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Rhodesian ridgebacks are a breed of dog known for their intelligence and loyalty. They are also known for their tendency to lick people and objects excessively.
So, you may be wondering: “Why do Rhodesian Ridgebacks lick so much?”
While the reasons for this behavior have not been definitively determined, several theories attempt to explain it.
Some believe that the Ridgeback’s excessive licking is a sign of affection. In contrast, others believe that it may be related to dominance or anxiety issues.
Still, others believe that Ridgebacks lick because they enjoy the taste of certain substances on human skin or inanimate objects. Regardless of the reason, Ridgeback owners should be aware of this behavior and take steps to address it if necessary.
So, why do Rhodesian Ridgebacks lick so much?
There are many reasons why your Rhodesian Ridgeback likes to lick so much. Here are some reasons:
Kisses are a sign of affection from your Rhodesian Ridgeback
Many Rhodesian Ridgeback owners believe that excessive licking is a sign of affection. This may be why some people misinterpret it as a gesture of dominance or anxiety. However, it is most likely simply a way for your dog to show you how much they love you.
Think of it this way, dogs don’t have arms or legs, so they can’t hug you. How else can they show how much they love you other than giving you a nice wet kiss!?
Dogs, including Rhodesian Ridgebacks lick to communicate
Dogs lick to communicate. For Rhodesian Ridgebacks, this might mean they are trying to show you how much they love you. But, for other dogs, licking is a way to talk and understand each other.
Dogs in the wild will lick each other as a way to communicate and understand each other better. Lower-ranking dogs in their pack will lick their leaders to show affection, confirm their inferiority in the pack, or show who the alpha of the pack is.
They just want your attention
Your Rhodesian Ridgeback may be licking you because they want your attention. You may unknowingly encourage this behavior if you give them attention when they lick you. Try ignoring them when they lick you and see if that stops the behavior.
Other things to consider as to why your Rhodesian Ridgeback licks so much
There are other things you should consider that may be something that you yourself can change to stop your Rhodesian Ridgeback from licking you as much.
Does your Rhodesian Ridgeback lick you in the morning?
Allowing your Rhodesian Ridgeback to lick you in the morning is unintentionally enabling the dog’s behavior to lick. When you allow your dog to lick you first thing in the morning, you reinforce the behavior and teach your dog that this is an acceptable way to greet you.
In order to stop your dog from licking you excessively, you’ll need to be consistent with your response. Ignoring your dog when they lick you is the best way to discourage the behavior.
Distract your Rhodesian Ridgeback to stop them from licking
Something to try to stop your Rhodesian Ridgeback from licking is to distract your Ridgeback with toys, a chew toy, or a food puzzle. This will redirect their attention away from licking people or objects and give them something else to focus on. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for their intelligence, so they will quickly learn to associate these toys with not licking people or objects.
This video on Rhodesian Ridgeback’s licking may also be useful to you:
There are many reasons why your Rhodesian Ridgeback may lick excessively. It could be a sign of affection, a way to communicate, or simply an attention-seeking behavior. You can do several things to discourage this behavior, such as ignoring them when they lick, distracting them with toys, or providing chew toys. With some patience and consistency, you can train your Rhodesian Ridgeback not to lick so much.
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About the Author
Hey there! I'm Jeremy and I’m the brains behind Pet Care Project, a website chock-full of pet-care know-how. I've got the experience and knowledge to help you keep your furry friends happy and healthy. And let's not forget about my own little fluffball, Lunar, my Ragdoll cat who keeps me on my toes.