Dog: Lip Licking


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For those who see a canine licking his lips, you may assume he’s merely consuming or drooling over one thing. However what if there is no such thing as a meals round? What does lip licking imply then?

Lip licking is a sort of canine communication. A canine who licks his lips is utilizing physique language to let you understand how he is feeling.

What Is Lip Licking in Canine?

Lip licking is simply what it appears like: a canine licking his lips. For those who discover a canine is licking his lips when there is no meals concerned, he is most likely attempting to ship a message.

What It Means When Canine Lick Their Lips

Canine coach and behaviorist Turid Rugaas coined the phrase “calming indicators” to confer with lip licking and related canine behaviors. Lip licking can also be also known as an appeasement gesture. Canine exhibit sure behaviors and actions once they really feel burdened or uncomfortable. It is often as a result of there’s something happening round them that they understand as a risk. Canine who’re licking their lips are often sending the message that they’re apprehensive.

Canine lick their lips to appease and soothe an individual or animal they see as a risk as a way to push back aggression. An instance of this may be seen in canines who’re scolded when their homeowners return house to seek out the canine has had an accident in the home. A canine may not join the scolding to relieving himself indoors. As an alternative, he sees his proprietor as a risk. The proprietor could also be yelling and looming over him. The canine might supply an appeasement gesture by licking his lips and averting his gaze. That is the canine’s method of claiming that he is not a risk to the particular person behaving in an aggressive method.

Generally canines exhibit appeasement gestures like lip licking and yawning when they’re pissed off or confused. Many homeowners discover this throughout coaching classes when their canines are having bother understanding what’s being taught. For those who discover lip licking, yawning, scratching, or ground-sniffing whereas coaching your canine, it is perhaps time to cease the coaching session. A canine can’t study new issues when burdened. To finish on a constructive word, ask your canine to do one thing easy he already is aware of, like sit. Reward with a deal with and reward, then finish the session. Strive enjoying along with your canine for a short time to bond and assist your canine calm down.

One other essential potential cause for extreme lip licking in canines is a health-related situation. A canine may lick his lips on account of nausea, dental illness, or mouth ache. Search for different indicators of sickness and maintain a detailed eye in your canine. When doubtful, contact your vet.

What to Do if Your Dog Is Licking His Lips

Whereas lip licking is often thought of a submissive gesture meant to stop aggression from escalating, it’s nonetheless an indication {that a} canine is burdened and uncomfortable with a state of affairs. This appeasement gesture may very well be the canine’s first try and take away the risk, prefer to cease his proprietor from yelling at him or to get one other canine to cease barking at him. Nevertheless, this doesn’t suggest that the canine will not turn out to be defensive if the perceived threatening state of affairs continues. A defensive canine might resort to aggressive conduct if appeasement gestures are unsuccessful.

For those who see a canine licking his lips, again off and permit him some area to get extra snug. Attempt to decide the supply of the canine’s concern and take away it, if potential. This could prevent from a potential chew from a canine who feels the necessity to defend himself.

In case your canine is lip-licking on the vet or one other place that makes him nervous, attempt to redirect him in a constructive method. You’ll be able to ask him to do a trick after which reward him for complying. Keep away from comforting your canine when he’s uneasy as this solely reinforces his worry or anxiousness.

In case your canine is lip-licking throughout a coaching session, it is most likely greatest to discover a option to shortly finish on a constructive word (ask your canine to do one thing he is aware of and wrap up the session). Subsequent time, break down the motion or conduct into smaller segments so it is simpler in your canine to study. That is generally known as shaping behaviors.

For those who typically discover your canine exhibiting lip-licking conduct when there is no such thing as a clear risk and no meals round, chances are you’ll need to examine additional. Maybe there’s something in your canine’s surroundings that’s making him uneasy. Do not forget that there might even be a well being drawback, akin to nausea or oral discomfort. When doubtful, take your canine to the vet for a check-up.


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