This obsessive licking behavior of dogs can be due to many reasons either sensory-related or showing affection towards us.
Let’s put it that way, licking for dogs, in general, is like human biting their nails or tapping their toes. They mostly do it for no purpose except if there is a trigger for it. Dr. Megan Maxwell, a certified applied animal behaviorist, calls this type of licking “stereotypical” behavior.
Dr. Maxwell explains that when dogs lick us, we are the trigger in that case. They might have smelled a good smell in you that made them want to lick you. This sensory stimulation explains why would your dog lick you when you go out of the shower. Being wet or having the lotion on your body triggers them.
The other reason behind your dog’s behavior is affection. Licking to show affection starts early when they are puppies. Mothers lick their puppies in the first couple of week after they are born in order to allow them to urinate and defecate.
This natural occurrence makes dog innately understand that licking means caring and loving. Puppies will lick their owners as much as they are allowed so you better train them to control this behavior because they will carry forward for most of their lives.
The bad side of licking can be put into two things. First, licking can a behavior dogs do to show their anxiety over the doorbell or a loud voice.
Second thing, licking can be dangerous and bad for you when you have an open wound or your immune system is not strong. If a dog licks an open wound, the person can catch a serious infection. At that condition, it’s better to train your dog to stop this bad behavior.