My Dog Constantly Licks the Floor

“My dog constantly licks the floor! I need to know how to stop it?” It was driving this dog owner nuts. Bill had had just about enough with his dog Pancho, a Chihuahua/Daschund mix.

“I’ve changed from using cleaners to wash the floor to using water only. I’ve put rugs down. Nothing seems to work!”

My Dog Licks The Floor

These types of behavior can be more common than you think.

Some dogs develop OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders) which can be easily identified by obsessive compulsive activities such as: licking the floor/carpet, furniture, tail chasing, air snapping, light chasing, flank- sucking, or water bowl digging. And some owners actually promote this behavior with laser light beams and wind up regretting it later.

Stress in the environment may also play a role in developing this disorder in your dog.

If, like Bill, your dog is exhibiting a similar behavior, don’t just think, “My dog constantly licks the floor!” let’s take a look at what you can actually do to remedy the situation.


The first thing to do is to see if your dog is getting enough quality exercise and mental stimulation. If you are able to check off these on your check list, it’s time to take a look at your overall relationship with your dog. You may already be doing some of the following – if so – just check them off and continue on down the list.

• Begin by providing adequate rules, personal space boundaries and expectations. Control food, space, articles of play and affection. That is, put your dog on a learn-to-earn program; everything he wants, he has to do at least a sit. That would include his food, access to your lap, his toys and any affection he gets from any family member.

• Embark on a rigorous exercise program of leadership walks. Two brisk 30 minute walks a day – by your side. Be sure and take time out in the middle of the walk to let him sniff, pee/poop and explore with his nose before resuming your walk back to the house.

• Supplement exercise with frequent dog training sessions of come, sit and down back and forth between two people and leave it commands. You would be surprised what 3 – 2 minute training sessions a day will do for your dog. That’s just 6 minutes a day. Surely you have 6 minutes each day for your dog! Teach and reinforce a command like a sit, down or place command to replace his OCD behavior when it occurs.

• See if you can reduce as much stress in your dog’s life as OCD is triggered by stress. So find the stressors in your dog’s life and remove them. If you can’t remove the stressors, then manage his environment to reduce your dog’s exposure to those stressors that cannot be eliminated. Better yet, enrich his environment. Get some great ideas from my previous article entitled, “A Bored Dog is a Troubled Dog.

• Stop any family behavior (like laughing and attention) that might be reinforcing your dogs OCD. One young pup’s tail chasing or spinning was cured by all family members getting up and leaving the room every time he engaged in his OCD. It stopped in about 4 weeks.

• Some have found that anxiety wraps – creating body pressure on acupressure points can also be of tremendous value when dealing with this disorder. Anxiety Wraps for dogs is a simple spandex-like sweater that “swaddles” your dog in just the right places and in the right way to help reduce the stress of the disorder.

Finally if your dog has OCD, do something now! Make the commitment today. While there may not always be a cure, life with your dog can be happier and more complete.

I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me.  

We’re always learning and there’s a bunch of you out there we are grateful to be able to serve and learn from.  

I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this.  If you dog exhibits any of these things, please know,  I’m here to help.

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8700+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. 

His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your dog understands what you expect of him, you empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.

8 replies
  1. Bob B
    Bob B says:

    Our 7 year old male English. bulldog licks the ground, floor and surrounding surfaces after he finishes eating. He licks the area within 20 ft of his food bowl. In so doing, he may be taking in non-food substances that are not good for him. His occasional vomiting seems to be associated with this.

    Otherwise, he is a happy and healthy dog, although he is very exercise adversive.

    What can we do to stop his incessant post meal licking?

    Thank you.

  2. Tia
    Tia says:

    I have taken on my parents Dachshund about 2 months ago due to the passing of my father. His licking behavior started 4 years ago when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and got worse when she passed. After about a year he started to calm down and not lick quite so much, but then my dad was re diagnosed with cancer and got very ill and the licking started to increase. Since I have brought the dog to my home his behavior has increased to constant and he is aggressive if you attempt to stop him. I have to smaller children in my home and I worry that he may eventually bite them. I would like to keep him, but I have no idea what to do. I have increased his exercise and stated feeding him a proper amount of food (he was extremely overweight) and I provide healthy treats such as carrots and things of that nature. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Jo Rawlings
    Jo Rawlings says:

    My German shepherd who is nearly 12 years old has suddenly started to lick the floor and bedroom carpet. Nothing has changed in his life, he gets good walks, has play and does stop when I clap my hands loudly. Would be interested to know why he has suddenly started!

  4. leila_admin
    leila_admin says:

    Hi Sara Ann. Yes, please try Jim’s suggestions. Main thing is consistency. Dogs do not do well with inconsistent messages from you and that can increase anxiety

  5. Sara Ann
    Sara Ann says:

    My dog licks a lot, not the floors, but chairs and couches. First I thought like this man, that it was what I was cleaning the furniture with. But she kept doing it. My vet wanted to put her on medications and I was not happy about that.

    I will try what you suggest and hope it makes a difference. Thanks!

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