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Why Does My Golden Retriever Lick Me So Much: Understanding the Affectionate Behavior



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Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature towards their owners, often displaying their love through excessive licking. While some owners may find this behavior endearing, others may wonder why their furry companion feels the need to shower them with slobbery kisses constantly. In this article, I’ll be examining the reasons why Goldens lick their owners.

One possible reason for a Golden Retriever’s excessive licking is to show affection and demonstrate submission. Licking can be a way to soothe and console their owners, as well as to enhance the human-canine bond. Additionally, it is a common doggy way to show submission to their owner or another dominant dog.

Another reason could be linked to their natural instincts. Golden Retrievers are bred to be hunting dogs, and licking can be a way to sample and analyze their surroundings and food. Therefore, licking their owners may simply be a way to gather more information and a natural response to their curious nature.

Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Lick Their Owners

Golden retrievers are one of the friendliest dog breeds and are known for their affectionate behavior towards their owners. One common behavior that many golden retrievers exhibit is excessive licking. While some owners may find it endearing, others may wonder why their furry companions repeatedly lick them. In this section, we will explore the possible reasons why golden retrievers lick their owners.


One of the main reasons why golden retrievers lick their owners is to groom and clean them. Dogs, including golden retrievers, have rough tongues that are designed to clean their fur and other objects. When your furry friend licks you, they may be trying to remove dirt, debris, or any other foreign objects that they can smell or see on you.

Showing Affection

Golden retrievers are social animals and enjoy showing affection towards their owners. Licking is a way for them to show their love and gratitude. When your golden retriever licks you, they may be trying to communicate their affection and gratitude towards you.

Seeking Attention

Another reason why golden retrievers might lick their owners is to seek attention. Dogs thrive on human interaction and affection. When a golden retriever licks its owner, they might be vying for their undivided attention and seeking some love and affection.

Exploring the Environment

Golden retrievers are curious animals and use their sense of smell, taste, and touch to explore their environment. When they lick objects, including their owners, they are gathering information about their surroundings. Licking can also be a way for them to taste and learn about their owner’s scent, which they find comforting.

Medical Concerns

Excessive licking can also be a sign of an underlying medical concern. If your golden retriever suddenly starts licking too much, it may be a sign of pain, discomfort, or anxiety. If you notice any other changes in your dog’s behavior, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.


Overall, licking is a natural behavior in golden retrievers, and it’s a form of communication that they use to show affection, seek attention, and explore their environment. However, if you notice any excessive licking or other unusual behavior in your dog, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical concerns.
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Puppy Behavior and Licking

As a puppy owner, it can be confusing and even a little uncomfortable when your golden retriever puppy insists on licking you all the time. However, it’s important to understand that this is a common behavior for puppies and can indicate a variety of things.

Here are some reasons why your golden retriever puppy may be licking you:

  • Affection: Puppies use licking as a way to show affection and communicate with their owners. When your puppy licks your face, for example, they may be trying to show you that they love you.
  • Exploration: Puppies also use their mouths to explore the world around them. This means that your puppy may be licking you simply because they are curious and want to investigate your taste and smell.
  • Attention-seeking: Some puppies may lick their owners as a way to get attention, especially if they feel like they’re not getting enough pets or love.
  • Health issues: In some cases, excessive licking can be a sign of a health issue, such as anxiety or allergies. If you notice that your puppy is licking themselves or you excessively, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

It’s important to note that while licking is a normal behavior for puppies, it’s important to set boundaries and train your puppy not to lick people excessively. This can be accomplished through positive reinforcement training, such as rewarding your puppy when they refrain from licking or redirecting their attention to a chew toy or treat.

In summary, while it may seem odd or uncomfortable at times, puppy licking is a normal behavior that can indicate a variety of things. By understanding why your puppy is licking you and setting boundaries through positive reinforcement training, you can ensure that both you and your furry friend are happy and healthy.
Section: Showing Affection through Licking

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and affectionate temperament, and licking is a common way for them to express their love. As a dog owner, it’s important to understand why your furry friend is constantly licking you.

Licking is a natural behavior of dogs, particularly when it comes to showing affection. When your Golden Retriever licks you, they release endorphins that make them feel happy and reduce any stress or anxiety they may be feeling. Licking is also a way for dogs to communicate with their owners, signaling their love and attachment.

