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Plenty of dogs lick their humans and their toys, but the Bichon Frise is known to be a particularly “licky” breed. Many owners of this adorable toy dog breed have noticed that their pets will regularly lick them, themselves, and random items throughout the house.
But why do Bichons Frises lick so much? What can you do about it?
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Is Licking Your Bichon Frise’s Way of Kissing?
Lots of people, especially on the internet, call a dog’s licks “kisses.” But is licking your Bichon Frise’s way of kissing you? Well, the answer is maybe. Dogs do lick as a sign of affection; it is something they learn from their mothers when they are groomed and shown affection as puppies.
However, dogs may also lick for a range of other reasons. So whilst you might just be getting some slobbery doggy kisses, you might also be experiencing your dog trying to let you know about something!
Is It a Problem If a Bichon Frise Licks You?
Generally speaking, your Bichon Frise licking you is not a cause for concern. The breed is known to lick a lot, and usually, the reasons are not concerning. But make sure to pay attention to how much your dog is licking you.
If your Bichon Frise is licking you excessively or obsessively, it could be a sign of anxiety, pain, or boredom. If they are licking themselves lots as well as you, then you should consider a trip to the vet as this might be a sign of a deeper issue such as skin allergies and health concerns.
Should You Allow Your Bichon Frise to Lick Your Face?
Many dogs, Bichons Frises included, will try to lick their owner’s face. Luckily, dog saliva is not inherently dangerous. That is, of course, unless you have an allergy to dog saliva or dander. If you do have an allergy, letting your Bichon Frise lick your face is not wise.
For those without allergies, letting your dog lick your face should not cause harm. Dog saliva has bacteria in it, but it also has antibacterial qualities and is unlikely to cause an infection. It may cause breakouts, and if your dog has been eating particularly fragrant food it may be unpleasant, but it shouldn’t be harmful.
5 Reasons Your Bichon Frise Could Be Licking You
With that out of the way, let’s look at the most common reasons that might be behind this behavior.
1. Soothing Anxiety
Dogs suffer from anxiety and depression just like humans, and sometimes habitual behaviors like licking can help to soothe this anxiety. Licking releases endorphins for your Bichon Frise and will also make them feel closer to you and is likely to make you give them attention, all of which will help to soothe any anxiety that they are feeling.
As aforementioned, dogs learn at an early age that licking is a form of affection. So if your Bichon Frise is licking you, it may well be an effort to tighten the bond between you, or simply an affectionate greeting!
Scientists have realized that humans have slightly salty skin. When we sweat due to exercise or heat, this is even more true. Sometimes, dogs just lick us because we taste salty and they enjoy it. It’s a little bizarre, but it is nothing to worry about!
Have you ever been licked a lot by your Bichon Frise when you’re watching television or doing something that means you’re unable to give them attention? This is likely them just trying to get you to notice them. With sensitive breeds like the Bichon Frise, this is incredibly likely, as they hate to be left alone and are always after a cuddle or a play.
If your Bichon Frise begins to lick you excessively and it is out of character for them, or perhaps they’ve also shown other changes in their personality – take them to the vet. Sometimes, licking and personality changes like it can be a sign of an illness and it is always best to get your Bichon Frise seen as soon as possible, just to be safe!
3 Things to Do If Your Bichon Frise Is Licking You Too Much
So, what should you do if the licking is getting a bit excessive?
1. Ignore Them
If your Bichon Frise is constantly licking you to get your attention or as a form of begging, just ignore the behavior. They will soon establish that licking them does not get them anywhere and will move on from the action.
2. Vet Check-Up
If your Bichon Frise is licking you too much, it may be worth making that trip to the vet – you can never be too safe when it comes to your furry friend!
3. Provide More Mental Stimulation
Since licking releases endorphins, Bichons Frises sometimes do it when they’re bored. To help prevent this you can try and stop boredom from striking by giving your pet plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment activities around the house.
Is It a Problem If a Bichon Frise Licks Your Things?
Sometimes, it isn’t you that gets licked. Often, your Bichon Frise will lick your things. Generally speaking, this is not a cause for concern, and it can often be trained away if it is something that bothers you. But behaviorally and health-wise, your Bichon Frise licking your belongings is not an emergency or a problem (unless you decide you don’t like it!).
2 Reasons Your Bichon Frise Could Be Licking Your Things
Many of the reasons that your Bichon Frise might lick your things are similar to the reasons that they might lick you. However, there are a couple of additional causes of item licking in Bichons Frises and they are:
1. Separation Anxiety
Bichons Frises are particularly prone to separation anxiety, and your items are likely to smell and taste like you. So your pet may find a jumper, a sock, or even your blanket and lick them for the same reasons that they’d lick you – it calms them down.
Some dogs will suckle and lick things like they would their mother, and this usually happens if they were taken from their mother too young.
3 Things to Do If Your Bichon Frise Is Licking Your Things Too Much
If you are fed up with finding soggy socks and wet patches on your jumpers, try these things to stop your Bichon Frise from licking your things:
1. A Safe Bitter Spray
Dog-safe bitter-tasting sprays can be bought and sprayed on your items to stop your dog from licking them. Your Bichon Frise will taste the spray once and be put off!
2. Move Items Out of Grasp
The easiest way to prevent licking is to move your things to somewhere out of your Bichon Frise’s grasp. That way they can’t lick it at all.
3. Tell Them Off
Gentle negative reinforcement will work so long as you are not harsh on your Bichon Frise. Simply saying “ah ah” when you catch them licking may do wonders to help them learn that it isn’t the desired behavior.
Ultimately, your Bichon Frise’s licking habits are likely not a cause for concern and can easily be dealt with. But if you are worried, take a trip to the vet for a check-up. When training your Bichon Frise not to lick, remember that the breed is exceptionally sensitive, so overuse of negative reinforcement may lead to further issues.