Confused over why does my dog lick my belly button? I can understand you here.
Imagine this: you walk out of the swimming pool with your belly button exposed, and your four-legged dear friend runs to you, climbs up, and kisses your belly button. Well, this seems a comical act, and you might wonder, “Why does my dog lick my belly button?”.
We all know how much dogs love to lick. It is their all-time favorite way to show their likeness to something or someone. If you have been fortunately blessed with the opportunity of owning a dog, you may have noticed your dog practically licking all the parts of your body.
However, the belly button may appear to be an odd option but the primary reasons for this activity are pure and intended to be completely harmless
When my dog started doing it every day, it made me curious, and I decided to delve deeper to understand why my dog licks my belly button.
So, together we will understand the fascinating tales of affection, communication, and love expression associated with your dog showering your belly button with passionate licks.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Belly Button?
Affection and Bonding:
The stunning fact at the core of the situation is the expression of love and affection shown by your dog by physical touch. Just as we humans share care, and adore our loved ones and cherish those sweet moments forever, similarly dogs display these emotions by getting closer to you. Dogs are very communicative organisms and mostly use their body language and adorable gestures to convey their thoughts to you.
Exploration and Communication
Belly buttons are very prone to quickly getting dirty and sweaty. This particular area usually carries the specific “you” smell and there is a possibility that your dog loves that smell. We are sure about the fact that dogs are attracted to the smell, and can quickly familiarize themselves to it or distinguish known and unknown people just based upon their smell. So need to be worrisome about why your dog licks your belly button? Because of their inquisitive and interactive nature, they lick your belly button to familiarize themselves with your smell and be communicative to you.
Salt or Sweat Attraction
Picture yourself stepping out of the gym and this furry creature runs to you and starts sniffing and licking your belly button. Well, this is because he is fascinated by the sweet and salty smell of your body which feels like an aroma. He may enjoy the taste of your salty sweat full of body minerals and oil which makes him feel nearer to you.
Who would not want to be adored? Who does not want to be the center of attention and hold a significant position in someone’s life? Just like a child seeks the attention of his/her mother who is the most important figure in his/ her life, a dog also likes to be adored by his owner.
He licks your belly button just to see your enticing smile on him. The demanding doggo doesn’t do it for free. He wants your caressing hands on his head and some cuddles in return.
Consider your dog as one of the modern-day representatives of his traditional ancestor dogs who believed in mutual grooming activities. They considered such intimate activities as the best way to enhance bonding experiences. Dogs mostly lick their own fur or their fellow dogs to get closer to them or groom their own selves. If your dog licks your belly button, he might be inclined towards nurturing the bond between you two.
Stress or Anxiety
One concerning reason behind the very natural question “Why does my dog licks my belly button?” is the underlying stress and anxiety the innocent creatures are experiencing.
Unlike humans, they can’t speak of the pain and discomfort being faced by them, but they do show it in their gestures. When anything is unpleasant or disturbing for them, they have sorted a way to tackle the problem. Some of the breeds cope up with the stress by licking themselves or their fellow dogs, while others seek comfort in licking some parts like the belly button of their owners.
Licking is a suitable behavior for dogs and can bring calm amidst chaos. This repetitive act of showering gentle licks on their masters is their very own way of bringing comfort to their minds.
Humans use slime or pushy balls to squeeze during stress to calm themselves down. This monotonous but rhythmic action can bring them peace. Similar dogs use repetitive acts of licking to soothe their minds.
If you still wonder why your dog licks your belly, a very wholesome answer lies in the fact that dogs are of a very playful nature. Just like the innocent minds of children who like to explore the world around them or put every new toy in their mouths, dogs like to do the same.
They love licking your belly button just out of fun. Most of the time they are trying to express their affection through these unconventional and queer playful activities.
Should You Stop Your Dog from Licking Your Belly Button?
Well, aren’t you loving the sweet licks and kisses from your dog? Or you are fearing of getting infected by overlicking due to his saliva?
No need to worry and consider yourself selfish. I am sure your dog will understand and respect your boundaries but you need to know if you should stop your dog from licking your belly button.
Belly button licking should be stopped if your dog is overdoing it or if you have a wound around your belly button area. The saliva of dogs contains certain enzymes that can hinder the wound healing process or can even sensitize the infectious area.
If you are not comfortable with a lot of physical touch, you can just hug and gently cuddle him, allow one or two licks, and then sweetly ask him to go away.
So, this all depends upon your feelings and your comfort in physical nearness with your pet.
How to Train Your Dog Not to Lick Your Belly Button So Much?
Since you know why your dog licks your belly button and if you should stop him from doing so. To make dogs do a specific task or refrain them from doing something, they can be trained. Training actually isn’t a hard process but a very time-consuming one that requires patience and consistent efforts. Imagine yourself as a coach and train your pet player enthusiastically.
I would recommend starting with short training sessions which include distracting him with toys whenever he is trying to engage in belly licking. You can use various other techniques to divert his attention.
If things aren’t going the right way for you, you can always explore the option of hiring a personal pet trainer for your dog to ease the journey of adopting or quitting a habit.
Envision diverting the attention of your dog from belly button licking to any other playful activity like engaging with toys, watching tv or just roaming around the lawn while you are sitting there quietly enjoying your favorite fiction book. Isn’t this what you want?
This can be achieved easily by providing doggo with some exuberating and playful objects to distract him. Dogs have a lively nature and are easy to be sidetracked if anything more appealing is made approachable to them.