Moreover, licking allows dogs to show submission and respect. This behavior is common in the wild, where the subordinate dogs will lick the dominant ones as a sign of submission. By licking their owners, dogs are showing their respect and acknowledging their humans as the pack leader.

Although it’s a natural and common behavior, excessive licking can sometimes be an indication of an underlying issue. If your Golden Retriever is compulsively licking you, it could be a sign of anxiety, boredom, or even an underlying medical condition.

In conclusion, licking is a common way for Golden Retrievers to show their love and affection towards their owners. While it’s essential to understand the underlying reasons behind excessive licking, it’s vital to recognize this behavior as a way for your furry friend to express their emotions. So the next time your Golden Retriever licks you, embrace the love and affection they are showing you.
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Signs of stress and anxiety in golden retrievers

While licking is a normal behavior in dogs, excessive licking may be a sign of stress or anxiety in golden retrievers. As a responsible owner, it’s crucial to understand the signs of stress and anxiety in your furry friend to avoid any physical and emotional harm.

Below are some common signs that may indicate your golden retriever is stressed or anxious:

  • Pacing, restlessness or more time spent sleeping
  • Panting, drooling or excessive licking
  • Whining, barking or howling
  • Aggressive behavior towards humans or other animals
  • Loss of appetite or digestive problems
  • Hiding or seeking extra attention
  • Excessive shedding or poor coat condition

If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your golden retriever, it’s imperative to identify the root cause of their stress or anxiety. Often, environmental factors like changes in routine, loud noises, or unfamiliar people or animals can cause your dog to become stressed.

As an owner, you can help your golden retriever by providing them with a secure and comfortable environment. This might include a consistent routine, adequate exercise, and mental stimulation through toys and games.

If your dog’s behavior persists or worsens, it is important to seek advice from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can help you identify stressors and provide you with specific strategies to alleviate your dog’s stress and anxiety.

Remember, your golden retriever’s behavior is their way of communicating with you. By understanding their behavior and body language, you can provide them with the care and support they need to live a happy and healthy life.
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Training techniques to discourage excessive licking

While it’s natural for golden retrievers to lick their owners, sometimes their licking can become obsessive or unwanted. Fortunately, there are several training techniques you can use to discourage excessive licking and maintain a healthy relationship with your beloved pup.

  1. Redirect their attention: If your golden retriever is known for excessive licking, try redirecting their attention to a different activity like playing with a toy or going for a walk. This can help break their habit of licking and provide them with a new and positive outlet for their energy.
  2. Remove the reward: Dogs often lick for attention or as a way to get treats from their owners. If you respond every time your golden retriever licks you, they might think they’re being rewarded for their behavior. Instead, try ignoring the licking or asking your dog to perform a command before giving them the attention or treat they seek.
  3. Consistency is key: When training your golden retriever to stop licking excessively, it’s essential to be consistent with your commands and reactions. This means that everyone in the household should use the same techniques when interacting with the dog to create a unified approach.
  4. Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is an effective training technique for dogs. Instead of punishing your dog for licking, reward them for not licking excessively. Use treats or praise to reinforce their good behavior and provide a positive reinforcement for them to follow.

By using these training techniques, you can help your golden retriever break their habit of excessive licking and create a stronger bond with your furry companion.
Possible Medical Reasons for Excessive Licking

If your golden retriever is licking you excessively, it’s important to rule out any potential medical reasons. While licking is a natural behavior for dogs, excessive licking can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as:

  1. Allergies: Dogs can develop allergies to various environmental factors such as pollen, dust mites or their food. Allergic reactions can lead to skin irritation and itchiness, leading to excessive licking.
  2. Tooth problems: Dental disease is a common problem in dogs and can cause pain and discomfort in the mouth. Dogs may lick to alleviate the pain or clean their teeth.
  3. Gastrointestinal issues: Some digestive problems like acid reflux or bowel disease can trigger excessive licking behavior. Dogs with these illnesses may lick excessively as a means to ease discomfort.
  4. Neurological conditions: Certain neurological conditions like seizures or compulsive disorder can cause dogs to display repetitive or compulsive behaviors such as excessive licking.

If you notice any other symptoms accompanying excessive licking, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, or vomiting, you should see a veterinarian right away. They can perform a full physical exam and identify any underlying medical issues.

Keep in mind that dogs may also lick as a way to communicate with humans, show affection, seek attention, or cope with stress or anxiety. Therefore, it’s essential to consider all potential factors before assuming that excessive licking is a medical issue.

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