Why Do Pitbulls Lick So Much? 6 Reasons Explained

As a dog parent, you’re probably familiar with the fact that licking is part of any dog’s normal behavior, whether they’re licking themselves, other people, or random objects around them.

You probably thought it was cute the first couple of times your dog licked you, but then it eventually got annoying (and sticky).

Some dogs breeds, like Pitbulls, tend to lick more excessively than normal. So, to fix this problem, we need to ask ourselves: why do Pitbulls lick so much?

Pitbulls lick so much for various reasons including, showing affection, coping with boredom, reducing anxiety, relieving pain, or because they have health problems like a skin condition or a gastrointestinal issue. Understanding the reason why your Pitbull is licking excessively will help you fix the problem.

Keep reading to learn more about the reasons why your Pitbull is licking you so much and how to stop it from doing so. 

6 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:

Showing Affection 

Pit Bulls are affectionate dogs; that’s a fact that most Pit Bull owners are well aware of (and blessed with). 

So, when your Pittie starts licking your hands, feet, face, or anything, this is how it shows that it loves you.

Pit Bulls also communicate their love for other dogs by licking them as if they’re grooming them.

Coping with Boredom

If you have been too busy to play with your furry friend, they might start feeling bored. 

When Pit Bulls are left alone at home for too long, they start to find ways to entertain themselves. However, when you come back, they will be overjoyed, which will be shown by excessive licking. 

Reducing Anxiety

Licking can help them reduce their anxiety or stress. 

Hence, if you notice your Pitbull licking itself when a certain stressor is around, then know that they are trying to calm itself down. This can happen especially with Pit Bull puppies that develope separation anxiety.

Relieving Pain

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

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. 

Gastrointestinal Problems

Digestive problems can cause your dog to lick itself a lot as that’s how they try to relive the 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 upset Pit Bulls with sensitive stomachs and cause them to have many digestive problems. You can learn more about why Pit Bulls have digestive stomachs here.

Skin Conditions 

Pit Bulls have sensitive skin and are prone to develope various skin conditions, which can be quite irritating. This conditions are often caused by food allergies. 

When Pit Bulls suffered from an allergic reaction, they start to experience an itchy feeling in their skin and paws, so they start excessively licking themselves. Other symptoms of allergic reactions in dogs include inflmmated skin, vomiting, diarrhea, and ear infections

To prevent your Pit Bull from having an allergic reaction, you need to make sure their diet doesn’t contain any food it’s allergic to. If you’re having trouble choosing the right food for your allergic dog, check out my guide on the best food for Pit Bulls with allergies here.

Keep in mind that Pit Bulls might have environmental allergies, so they might have an allergic reaction if they’re exposed to dust, certain plants, or certain chemicals in their shampoo.

Another skin conditions that causes Pit Bulls to have itchy skin is flea infestations, which will ultimately trigger them to lick themselves a lot to soothe the itchness.

If your Pit Bull has fleas, you need to bathe it using a medicated shampoo that’s formulated to kill any bugs and treat infections.

One of the best medicated shampoos I like to recommend is this Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo. The formula is free of any harsh chemicals, yet fast-acting and highly effective in killing flea eggs, flea larvae, fleas by contact, and ticks by contact.

If you want some shampoo recommendations, you can check out my guide on the best shampoos for Pit Bulls here.

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 Pit Bull 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 to look at them. In fact, you should walk away and ignore them. 

This will help them understand that licking is something you don’t approve of and they will be less likely to do it again as they hate being ignored. You can learn more tips and tricks about how to discipline Pit Bulls here.

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 to motivate them to stop licking permanently. 

A good method is to give your Pittie a tasty treat. I have a guide on the best treats for Pit Bulls that you might want to check out.

Conclusion: Why Do Pitbulls Lick so Much?

Dogs, Pit Bulls included, may lick stuff and people simply because they like the taste or they’re bored; it’s perfectly normal behavior for them. When a dog licks their owner, they are usually trying to be playful and show affection. 

However, excessive licking can be a sign that the dog is stressed, in pain, or suffering from a skin conditions that’s making it itchy. So, it’s important to pay attention to the dog when it start licking excessively in order to determine the problem and fix.

If you want your Pit Bull to stop licking you, make sure to strictly command it and give it a reward when it successfully follows your command. After a while, you will notice that your dog has stopped the licking habit.

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