Pit Bulls

Why Do Pitbulls Lick So Much

Yesterday, you may have read a blog post on the reason why a pit bull can be considered as a nanny dog. Today, let’s me share with you an additional information that can help explain this and why do dogs lick so much.

Dogs are prone to licking different things such as floors, people, furniture, and surfaces. It is not a big deal because of their nature of licking. Therefore, Pit bulls are also likely to lick other people and themselves.

This is the way they show sign of affection to others, so people allow dogs to do it. Additionally, licking of dogs is as common as tail wagging, barking, and head titling.

The problem is that people do not like to stop pit bulls from licking as compared with other dog breeds. The reason is that they are afraid of this giant dog and do not want to get hurt by stopping them from licking.

A pitbull licks a woman with sunglasses on. Photo on PxHere.

Reasons for licking in Pitbulls

Here are some reasons why pitbulls love licking so much (some of the issues need medical assistance).

Gastrointestinal problems:

Often, dogs lick to show that they have some digestive problems. When their gastrointestinal tract is disturbed or they feel nausea, so they start licking due to uneasiness.

Most of the dogs are intolerant to soy, grains, or starches that can lead to digestive problems when add in dog food.

In this situation, you should visit the veterinarian for the proper checkup of your pit bull.

Show affection to the owner or other animal:

Pit bulls are the dog breed that is most licky dogs. They express affection by licking your face, hands, and feet. Many Pit bull dog owners experience that this breed licks you when they want to show affection to you. Pit bulls use their tongue to learn about other people, companion dogs, and other animals.

When dog licks, the taste can help him in showing affection and learning about other people and other dogs. If the Pit bull licks excessively and you want him to stop licking, you should give the command to him. In case of excessive licking to animals, you can also separate the dog from other animals.

Reduce anxiety:

Most of the time, Pit bull starts licking to reduce stress or anxiety. In this situation, you have to find the environmental stressor that stimulates the licking process. Another reason for anxiety is when a puppy is separated from the dog parents at a young age, therefore it starts excessive licking to reduce the stress of early maternal separation. This is just how the dog world works!

Allergic issues:

When a Pitbull develops skin allergies, it causes itching in their paws and skin. That’s why they start licking themselves. Additionally, the food allergy or air pollutant can also affect the Pitbull and they lick themselves to reduce get rid of the smell in the air or any other itchiness.

Flea bites can also cause allergies and also trigger lick. Licking can enhance due to any soap, scents, or detergent reactions that can cause allergy. So, you have to eliminate these things. Moreover, in these allergic situations, you should take your Pitbull a warm bath. It is also important to take the dog to the veterinarian for treatment of allergy. In other words, it is possible that constant licking is due to allergic reaction in dog.

Excessive licking leads to health condition in dog. Please check with a Vet. Photo from WikiMedia.

Behavioral problems:

For many dogs, behavioral problems are also common that can cause licking. Pitbull is no exception. They may be habitual to lick because it releases endorphins that can make them feel better. Also, Pitbulls lick their fur for grooming that can be effective.


Boredom is another reason that can make Pitbull excessively lick themselves. When dogs are left alone at the home, they become bored. But they can be happy when you return home and start licking you. So, dogs lick people when they are happy and express their love to them. Some dog owners want to stop this behavior, for that, you have to discourage licking from the early age of the dog.

Relieve pain:

Pitbulls lick themselves to relieve the pain. Sometimes, your dog may lick at the same area of the skin, so there is a chance of bumps or any lesions on that spot. The licking is also due to arthritis and any injury that can cause pain.

Before bringing your dog to the vet, please observe the area that your dog does constant licking. See if you notice any cut, or sharp thorn stuck to its fur somewhere. If there is nothing being observed, you should visit your veterinarian to diagnosis the main problem that causes pain. Once, the pain is treated, the Pitbull will stop licking that certain area.

Relieve itchy skin:

Last but not least, the reasons why dogs lick excessively is due to dry skin. Especially during winter period, your dog may experience dry skin. Here, pit bull may feel uncomfortable and thus makes them licks the area of dry skin to relieve himself.

How to stop pit bull from excessive licking

Licking is a common behavior of dog, but some pet owners get irritated and want to stop the dog’s licking behavior. Here are 3 tips you can use to reduce obsessive licking.

Step 1: Verbal command:

Use a verbal command to stop your Pitbull when he started licking you. You should use a strict tone and choose the words such as “No” or “Stop” that can be helpful in this situation. While they continue to lick you, repeat the words and you should start to move away from him or her. Never ever yell at them. But do use a strict tone.

Step 2: Don’t look at Pitbull after the verbal command:

When you stop your Pitbull by giving verbal commands, you should not look at him. You can also walk away or not pay attention to your Pitbull. Repeat this behavior when your dog licks you again. Once again, do not yell at your dog.

Step 3: Praise your dog:

When your dog stops the habit of licking, you have to praise him. It will motivate the Pitbull to not lick you in the future. For praising, you can give your dog some tasty food or loving stroke that can be helpful in this situation.
Step 4: Family support:

Family and friend supports are required to stop the licking in the Pitbull dog breed. Some people find interesting the licking of dogs. Therefore, these people may reinforce them to start licking again. Hence, you can spend time to educate your family members as well. That way they could also appreciate some none-acceptable behavior.

Do Pitbull Puppies and Adults Show Affection the Same Way?

As explained earlier, dogs show affectionate through licking. However, you may be wondering if pitbull puppies will behave the same way as the adult dog. The answer is ‘No’. Usually, Pitbull’s puppy licks are more aggressive i.e. through jumping around and quicker with waving tails. For the adult pitbulls, they tend to simply licks you across your body and wont really jump at you.

Finals words

To conclude, dogs lick people to express their love and affection to others. Usually, people enjoy it when dog licks their faces or hands. But excessive licking can be irritating and it can be a sign of dog’s health condition. You may need to follow some ways to stop this behavior in Pitbulls as explained in this short blog.

You have to take care of your Pitbull’s health and notice any behavior changes that can trigger licking. It is also important to visit the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment of underlying causes that initiate excessive licking.

Pinterest Graphic Design by Canva.com and I am Using TailWind to Schedule Pin.

blogthatdog.com is a participant of several affiliate programs. The list includes (but not limited to) the following: ShareASale, Chewy and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. blogthatdog.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. All published articles are meant for informational purposes only and not substitute the professional veterinary consultation.

Sharing is caring!

About the author

Mariana Perez

My name is Mariana, and I'm a huge Terrier lover, I like to contribute to pet blogs to share my own experience and knowledge on caring for dogs as man's best friends. I hope you enjoy my article and if you do, Like and Share to FB or Pinterest is always appreciated.

Leave a Comment