Wild animals that have to communicate with each other find dozens of methods to show their mood and emotions. Dogs live with people for more than 10 thousand years, for such a long period, four-legged animals have learned to talk with the owners and show their experiences. It is generally accepted that a dog licks his hands, showing devotion and trust, but something else may be hidden behind this gesture.
Psychology and body language of dogs
Animals for centuries have adapted to survive next to humans. It so happened that the needs of the "crown of evolution" do not spare anyone. Dogs had to become useful, flexible and obedient otherwise, they would not find a place in the developing world.
Each gesture, posture and act of a four-legged person has a certain meaning. Some poses indicate a positive disposition; others express fear or anxiety. In relations between dogs, licking plays a communicative and wider role.
Newborn puppies lack a sense of peace. They feel hunger and cold, breathe (since the process is an unconditioned reflex) and squeak to attract the attention of the mother. All that they can feel from the outside is the taste and the dull smell of mother’s milk, the warmth and licking of their mother’s tongue.
Mom dog carefully licks each puppy immediately after birth. Stroking stimulation helps babies open their lungs and take a first breath. In addition, the dog lick amniotic fluid from babies. After, the puppies warm up and eat. Next is another licking ritual that stimulates the gastrointestinal tract.
It is interesting! The dog licks the crotch of each puppy until he goes to the toilet. This procedure contains several functions at once: stimulation of the intestines and sphincters, preservation of purity, elimination of odors that can attract predators.
Puppies standing on their paws actively communicate with each other, lick the faces of their brothers and sisters, while continuing to suck their mother. Toddlers constantly lick new objects and try food. By the age of three months, the dog moves to a new home, is deprived of the usual company and mother's care. However, the skills instilled in the puppy from the first days do not go away. Tailed instinctively seeks heat, a source of nutrition, protection, and someone with whom to fool around.
Mature dogs often lick their hands and face. So the puppy strive get closer to the guardian and feel protected. When raising some dog breeds, experts recommend encouraging a licking of the face, as this brings the owner and the pet closer.
Adult dogs may act unexpectedly. In addition to the usual licking of the hands, the pet can "become addicted" to the hair, legs, armpits or elbows of the owner. The reason is the smell of sweat (or another extraneous odor) that the dog is trying to wash off or replace with its own. Four-legged animals are characterized by a sharp reaction to the smells of personal hygiene products. Spirits, according to dogs, are too dangerous (do not forget that the smell of tetrapods is several times sharper than yours), because they are "heard a mile away."
A special portion of saliva and caresses is intended for children. Even serious dog breeds, most often, distinguish adults from children, and for the latter they have tender feelings. The four-legged one does not try to adopt the two-legged baby, but instinctively does what the parent has to do - wash, regret, calm, etc.
Important! Dogs tend to lick adults and children, so take care of the prevention of worms in advance. By the way, you can also infect your ward with parasites, so you should not forget about your health.
Licking, how the method calms down
Dogs, like all living things, are peculiar experiences and stress. Nature took care of the four-legged, endowing them with the ability to complacency. The whole body of dogs (even hairless) is covered with hair follicles, they, in turn, are connected to nerve endings.
When a dog is nervous, it stimulates the skin to calm down. Pets are urged to be petted. If there is no owner nearby, the dog strokes himself on the end of the sofa or on the table top (if growth allows). Stray animals itch on bushes and benches. Self-massage stimulates many nerve endings, the dog feels pleasant tickling, the body responds with the release of endorphins, and they, in turn, reduce stress.
Licking is also a way of self-massagebut there is a nuance. If the dog is constantly stressed, she licks her front paws. A protracted situation leads to an obsession, that is, the pet licks the same place, no longer understanding why. This disorder ends with a licked granuloma - a wound of various depths, up to the "opening" of the bone.
An obsessive desire to lick the owner and do it regularly means that, intuitively, the dog suspects problems. You may not get enough sleep or be sick, worry about something, or suffer from a psychosomatic disorder. In case of violation of the kidneys or liver, a person's sweat changes the smell, which can also be the cause of the compulsive state of the pet.
How to wean a dog to lick people
The owner of the dog does not always like slobbering caresses and this is logical. If you are going to work or visiting, you don’t really want to dirty your outfit with saliva or leave your house in wool. The owner's task is to teach the dog to restrain his impulses and it does not matter whether they relate to licking or trying to jump into his arms.
A four-legged from early childhood should receive not (!) Ambiguous signals about your reaction to certain actions. If you do not want an adult dog to slobber your hair, you do not need to be touched by this while the pet is in the children's return. Never let a ward lick someone else's hands. Strangers should not feed your pet!
Guard dogs, traditionally, are not even allowed to pet. From the point of view of socialization, this is too much. The four-legged one must understand that not all people pose a threat. However, the right to order, punish and feed the caudate remains only with the owner.
If you decide to shelter an adult dog and suddenly find a bad habit, you need to work on the pet’s behavior gradually. To reduce stress in the early days, any unwanted actions are ignored. That is, you should not scold the dog, but you do not need to encourage it (even a smile). After the initial adaptation, the new pet is introduced to the toys, which will be the first educational tool. With the help of your favorite toy, you can provoke the dog to the actions you need or knock him down for their termination. Any tweeter allows you to sharply "switch" the attention of the ward.
After the period of adaptation (10-14 days), the dog should be shown what the punishment for misconduct looks like, namely, the order will go to the place, without praise and emotions. In case of ignoring, the command is brought to execution, that is, you take the dog by the collar, take him to the sunbed and lay it down.
Important! Before punishing a dog, try to make sure that it is not stressed and does not try to "treat you". In the first case, you will only aggravate the situation; in the second, you will roughly react to an attempt to take care.