Why Do Pitbulls Lick So Much? 8 Reasons Explained

If you have a dog, you are familiar with the fact that licking is normal behavior. 

If you are reading this, then you are either curious about their licking habits or your dog has been licking you excessively. 

It can get quite annoying when your dog licks you a lot. 

I’m sure we all thought it was cute the first couple of times our dogs licked us, but then you get quite bored of the sticky feeling on your skin. 

Since Pit bulls are big softies, licking is a common way for them to show their love and interest in you. So, it is quite normal for them to show affection through licking. 

Why do Pitbulls lick so much? Pitbulls can lick so much to show affection (tell you they love you), reduce anxiety, relieve pain or boredom, or because they have a health issue like a skin condition or a gastrointestinal issue. Licking is normal behavior for Pitbulls and all dogs in general.

Licking is normal for all dogs, especially affectionate dogs like Pit bulls. When Pit bulls lick their owners or their loved ones, it’s mostly to show love and affection. It is how they tell you they love you. 

Read on if you want to know the reasons why your Pitbull is licking you so much and how to stop them from doing so. 

8 Reasons why Pitbulls Lick So Much?

pitbull licking owner to show why do pitbulls lick so much

Let’s quickly go over the reasons why Pitbulls lick so much:

Gastrointestinal problems

Digestive problems can cause your dog to lick themselves a lot, that’s how they show you that they might be in pain. 

This often happens when their gastrointestinal tract is disturbed or when they feel nauseated. 

Keep your dog away from soy, grains, and starches, because they can lead them to have many digestive problems. 


Pit bulls are affectionate dogs, that’s a fact that pit bull owners are well aware of (and blessed with). 

So, when your Pittie licks you, this is how they show you they love you. 

Can’t really complain. Thus, Pit bulls are one of the lickiest breeds you would meet. 

They can lick your hands, feet, face, anything really. 

When they lick you, another human being, or another animal, this often means that your Pitbull is showing you (or them) affection.

Reduce anxiety

Licking can help them reduce their anxiety or stress. 

Hence, if you notice your Pitbull licking themselves when a certain stressor is around, then know that they are trying to calm themselves down. 

This can happen especially when the Pitbull puppies get separated from their parents at a young age.

Can’t really blame them, it’s a scary world out there for them. 

Skin conditions 

Skin conditions can be quite irritating and they can be caused by allergies. 

When they develop allergies, they start to experience the itchy feeling in their skin and paws, so they start excessively licking themselves. 

If they catch a certain smell that bothers them (for example soap, detergent, etc.), they can also start licking themselves to get rid of it. 

Beware of fleas, because they can cause your dog to have itchy skin, which will ultimately trigger them to lick themselves a lot. 

In this case, give your Pittie a warm bath to relieve their pain. 

Behavioral problems

Licking due to behavioral problems is relatively common for most dogs. 

It may be a habit for them to lick themselves, as it releases endorphins that account for their happiness. 

A bonus though is that you will have a relatively calm, happy, and also groomed Pitbull in return. 

Lick away, Pittie. 


If you have been too busy to play with your furry friend, they might have possibly felt a bit bored. 

When they are left alone at home for too long, they start to find ways to entertain themselves. 

Sometimes these ways are quite destructive for your home. 

However, when you come back, they will be overjoyed, which will be shown by excessive licking. 

Relieve pain

If your poor little Pittie is experiencing internal or external pain, they might start licking the area where it hurts. 

This can happen if they are having a certain skin condition or if they have internal pain and when they lick themselves, they are trying to relieve their own pain. 

In that case, you should observe the area that is being excessively licked and try to look for the cause. 

If you can’t identify it, then it is time to visit your vet. 

Separation anxiety

Some dogs lick when they are experiencing a lot of emotions. 

One minute they can be sad and bored that they are left alone, the next they can be overjoyed that you have just walked through the door. 

As I said, Pit bulls are emotional and affectionate dogs. 

While this is an amazing trait, it can also be quite tiring for the owner because it means their Pit bulls can’t be left alone for too long. 

So, your Pittie will probably lick themselves to relieve their anxiety and try to control their feelings. 

How to get your Pitbull to stop licking you 

Now that I have explained the possible reasons for your Pit bull’s excessive licking, let’s discuss what you can do to make them stop licking you. 

Command them to stop

Verbal communication is really important when you are trying to teach your dog something. 

Use a strict tone and tell your Pitbull to stop when they are licking you. 

Pit bulls are smart dogs, so they will understand that they are doing something undesirable. 

Avoid eye-contact

After you verbally command them to stop, try not looking at them. 

In fact, you should walk away and ignore them. 

This will help them understand that they have done something that you are not proud of. 

Positive reinforcement

After a while, you may notice that your dog has stopped the licking habit.

When that happens, make sure you show them that you are proud of them. 

This will motivate them to permanently stop licking. 

A good method is to give your Pittie a tasty treat. 

Related Questions 

Why does my pitbull lick my feet?

When your Pit bull licks your feet, they are grooming you. Usually, mutual grooming is a show of affection. In this case, they are trying to bond with you and show you that they love you. 

While this may be quite annoying (and ticklish), the intention is good and sweet. 

Why does my Pitbull lick my ears? 

When a dog licks your ears, you should know that they are highly comfortable around you. They are also grooming you, which is a sign of love, care, respect, and affection. If you want your Pit bull to stop licking your ears, make sure to verbally command them to stop. 

Why does my pitbull lick everything?

A fun fact is that dogs like the slaty taste of humans’ skin. They may lick stuff and people simply because they like the taste. They can also be bored or in pain. When a dog licks their owner, they are mostly trying to show affection. 

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