It is a well-observed and undeniable fact that dogs love to lick furniture like couches, sofas, cushions, etc. We are sure that if you have a dog, you will face the same problem of your dog licking furniture, especially couches.
There can be many reasons your dog is licking the couch and other furniture items so often. To know this, you need to be comfortable with your furry friend a little and find the reason behind it.
This article here will help you know the most probable reasons for the dog licking the couches all the time and possible solutions you can have for the same. So read the article to know why the dog is licking the couches and cushions and how you can probably solve this problem.
Bonus Read: Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow? ( 6 Ways To Stop It!)
Why Does My Dog Lick The Couch All The Time? What Are The Reasons?
To stop your dog from licking the couches or biting other furniture items all around your home, you need first to know the reasons for your dog licking the couches. If you know the probable reason behind your dog’s activity of licking the couch, then you can figure out the possible solution to it. So here, look at the possible reasons for your dog licking the couch.
1. Boredom can be the reason
Dogs mostly use their mouth and nose to connect with the world around them. Along with connecting with the world, they taste things around hand in hand.
A dog facing boredom or anxiety will look around for stimulation to remove its boredom. Unfortunately, this boredom and sudden stimulus could be why your dog licks and eats the couch, pillows, and sofas.
Not only this, but your dog can also lick your personal belongings and other furniture items, so you need to be careful.
If you find that your dog is chewing things more often and is behaving boisterously, you can take your dog outside for a walk.
Taking your dog outside for a walk will help remove excess energy from its system, which was causing it to lick things and furniture unnecessarily.
Also, to remove the stimulation form due to excess energy, you can give your dog some chewable toys or fun toys to play with. These games will keep your dog entertained and engaged.
Chewable toys can be the best thing to relieve their frustration as they will not cause harm to your dog, and your dog will also not chew on any furniture items and destroy your home.
2. Your dog could have a vitamin deficiency
Excessive licking may also mean that your dog is experiencing a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in their body.
If they get this vitamin from anything, the dog prefers to take it. This habit of excessive licking on the couch by the dog indicates that the dog may have a mineral or vitamin deficiency in their body. The dog will try to get these minerals from anywhere, even if it means licking the couches or furniture in your house.
Bonus Read: Why Does My Dog Lick The Blanket? [What To Do]
3. The dog may enjoy its flavor
The simplest reason for your dog licking the couches always could be the taste. Many people eat while sitting on the couch, which causes crumbled things or drops of sauce to spill on the sofa.
The dog may lick these sauces, and they like their taste. So it can be the main reason your dog continuously licks the sofa.
The dogs like to clean off such small yet tasty things from the couch, so they may be licking it all the time. Therefore, to prevent your dog from licking the sofas all the time, you should be sure that there is no debris or any such substance left on your couch that may attract your dog.
Also, clean the couch properly whenever you get up from it, as it will help prevent your dog from licking the sofa. Finally, train your dog that the food on the couch is not for them to eat.
Another reason for licking a couch due to taste and smell is the smell of your body. Many dogs like to smell the crotch of some people. Depending upon how long you have sat on the couch, it may attract your dog to lick it. The advice is always to clean the sofa whenever you get up from it and don’t sit on the couch or sofa too much.
Bonus Read: Why Is My Dog Licking The Air
4. This can also be a bad habit of your dog
Sometimes there can be no other reason than your dog’s bad habit of doing certain things. For example, your dog may not have any anxiety issues but licked the couch once and enjoyed the sensation, so your dog is doing that again and again.
Training your dog not to lick the couch will not be fruitful as there will be no other alternative for your dog to lick it. So instead, you can give your dog something else to lick on and remove its frustration.
Also, you can try to find the reason that can be the main cause of your dog’s worrying or stress so that it doesn’t lick the couch anymore.
5. Excessive licking can be a clue to your dog’s health issues
Sometimes, if you notice your dog behaving differently than normal or something disturbing, it can be a sign that it is having some trouble. For example, the change in the physical behavior of a dog is usually a sign that something is wrong with him.
