• Dustin

    October 4, 2023 at 10:17 am

    Hello Leo,

    Allies responses are spot on and in order to deal with a behavior problem you have to understand why and where the behavior comes from. Based on my experience and your initial description your dog’s behavior sounds close to a Flehmen response. I wanted to touch on this part of your second message.

    When Nellie is licking and I tell her enough, she could have anxiety cause I stopped her.. I tend to think is more inline with Excitement and lastly it could be feeling threatened cause I am telling her enough..”

    Allie mentioned this same idea in her last post when she suggested you use a different command beside “enough” when engaging with this behavior. The philosophical rule that Allie was getting at with her statement is called the “Dead-Dog Rule” (Lindsay, volume 2 pg 31-33). It’s better to replace an undesirable behavior with an incompatible behavior that a dog can affirmatively perform instead of trying to get them to do nothing. It’s very hard for a dog to understand that you want them to stop doing an activity. Overall I think your dealing with a Flehmen response due to its proximity to licking another dog but there could be anxiety aspects involved as well. Your dog very well may not understand what the criteria for “enough” is and that could raise anxiety and stress due to confusion or anticipation of punishment. It’s better to give the dog an affirmative command that is clear and easily understandable. Allies recall suggestion was good, I suggest a “place” or “bed” command somewhere away from the licked dog may also help.