Four Ways to Stop Excessive Pug Licking


Dogs are known for affectionate licking, but pugs sometimes go on a licking frenzy that can drive you crazy. They lick everything: your face, arms, feet, furniture and floors. Pugs lick for a variety of reasons, and once you know why you can keep the licking to a happy minimum.

Why do pugs lick?

When any breed of dog licks we commonly think it's a sign of affection. Sometimes it is. However, if a dog takes to licking things like couches, walls or floors it could be for another reason. Dogs rarely lick themselves to clean the way cats do. If a dog is licking itself in a particular area it could be a sign of a skin irritation. Since your dog can't tell you what their licking means, it's up to you to keep an eye out for unusual licking. On the other hand, if your dog tends to lick without stopping, it could be a sign of bad manners or under-stimulation.

Stopping the Licking

Pay attention to your pug's demeanor

Before you begin training your pug to stop licking, find out whether it's related to a health issue with a visit to your vet. Excessive licking can be related to anxiety, nervousness or a need for a bathroom break. Although your dog can't tell you what they need outright, you can pay attention to how they look at you when they lick or any other body language. Learn to read your dog's subtle expressions before you discourage licking, as this could lead to mixed signals in future instances. By paying attention to your pug's licking you can end the problem by figuring out what he needs.

Spend time with your pug

Sometimes keeping a constant eye on your pug is impossible. Work and other duties may require you to leave your pug alone for long periods, and this could make him nervous. Go home to your pug during the day or leave him with a neighbor or friend who can keep him calm. Although exercising your pug must be kept at a minimum because of other possible health problems, find a way to let your pug exercise until they are tired. This will ease their anxiety and reduce excessive licking, as they won't feel the need to lick to stay calm.

Teach him a no-lick command

Training your pug not to lick is quite easy when you have a command they can follow to stop the licks. There are a few methods for stopping licking behavior, so find one that you think would work best for your pug. You can withdraw outward affection towards your pug if the licking continues for too long and combine it with a verbal command such as "No lick!" to encourage good behavior. Reward treats can also be given when your pug behaves correctly. Once the "no lick" command is learned, you can use it to stop your pug from licking floors, furniture and other items.

Talk to your vet

If you've been trying to stop your pug from licking and nothing is working, then it's time to visit your veterinarian. Express your concerns and worries about your pug's excessive licking. Some licking cases require medication to reduce the compulsive licking. If your vet believes there are other possible licking causes, they can recommend other helpful tips. Skin irritations, diet complications and other concerns can be addressed by your vet as well. However, if your pug is stubborn and doesn't want to stop licking, seek the professional advice of a trainer to find alternative ways to stop the lick.

Your pug loves you and wants to show it to you by licking. Pay attention to your pug's licking to determine if he's trying to tell you something or if he's just an overbearing pet. Once you know what your dog's licks mean you'll be able to foster a better understanding of its needs.

Photo Credit: efleming


kimmyt38 (over 4 years ago)

I agree....when my pug starts her excessive licking all it takes is some attention from me and she stops immediately.

KatB (over 5 years ago)

I just wanted to add something that is common with dog breeds that have the pushed in faces. Continual licking can cause a dogs nose to really dry out. It can become chapped. And it can turn white around the edges. You can use Vitamin E Gel caps to clear this up. It is good for the dog and it's coat and skin. Cut the tip of the gel cap open. And when wiped on the nose keeps it soft, black and moist. They usually will try to lick it off, but they don't get all of it.

jl2879 (over 4 years ago)

My 6.5 year old female pug has done this off and on all of her life. My other two pugs have never done it. She however, has suffered from allergies and until being put on steroids recently, would scratch 24/7. I have tried every medication and the steroids do have side effects, like excessive thirst, but the licking has definitely increased since she started them. This has also kind of coincided with my new addition of a male pug, so it could be attention related I guess. I just thought it was a pug thing. Doesn't bother me, but really irritates others

Elaine (over 4 years ago)

My pug doesn't lick until I pick her up for a cuddle or if she's excited and she's kicking me, I only have her 3 days so I hope that's why she's that normal?

Fish and pug keeper (almost 5 years ago)

Thank u so much for all your help! I have successfully stopped the licking by watching him a lot. I thought he had to go pee so I did that but I did not work. So I watched him and he's fine he jut wants attention

MamaPug2015 (over 3 years ago)

My pug Sadie licks her paws especially when she lays down and gets relaxed, she's done it the whole 8 yrs we've had her and yes her little nose gets terribly dry and cracked and usually in about two/three days with putting just regular Vaseline on it but not on her nose holes it clears right up.