Dogs can’t communicate with you verbally, so their sudden behavior change is a sign of some disturbance or something serious with your dog.
They can’t verbally tell us whether they are having pain, stress, or any other problem, so they explain this through their physical behavior.
If you notice your dog behaving weirdly and starting to do some physical behavior that it has never done before, it is best to contact the vet.
First, contact the vet and ask for medical advice about your dog’s actions. For example, the sudden licking and nibbling of the couch can signify serious health issues with your dog, as the dog doesn’t do such behavior unnecessarily.
Excessive licking and nibbling of the couch by your dog can be a sign of something serious like your dog’s having tooth pain, disease in the pituitary gland, behavioral issues, anxiety issues from the environment, etc. The behaviors related to anxieties in your dog’s life often include nibbling, chewing, hitting, etc.
Your dog’s behavior of licking and nibbling couches and sofas is considered compulsive behavior. These behaviors are common for your dog, but they can still cause a lot of trouble for you and your dog’s daily life. Proper training should be provided to the dog to come out of such behavior.
Bonus Read: 7 Reason Why My Dog Acts Like He Sees Something
6. The dog’s diet can also be the reason
If you can’t find a reason why the dog is licking the couch continuously, then check your dog’s diet, as one of the reasons could be your dog’s diet. Like your dog, licking the leftover food on the couch can be a reason for the dog licking the couch continuously.
Another instance of your dog licking the furniture is that the dog has a deficiency disease. Lacking certain minerals or vitamins in your dog’s diet will enable your dog to search for the same wherever possible. And to cure his digestive issues like an upset stomach, your dog may try to lick the sofa and other such things.
7. Your dog may like the smell of the couch
Dogs’ keen senses make them lick the couch, especially their sense of smell, as they have a powerful sense of smell.
An interesting fact is that dogs’ breathing systems differ from humans. Humans first inhale and exhale the air, but dogs can inhale and exhale the air simultaneously. Isn’t it interesting?
Dogs often get attracted to smells, which involves your dog licking the couch. For example, your dog may like the smell of the couch or the person last seated on it, so the dog licks the couch.
There is something with smell and taste in dogs as well as humans. If we take it in the case of humans, we also say how good it smells, so I wish to taste it, and the same is true with dogs. Once the dog likes the smell of the couch, it wants to taste it, so licking the couch becomes common for the dog in this case.
8. Your dog may like the texture of the couch
Your dog may be a fan of the texture of the couch. Even more, if you have a soft fur blanket to cover it. But, of course, all this starts with the dog’s sense of touch, which plays an important role in our lives.
Dogs develop the sense of touch in puppyhood, and the most sensitive to touch part of your dog’s body is its whiskers. And now you may get the answer to why dogs lick the couch so much.
Your dog’s nuzzle may be in contact with the sofa, and a dog liking the texture can lick it. This licking of your dog at this time may indicate your dog’s liking the texture and being comfortable with the couch.
9. You may have a curious puppy
If you notice that your dog is licking the couch or searching for something, it may be that your dog has seen something and is now curious to find out what it is in real life by licking over the area.
The keen interest of your fur baby attracts your dog and sparks their interest in different things, specifically in their sense of smell and taste. Because of these senses, dogs are always keen on searching for things around them.
The dog’s licking or sense of taste signifies that you have a keen and curious dog who loves to lick things around. This licking by the dog can happen more if you have a new couch or if there is something to lick or taste on the couch.
10. Your dog may also be suffering from separation anxiety
If the couch licking behavior of your dog happens when you are not around, then maybe your dog is experiencing separation anxiety that makes him lick the couch with your smell.
If you are the one who spends a lot of time with your dog, in your absence, your dog starts missing you and behaves weirdly. When you leave the house, your dog will likely lick your pillow for a couch with your scent, giving him the impression that you are nearby.
In such cases, the dog will not lick the couch when you are near it, as the dog will not face separation anxiety anymore.
Bonus Read: Why Does My Dog Sleep On My Head?
