If your dog licks to stimulate himself infrequently (once or twice a day at
most) and it isn’t bothersome to you, it’s not necessary to stop his
If your dog’s licking behavior does bother you or causes irritation to his skin, try to
distract him, preferably as soon as he starts to lick himself. Toss a toy, play
a game, give your dog a chewie or ask him to perform some previously learned
basic obedience skills or tricks that he enjoys (sit, down, shake, etc.). You
can also try moving your dog to a different location.
Compulsive Mounting and Masturbation
As soon as your dog starts to mount or masturbate, try to distract him.
Toss a toy, play a game, give your dog a chewie or ask him to perform some
previously learned basic obedience skills or tricks that he enjoys (for
example, sit, down and paw).
If your dog’s behavior has become compulsive and interferes with his normal
daily life, you may need to get help from a qualified professional. Please read
our article, Finding
Professional Help, for information about locating a Certified Applied
Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or Associate CAAB) or a board-certified veterinary
behaviorist (Dip ACVB). If you can’t find a behaviorist in your area, you can
seek help from a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT)-but be sure to
determine whether she or he has professional or academic training and extensive
experience treating compulsive behavior, as this
expertise isn’t required for CPDT certification.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist
The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk.
If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.