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 behavior.
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.