How to Discourage Your Dog from Licking Your Baby?

Welcoming a new baby into your family is an exciting and joyous time. However, it also brings about various adjustments, including introducing your four-legged family member to the newest addition. 

While dogs are often known for their loving nature, their excessive licking of babies can become a concern for many parents. 

Although licking is a natural behavior for dogs, it’s essential to establish boundaries to ensure the safety and well-being of both your baby and your canine companion. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore effective strategies to discourage your dog from licking your baby and maintain a harmonious environment for everyone.

Understanding the Reasons Behind Dog Licking 

Before diving into the methods to curb your dog’s licking behavior, it’s crucial to comprehend why dogs lick in the first place. 

Licking is a common behavior in canines and can serve multiple purposes. 

Dogs may lick their owners or other animals as a form of communication, affection, or even as a means of exploring their surroundings. 

However, when it comes to babies, licking can pose potential risks, such as the transfer of bacteria or accidental scratches from the dog’s nails. Therefore, it’s important to address and modify this behavior appropriately.

Establishing Boundaries and Supervision 

Creating boundaries and maintaining supervision is crucial when introducing your dog to your baby. 

Gradually introduce your dog to the baby, always under controlled circumstances, and observe their interactions closely. 

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This process allows your dog to become familiar with the new family member without overwhelming them. 

Ensure your dog has a safe space, such as a crate or designated area, where they can retreat when needed. This allows them to have their own space and alleviates any potential stress or anxiety they may experience.

Positive Reinforcement and Training Techniques

Implementing positive reinforcement and training techniques can be highly effective in modifying your dog’s behavior. 

Begin by teaching your dog basic obedience commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” 

These commands will prove invaluable when redirecting your dog’s attention away from your baby. Reward your dog with treats, praise, and affection for displaying appropriate behavior and following commands.

To discourage licking specifically, redirect your dog’s attention to alternative activities whenever they attempt to lick the baby. Provide them with a chew toy, puzzle toy, or interactive game to divert their focus. 

Additionally, ensure your dog receives plenty of mental and physical exercise throughout the day, as pent-up energy can contribute to excessive licking. 

Regular walks, playtime, and interactive toys will help keep your dog mentally stimulated and physically tired.

Consistency and Patience

Consistency is key when training your dog to stop licking your baby. Enforce the rules and boundaries consistently, ensuring that all family members follow the same guidelines. 

Avoid scolding or punishing your dog for licking, as this may lead to confusion or anxiety. 

Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and redirecting their attention. It’s important to note that modifying a dog’s behavior takes time and patience, so be persistent and remain dedicated throughout the training process.

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Additional Measures and Safety Precautions

In addition to training and supervision, there are several safety precautions you can take to ensure the well-being of both your baby and dog. 

Trim your dog’s nails regularly to reduce the risk of accidental scratches. Keep your baby’s face and hands clean to minimize the transfer of bacteria. 

If your dog continues to exhibit excessive licking despite training efforts, consider using a physical barrier, such as a baby gate or playpen, to separate them temporarily. 

However, it’s important to note that isolation should not be a long-term solution and should be used as a last resort under professional guidance.


Bringing a baby into a household with a dog requires careful management and patience. 

By understanding the reasons behind your dog’s licking behavior and implementing positive reinforcement techniques, you can effectively train your dog to stop licking your baby. 

Remember to establish clear boundaries, provide ample supervision, and consistently reinforce desired behavior. 

With time and effort, your dog will learn to coexist peacefully with your new bundle of joy, fostering a safe and loving environment for all family members.