One thing that we can’t hold against our Morkie dog is their affectionate nature. They love us dearly and can’t help but express it. It makes you feel good as an owner, as though you are doing something right. But have you ever felt as though your dog is licking you a little more than they normally should? Perhaps you are starting to feel like you should discourage this excessive behavior a little?
In short, your Morkie licks you this much because you let them. You give into those instinctive desires to seek comfort from this physical contact or to use it to gain attention. If you have no problem with it, that’s fine. Just be aware that there may be some attachment or anxiety issues at play for some dogs. If you want it to stop, take that bold step of refusing the kisses, and curb the behavior.
To understand why Morkies lick so much, and how to tone down this behavior, we need to look at their genetics and instinctive behavior traits. It is in their nature to lick, so we can’t blame them for it.
There is also the fact that we often encourage licking or “kisses” from our dogs, so we do have ourselves to blame here too.
Let’s take a closer look at why Morkies lick their owners a lot by looking at the behavior of the parent dogs and the meaning behind those licks. We can also look at our own behavior and ways to tone things down a little bit.
Morkies are a crossbreed of Yorkshire Terriers and Maltese dogs
Licking is one of the primary forms of communication for these animals.
When Yorkies, Maltese, and Morkie dogs lick, they do so for a variety of reasons. These include:
~ a desire to be comforted
~ a desire to comfort you
~ a general need for attention
~ the understanding that this is what you expect from them
~ the fact that we taste good. If I am what I eat then I’m a giant pizza so I must be delicious to her.
Mother dogs lick their puppies to provide comfort while they are young. It is also a basic form of communication. Puppies receive licks when groomed or moved to a safer place. They also lick their mother when they want food. Yorkies and Maltese dogs tend to continue this behavior. So, as you are now their primary caregiver, you get all the licks.
This association between licking and comfort may also lead Morkies to lick upset owners. These companion dogs can be brilliant forms of emotional support for owners. If they see you crying, anxious, or upset in some way, that licking instinct may come in as a way of helping you.
This behavior could also be an attempt to get some attention. What better way of getting your attention is there than literally getting in your face and licking it. Dogs may learn this pattern and use a little kiss to get whatever they want. Do they want to play? Lick! Do they want a treat? Lick! Do they want to go outside? Lick! If the system works, why change it?
Or, they might think that this is the best way to receive your praise. Do you tend to give your Morkie a bigger fuss when they are kissing you? They are sure to notice this and realize that licking is an easy way to receive your love. Dogs that are a little needier, or that have missed you during the day, will smother your will kisses if they know they will receive praise for it.
There is also the idea that Morkies lick because they like the salty taste of our skin. This notion makes sense, but it does put a sour note on any time they have licked our tears for us. Perhaps they weren’t as sympathetic at that moment as we thought.
Is your Morkie licking you too much?
In many cases, you are the enabler here. If you welcome these kisses and heap praise on your dog for providing them, they will keep on licking you. It is like any learned behavior that provokes a positive response. In the end, all dogs want to please their owner to ensure we meet their basic needs.
The problem is that this licking behavior can become excessive quite easily. If your dog tries to lick every inch of your face in record time with no sign of stopping, it quickly becomes annoying and needy. This is where you need to analyze why they are licking you, how responsible you are, and what to do next.
Training Morkies not to lick so much
The good news is that it is possible to get your Morkie to tone things down a bit. The difference-maker is your response to the kisses. As long as you reward this behavior, it will keep on happening. Those rewards could be verbal praise or close physical contact. Your dog understandably assumes that you like what is happening and what it to continue – so they oblige.
The trick here is to end this cycle. The next time that they come up and start licking you, don’t give any verbal response. Instead, pick them up and put them down on the floor. This might seem mean, but it is the best way to break the habit. They need to learn that either their excessive licking isn’t necessary at that moment or that it doesn’t lead to the benefits expected.
Morkies that are licking because they desire comfort may have other issues going on. Take a closer look at why they might be so strongly attached to you or anxious in any way. Work on those issues, and you may see a reduction in licking.