Spaniels love their owners, be it a small child, an adult or an old human. And sometimes they exhibit this love in the weirdest ways possible. From licking your face, nose, to even your sweaty feet, these pups will do anything to let you know how much they cherish you.
So if you too have been wondering why your Spaniel licks your feet, it is because they love you, care for you, or want your attention. Secondly, this behavior may also be because they enjoy the smell. Dogs are known to be super attracted to smells and hence by licking the toes, they might be taking in information about where you’ve been or what you’ve been up to. But depending upon the frequency of the action, this could also mean that there’s something wrong with the pooch.
Below we will be discussing some of these risk factors, so stay tuned until the end.
Why the feet?
For humans, feet are just another part of the body. But for dogs, it is like a treasure’s chest filled with a plethora of smells and pheromones. Having around 20-300 million olfactory responses, they will do anything to explore different smells, no matter if it’s your toes or underarms.
Additionally when licking the sweaty base, it leaves a somewhat salty aftertaste on their buds, which may seem amusing to them. So, every time your pup is bored he might want to take on to your feet and entertain themselves. This is a typical attention-seeking behavior, and hence needs to be countered with at the right time.
Why does my Spaniel lick my feet only?
Well, if you have frequently witnessed your fur baby being especially clingy to your legs and not much of others, it is most definitely a sign of adoration. Many times although the pup might be friendly to more than one person, they usually bond deeper with only one. And for your pup, YOU ARE THE ONE!!!
So, rather than being weirded out of all the slobbery love, it’s best to cuddle with your pup for a bit. This will make the little creature really happy and you might also get some licks over your face.
Is it good for my pup to lick my feet?
No, it isn’t. In spite of whether your feet are clean or not, letting your dog always have their way with your toes is never the best choice.
Our bodies come in contact with a lot of microorganisms and while not all of them might be toxic for the pooch, a lot can cause serious health issues when the habit becomes a regular one. Viruses like flu, influenza, or many harmful yeast variants could make their way into the pooch’s system, making them ill.
Similarly, when licking your feet your pooch is also getting exposed to any lotion, moisturizer or healing creams that you may have used previously. These chemicals when ingested could cause them bad diarrhea, and hence why risk their health knowingly???
How to stop my Spaniel’s obsession with my feet?
Even though puppy love is the best love you can ever get, sometimes it could be weird and uncomfortable, to say the least. So, if your pooch has made it a habit to lick your feet, every time you sit down, it’s high time to heed extra attention to them.
Read the below-mentioned step by step processes to know what to do and how to do.
Don’t give them a chance
The first thing you can do to safeguard your pooch’s health is to keep your feet away from their reach. For instance, if the Spaniel starts licking when you are sitting with legs straight on the sofa/bed, tuck your legs in. The pooch won’t be able to reach your leg’s base and hence most probably cool down immediately.
You can also move away, if your pooch tends to follow you everywhere while simultaneously licking your feet in the process. Start noticing any subtle signs and soon enough you will be able to avoid the mess altogether.
In case the above step doesn’t work out well, the next better option is to use their toys as a distraction. So when the puppy comes close to your feet, you could grab a toy and throw it to the other side of the room.
The sudden movement will most probably distract their attention from your toes and soon enough they will be sprinting to get their toy back. However, beware, giving food or treats in such cases as a distraction is not a good option as the dog might mistake his/her licking your feet to be a good habit. Treats should only be used to reward good behaviors and nothing else.
Always maintain consistency
Constant practice is the key to success. Thus, if you want your little fur baby to behave in the most decent way, regularizing your actions will be a must. You can’t just avoid their advances for a day and give in to their puppy charm the next moment.
This will only confuse your pup and they might take it as some sort of a new game that you have created. In the end, the Spaniel won’t be able to catch what it is that you want, thus keep on behaving the same way as before.
Use positive reinforcement training methods
Proper positive reinforcement training methods also work best when it comes to eradicating your Spaniel’s obsession with feet. Teaching them command cues like ‘No’, ‘Leave’, ‘Stop’ will make them realize their faults and hence after a good practice they will eventually back away from this bizarre habit.
But as these methods generally consist of offering the pupper with delicious dog treats, timing is of utmost importance. You should never and I repeat NEVER give them treats unless they heed to your commands during training. The pup could get easily confused, leaving all your efforts in vain.
Seek professional attention
Ultimately the best solution if nothing works out is to seek a vet’s consultation. When reached out, the vet will perform physical, blood, urine, and other necessary tests to ensure that the pooch is not suffering from any health condition.
Afterwards if the results turn out to be good, you will be advised to take the woofer to a canine behavioral specialist for further identification of the issue. But in case there’s something wrong with the reports, the Spaniel would have to be enrolled under necessary treatment methods, and then only trained by a canine behavioral specialist.
What can I do to stop this from happening?
On a personal note, if you think your dog likes it better when your feet are all sweaty and stinky, then you could vamp your foot hygiene regime. Spaniels have really powerful noses and not much escapes them.
So, if you have been in the gym or have just returned after a long day at work, taking a shower and cleaning your feet is the first thing that you will need to do. Unlike us, dogs aren’t much of a fan of perfumes and other fruity smells, so rubbing in some lotions or moisturizers might also come handy.
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