Why do Yorkshire terriers lick so much? (5 common reasons)

In this article, we explain why Yorkshire terriers lick so much. We explain what it means when your dog licks your face, hands, or feet; and what to do if you think he licks you excessively. 

Why do Yorkshire terriers lick so much?

Some of the most common reasons why  Yorkshire terriers lick so much is because this is their way of greeting people; they like your taste and want to show you how valuable you are to them; dogs lick as an act of submission or because they are anxious. Below we explore all of these reasons.

  1.  Your Yorkshire terrier licks new people. The smell is their strongest sense but they also learn a lot from what they perceive through taste. Licking the mouth of another dog can indicate if there is food nearby and this behavior can do it with you as a way to ask for food. 

A person’s taste conveys a lot of information such as their chemical composition (hormones and other chemicals in the skin), their health, and their mood. That is why in the canine greeting they lick each other and they also lick with humans. If you taste something delicious, the next thing is to ask you for food.

  1. Your Yorkshire terrier licks you because you taste good. Sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct answer. Sometimes your dog licks you because he likes the taste or because he is cleaning you. There are dogs that like the taste of certain creams and, on the other hand, it seems that they tend to prefer salty flavors and human sweat is salty.

So if your dog licks you after exercising it is because he likes it. Others on the other hand believe that you do not know how to clean yourself properly and they will politely help you with their lick to feel clean again.

  1. Your Yorkshire terrier licks you as an act of submission.  Licking is also a sign of respect and submission for dogs. They lick other members of the pack or social group to show their acceptance of the rank.

 If your dog lies down and licks your feet, it is probably her way of showing respect. For him, you are the leader of the pack and as such it is your duty to guide him and teach him how to behave.

  1. Your Yorkshire terrier licks you because he is anxious. Licking can be a sign of anxiety. Licking, licking objects, or licking you may find relief from your anxiety. If you think he may have any type of anxiety, consult your vet. You can also read this article where we explain how to treat distrustful or insecure dogs. You can also use a series of relaxants to help them with their problem.
  1. Your Yorkshire terrier licks you because he loves you.  Most licks are signs of affection. Canine mothers lick their puppies to clean and stimulate them, so this is one of their most important social cues. 

That is why he can lick your hand when you enter the house as a show of affection and lick you after caressing her, she returns the friendly gesture. Two-way communication to learn to communicate with your dog is essential in the relationship between humans and dogs.

Why does my Yorkie ​​lick my face, mouth, and ears?

If your dog licks your face it is because he wants to convey a signal of affection, if you stop to think a bit, when our dog licks us in the face we usually laugh or cuddle him.

They immediately capture that positive energy, learning that it is something we like. That is why many times they lick our face, our mouth, or even our ears, they are all experts in making us feel good.

In canine language between dogs, when a dog licks the face or mouth of another dog, it sends a signal of calm, that everything is fine and there is no reason to be nervous. Dogs also use that signal with us, it is a sign of calm.

Another reason why a dog licks our face, mainly the mouth, is because it detects food residues or odors of food. We all know how gluttonous they are and many times simply savor what we have eaten or, in their own way, ask us for a little of that food.

My dog ​​licks my hands or feet a lot

In cases where a dog licks its hands or feet a lot, there may be two main possible causes. The first one is hygiene, dogs lick their paws to clean them and in the same way, they try to clean us by licking, even though we are clean.

It is an affectionate way of sanitizing ourselves, they do not know that we are clean, they simply groom us as they do with their legs and body. If it bothers us that they lick us so much we should not scold them, we will simply draw their attention with a game or a treat to distract them.

The second reason why your dog licks your hands or feet is out of respect, it is a sign of calm. Canine language is much more complex than we humans think.

Licking a human’s hands is a sign of respect and calm, even submission. Indicating that he is very comfortable with you and therefore transmits that signal of calm and tranquility, of respect.

My Yorkshire terrier licks me excessively. How to stop it?

The best thing would be to teach him to do another activity that is incompatible with licking. For this, the action must be concentrated away from the face, which is the part they like to lick the most because of its proximity to the mouth.

For example, teach her to lie down on her bed a short distance after she has given you an initial greeting. In this way, you discourage any attempt on their part to lick you or do it to your visitors.

It is also important to provide her with an object that she can chew on. Excessive licking often comes from a craving for biting. Also, having a rewarding activity to do will help distract attention from your visitors.

To keep in mind if the dog licks you too much

Both barking and licking are multifaceted tools in the social life of dogs. They play many roles in canine behavior; consequently, many different interpretations can be made.

Here is a list of the many ways that people have come to understand this mode of communication:

  1.  First, licking is a natural instinct in dogs. When a mother licks her pups and her puppies lick each other during grooming and other social interactions, we are observing quintessential behavior in dogs. In fact, this behavior stands as one that can serve as the basis for all other decisions a dog makes.
  1. Licking can play a role in requesting resources, such as when cubs lick their mothers as a precursor to feeding or when a lower-ranking wolf licks members of the pack, especially superiors, in the hope of an invitation to dinner at a communal dam.
  1. It’s just another sensory tool, some researchers say. Licking — and tasting — is like reaching out and touching something; a kind of slimy exploration.
  1. Canine behavior, when seeking attention, often incorporates the tongue. Dogs lick to get your attention or as a simple greeting.
  1. It can be a way to play. This is presented as a phenomenon of bite inhibition, especially when they do it with their caregivers; then, they substitute their tongue for their teeth during the different facets of the game.

Furthermore, in many cases licking is a learned behavior. Dogs learn that when they lick their owners, they get more attention. For this reason, they come to incorporate licking more and more into their daily behaviors.


Who determines if the licking is excessive or not is the human. This is because the nature of the dog is that they lick each other. Despite this, if your dog licks excessively, you can train him to do it less frequently, especially when the attitude becomes compulsive.

Of course, there are those moments when the dog licks and can be understood as something abnormal. Dogs that suffer from certain types of obsessive-compulsive behaviors can manifest these as excessive licking.

Commonly, however, dogs affected by these conduct disorders will themselves become the object of their inordinate inclination to lick.

In short, you should know that this action on the part of your dog may be something natural on his part. One of the best measures to prevent him from doing so is to teach him other behaviors from a young age.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Why do Yorkshire terriers lick so much?

Are Yorkies attached to their owners?

Yorkies can become very attached to their owners and become incredibly protective of the whole family. Yorkies are great dogs as guard dogs, no matter their size.

Why are Yorkies so needy?

Some Yorkies may be needy and clingy because they like (and are used to) being coddled and pampered by their owners. When you stop giving them so much attention, they seem too needy. 

Why do Yorkies have separation anxiety?

Yorkies have separation anxiety if they are not properly trained or do not have a routine. Some other reasons include neglect, changes in pet parents, hereditary issues, or boredom. 

Can Yorkies be left alone all day?

It is not advisable to leave a Yorkie alone all day. Yorkies are very affectionate and rely on their human parents. You can leave a baby Yorkie by himself up to 3 hours a day, and an adult Yorkie 4 to 6 hours a day. 





Leave a Comment