A child forgets his old toys when he gets the new ones. Similarly, the exploring and curious nature of dogs enables them to get attracted to novel things. So, by effectively shaping their behavior by using the technique of redirecting their attention, you can effortlessly stop them from licking your belly button especially if it makes you anxious or that area is infectious.
Now, we will focus on various points to get a deeper insight on how you should redirect their attention.
Teach “Leave It” Command
Consider yourself a programming tutor where you are teaching your dog a code, not a computer code but a “life Code”. Seems intriguing? Let’s explore how you can actually do it.
The “leave it” command is a magical spell that works like wonder and it will not only stop belly licking, but many other undesirable activities too.
When you are holding an object in your hand, and your pup starts reaching out to it and you shout, “leave it”. He might not because he isn’t familiar with this special code. But, this is the magical time you hide that object under your arms or cover it with your hands. Your pup will try to approach it for a few minutes but will eventually back out after some time and give up.
Now, it is the time when you reward him with his favorite treat. After a couple of trials, he will learn to associate his rewards with giving up when you command him to “ Leave It”. this association will train him to refrain from something immediately after you shout, “Leave it”
By teaching this command, you can easily refrain them from showering your belly with licks whenever you ask them to do so.
You know why your dog licks your belly button and are motivated to stop him from doing it too often. Well, my dear friend, it’s high time you start learning and practicing some psychology tricks on your mate.
One such trick is positive reinforcement, an act of rewarding your dog every time he does something desirable or abandons something undesirable. It is just like opening a treasure box for him every time he gets something right i.e: your desired response and you open the chest for him. After repeating this conditioning activity a couple of times, instead of running to lick your belly button as soon as you run out of the gym, they will run to you, stay calm and wait for their treat.
Practicing of this valuable positive reinforcement technique, you are not only preventing your puffy pup from licking your belly button but also raising a dog who feels delighted in making the right decisions. All thanks to the power of encouragement and rewards!
Teach “Off” Command
Just like child rearing, raising a dog is also a huge responsibility. You know you are doing it right when your dog is well-mannered and doesn’t disappoint you in front of your friends by disobeying your commands. Just imagine how embarrassing it will be when you stop him from licking your belly in front of your female friends and he won’t pay heed to it.
To avoid such humiliating situations, you better teach him the “Off” command. Whenever you want him to avoid something or step back, say “off!” and guide him away with your hand. Keep repeating this to make it a habit and every time he steps back, reward him because he has definitely aced his obedience test.
Use Distaste or Aversion Techniques
Another way to train them is by using the distaste or aversion technique. All dogs hate the odor or taste of certain substances. You can apply those substances on your belly button area and this will automatically push them away if they try to lick it. Repeating this activity a couple of times will naturally produce a loathsome response in them and they will avoid licking the area.
Take my dog, Max, as an example. He absolutely hates the smell of vinegar or anything citrus and I used this technique to push him away from licking my body. When using this technique, make sure to use substances that are medically safe for your dog and don’t cause an allergy to sniffing or swallowing. A healthy advice would be to consult a veterinarian before deciding on something.
The easiest way to obstruct your dog from licking belly button is to slightly cover that area preventing direct contact between you and him. If you have raised your dog well, there is a possibility that he will respect your boundaries.
Everyone has a hidden version of Sherlock Holmes within them. Activate that detective and look for the actions or circumstances that trigger your dog to initiate the belly button-licking process. Once you are familiar with the acts that stimulate him you can refrain from creating such situations to prevent licking.
In this collection of frequently asked questions, me and you will together step on the enigmatic journey of deepening our connection with our furry friends. These questions will unravel the mysteries behind their gestures by throwing light on their secret love language.
Why is my dog licking my whole body?
Dogs are expressive creatures. They express their love and affection and exhibit communication by physical touch, particularly licking. Licking is their love language or they might just be curious to smell, taste, and feel all your body parts. Licking also establishes a strong connection between you too and dogs repeat this action to feel that sense of closeness.
How does my dog know I love him?
There is a very special connection between you and your dog and he knows that you love him. Just that gentle pat on his head can release oxytocin in him that will make him happy and aware of your love for him. Doing other gestures like getting him toys, making his favorite dog food, arranging a comfy bedding space for him are all symbols of love and he will appreciate these generous acts.
What is a dog trying to tell you when it licks you?
Dogs don’t have any other better way of communication than licking. With a shower of licks, they might just be saying “hello!” while welcoming you home or just making you aware of their presence. It can also be a symbol of their submissiveness to you.
Why do dogs tilt their heads?
Titling of heads helps the dogs to focus on a particular point from where the sound is coming to them. So, whenever they tilt their head they might be trying to understand you better by focusing on your words, expressions, and tone of voice.
Why do dogs lick you to kiss you?
In dog’s language, licking carries the wholesome love expression of kissing. Dogs lick themselves or their fellow dogs to groom. So, if your dog is licking you, they might be expressing their adoration for you or simply grooming you.
In this captivating journey of exploring the answer to “ Why does my dog lick my belly button?”, we have learned that these showers of licking indicate their affection, silent communicative language, or just their rooming behavior. But how should you manage this behavior if you are discomforted by it?
Our valuable tips on redirecting a dog’s behavior will not disappoint you with their results. And lastly, I hope that these frequently asked questions will strengthen your bond with your doggo. Good luck on this enthusiastic journey of getting to know him.