Does My Dog Have OCD? How Do I Find It?
If you are unable to distract your dog from licking the couch, this could be a sign that your dog has OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. On the other hand, if your dog licks the couch extensively or aggressively in a routine manner, it can be a sign of your dog having obsessive-compulsive disorder.
To get a clear image of OCD, you can imagine a person who has the habit of biting their nails excessively, even if there is a slight bit of anxiety in life.
Your dog’s vet will check your dog and then confirm with you the extent to which the problem exists in your dog. The vet will advise some distraction techniques if he finds it suitable for your dog to be treated by distraction.
In severe cases, the vet will advise your dog to have a corticosteroid shot. Whatever the case, your love and support can be the best to help your dog get treatment and be well again.
Bonus Read: Dog Keeps Stretching Neck And Looking Up? 12 Reasons You Should Know
How To Stop The Dog From Licking The Couch or Sofa? What Are The Possible Solutions?
While there is a belief that showing aggression or punishing the dog can make it behave, research shows it is completely wrong. Instead of making you superior or training your dog, the dog will get more scared.
Positive reinforcement is far better than punishing or being aggressive towards your dog to train your dog. Because aggressive behavior toward them attracts negative energies, the dog will remain unhappy and will not want to perform the suggested actions. So be careful while training your dog. For example, here are some ways in which you can stop the dog from licking the couch continuously:
1. Positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement entails rewarding your dog for good behavior rather than punishing the dog for its bad behavior. For example, you should give your dog some treats whenever they behave well, but if they don’t, you should not give them any.
Giving treats to your dog will encourage him to behave in a good way, as performing good behavior rewards him and makes him get more treats.
If you give your dog treats when he doesn’t lick the sofa and don’t give him any treats if he does, the dog will know that licking the sofa doesn’t get him treats, so he will not do that again.
Positive reinforcement is helpful in licking the couch and correcting many other situations like barking, picking, stealing food, going to the toilet outside the house, etc.
Over time, the rewarded behavior will become a dog’s habit, and the unrecognized behavior will not be performed by them again.
2. Make your dog exercise
Sometimes the simplest things work wonders. The same is true in this case. When your dog has excess energy and there will be excess mental stimulation, you can take your dog out for exercise.
To get rid of excess energy, if your dog is licking the sofa, taking the dog outside for exercise and energy can help the dog get rid of the excess energy.
3. Bitter-tasting sprays will also work
Another method dog owners prefer is when their dog is licking the microfiber couch or another piece of furniture is spraying the bitter liquid on it. However, spraying the bitter liquid or spraying the scent that dogs hate will surely keep the dog away from the couch and licking it.
You can use something like bitter lemon spray the dog hates the most. This spray is worth trying; if you spray it on the couch, it will keep the dog away.
4. Visit the dog’s vet
Pay a visit to the veterinarian to find out why your dog is licking the couch continuously. There can be other underlying health conditions responsible for this. So, rather than what you are thinking of, a visit to the vet and discussing the changed behavior you notice will clear your doubts.
Your dog’s vet will give your dog proper treatment to relieve any pain due to an upset stomach if that’s what it’s facing. Or, the vet will introduce drug therapy to manage the compulsive disorder in your dog.
5. Keep the couch clean
Another way to stop the dog from licking the couch is by keeping it clean. Whenever you get up from the couch after eating or drinking anything, clean the sofa properly so that no remnant of food is left.
Not only this, but when you sit on the sofa for a long time, you should clean it immediately when you get up. Otherwise, the smell of your couch may attract the dog to lick it. Moreover, you could deodorize also to make the sofa repulsive for your pet, as the dog finds the smell of deodorant aversive to licking.
It would be best to position the sofa correctly so it does not cause problems while cleaning it.
6. Manage and remove the stressful conditions in your dog’s life
Whenever the dog gets stressed, it relieves itself by licking the couch or doing other weird behavior. Therefore, you should check the environment around your dog and remove anything that causes stress to him.
