no!’ or ‘no lick!’.
In combination with this, turn your body away and don’t look at him anymore.
Continue doing this every time your dachshund excessively licks you and be patient. This behaviour takes time and patience before he stops doing it completely.
If the excessive licking is from stress or anxiety, you first need to find out where the anxiety is coming from.
Sometimes a change of environment or boredom can trigger anxiety in a dog.
Once you have found the root problem, comfort your dog and try and eliminate the stress for them. You can then start teaching your dog not to lick.
Use the exact same method as above.
This method can only be used when you have understood the underlying reason for their anxious licking.
Never punish a stressed or anxious dog for excessive licking as this can just cause them to lick even more.
If the problem is more centered around your dachshund licking pieces of furniture or clothes, you need to remove the objects out of the way when your dog starts licking them.
By removing the object straight away, you are letting them know that you are the boss and that that is not acceptable behavior.
Sometimes, as mentioned above, your dachshund could be licking you because they like the taste of salt in your skin.
A good way to eliminate that issue is by putting a little bit of lemon juice on your hands and arms. Your dachshund will go to lick you and be turned off by the sour taste.
Should you let your dachshund lick your baby?
The short answer is no. While it is nice to see a bond forming between your baby and your fur-baby, it shouldn’t involve your dog’s tongue.
A baby’s immune system is still developing and is not as strong as an adult.
If your dog is slobbering all over your baby’s face, there is a chance they can become sick from the oral bacteria present in the dog’s mouth.
The oral bacteria is present because dog’s use their tongues as a form of toilet paper for their behinds.
Another reason your dachshund shouldn’t kiss your baby is because of their diet.
They may have a raw meat diet and could pass on bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella or even worms to the baby. Another key concern is safety.
While most dogs lick their owners and other family members faces because they are showing affection, some dogs may lick a baby or child’s face to show dominance and that is not behavior to be encouraged.
Perhaps your baby doesn’t actually like being licked but can’t do much about it because they are too young.
Or worse – perhaps they also enjoy being licked and their squeals and giggles of delight will only encourage a dog to lick even more!
Remember, it is important to always look into the underlying causes of your dachshund’s excessive licking and it is your job as their owner to make sure they always feel safe, secure and happy.
If you want them to stop licking, you need to put in the time, effort and patience to make sure you train them properly.
Your dachshund will learn in time and licking will become a problem of the past. Do not feel bad about reprimanding or punishing your dog’s licking behavior.
It is tough love and you are doing it to help them in the long run. Disciplining has nothing to do with how much you love your dog.