One of the most enjoyable parts of owning a dog must surely come from learning all the different traits that your new furry friend has. Some habits are entirely unique to one animal; whereas others may be common to the breed or even to all breeds. Chihuahua owners will almost certainly discover that one thing their tiny companions like to do is lick. Chihuahuas are likely to lick anything that they can find, as puppies and as adults. Some owners may find this a little puzzling. So why do Chihuahuas lick so much?
Sign of respect
All dogs lick their moms and other members of the litter as a sign of submission and respect. These traits will carry forward into adulthood and are very instinctive. Chihuahuas are loved for their affectionate ways and they generally bond very closely with one person. Licking that person is the tiny dog’s way of showing loyalty and respect.
Many dog behaviors relate to natural instincts carried down for generations. For example, wolf pups run to pack members after a hunt and lick them around the mouth to try and get them to regurgitate food. While a Chihuahua almost certainly isn’t asking you to do that, it may explain why he or she is particularly intent on licking your face when you come home.
Unusual licking behavior may point to a medical problem. For example, if your Chihuahua suddenly starts licking things a lot more, or suddenly stops licking things, then this may point to a medical or psychological problem. A dog that licks obsessively may be feeling anxious. Separation anxiety can occurs when a dog cannot bear to be apart from his or her owner. The Chihuahua’s nature makes the dog more susceptible to this. If you are in doubt, talk to your vet for more advice.
Dogs are instinctively curious animals. Licking can be an entirely harmless extension of this behavior. Dogs are constantly exploring the world through their nose (smell) and through their tongue (taste). More often than not, a Chihuahua will not ingest things that he or she licks, but given the tiny size of the animal, he or she may be more susceptible to items blocking the intestinal tract. It is always wise to discourage the animal from licking too many things. Licking the wall or carpet constantly could even be a sign of boredom. Regular exercise should stop that.
Dogs find licking relaxing and comforting. In showing submission or respect for you, the animal relieves stress, finding comfort in being with his or her owner. How much you tolerate or encourage this is entirely up to you. Some owners love this affection while others do not. You can discourage the behavior by leaving the room or walking away from the animal when he or she licks, to ensure that the animal sees that you clearly do not like this attention.
Like any other part of owning a dog, it is likely to take some time to figure out why he or she does the things he or she does, and you may never now for sure. That is almost certainly part of the pleasure of owning an animal like a Chihuahua.