After removing any stressful conditions around your dog responsible for its weird behavior, you can redirect your dog’s focus towards toys or other activities that the dog enjoys.
7. Behavior modification training
Sometimes, if the dog licks the couch so much, it can be due to their bad behavior. You can use behavior modification training for your dog to change this behavior of licking excessively on your couch.
There are many other ways possible to train your dog not to lick the couch. Positive reinforcement is also one of them, but you can give your dog any toy to lick and chew. That will distract your dog.
Training your dog can be very tricky. You might need help from a professional pet trainer, or you can also use videos on the internet to learn from them. But we still prefer taking help from a professional trainer as there is no replacement for this.
To help you modify your dog’s behavior: there can be many tools in the toolbox of a professional dog trainer. Those will help you in improving your dog’s habit of unnecessarily licking the couch all the time.
Bonus Read: Maltese Dog Training Tips
Teach Basic Obedience Tricks To Your Dog
Teaching your dog some basic obedience tricks helps you in correcting a lot of bad habits in your dog. You have to teach your dog to stay, leave, sit, etc., and your dog will learn how to do so.
You can correct basic behavior using the basic obedience tricks to your dog. Also, these tricks will help you in the future as these are to help your dog to be obedient and curb other unpleasant behavior in dogs.
Usually, puppies have a short attention span, so the experts often advise that with basic obedience training, you should reach your dog when it is 7 to 8 weeks old.
It is better to teach your dog basic obedience techniques early; just like you teach the adult dog, you can teach the puppies also. Here are some basic commands and how you can teach the dog given to you to help you.
If you notice your dog licking the couch, you can say leave it and will notice the dog staying away from the couch and not licking it.
Here is how you should do it and how it works:
- Start the introduction of the trick with a small toy.
- Place a toy in front of your dog and ask the dog to leave it if it grabs it.
- If the dog tries to get it again, say no.
- If the dog stops trying, say no.
- When the dog leaves the toy, you should reward your dog.
Try to do this training more often, first for a short duration of time, and with time, increase the time your dog should leave the toy, which will help you teach the dog.
Teach come and stay command
Teaching your dog come and stay command works hand in hand. For example, teach your dog to come and take it away from the couch. In the same way, you can teach the stay command to your dog. First, start with the come command and then move on with teaching the dog to stay in command.
Here is how you can train your dog to come
- First, stand at a distance from your dog and command the dog to come.
- The dog won’t come on first voice, but if it does, reward your dog.
- Slowly increase the distance between your dog and you, and you can continue further with the training.
After you know your dog is perfect in the come command, you can add the stay command.
- If the dog is nearer to your command, stay with your dog.
- Now move, and if the dog tries to move, say no immediately.
- Give your dog a treat if the dog stays and does not move.
- Slowly you can increase the distance between your dog and you.
You can use these come and stay commands to teach your dog to stay away from the sofa. First, stand away from the couch and say your dog to come, and then at a point far away from the couch, say your dog to stay. This command will help you stop your dog from licking the couch; you can teach your dog to do so and watch some YouTube videos.
Bonus Read: Powerful Dog Commands: List Of Basic To Advance Training Commands
Why Does My Dog Like The Couches So Much That He Licks Them?
Your dog loves the couch because it is usually the most comfortable place in your home for the dog. Not only couches but your dog also gets attracted to other furniture items as good memories can be attached to the same.
If you sit on the couch more often, then it is obvious that your dog may see you on the couch often. When you are out and the dog misses you, it starts licking the couch.
You will be surprised to know that not only dogs but also cats and other pet animals get attracted to the couch as this is the most comfortable place in your home for them too.
Now you know that there can be many reasons for your dog licking the couch too much. For example, it may be due to your dog liking the smell, taste, or texture of it or your dog facing separation anxiety. Besides this, there are many other reasons that this article has already explained to you.
If you don’t think you can figure out why your dog is licking the couch continuously, you can consider going to the veterinarian for help. The vet will devise a perfect treatment for your dog to help him overcome this licking habit.