Published on: 12/01/2021, updated on: 12/04/2021

Why Do Yorkies Lick So Much? The Most Common Reasons

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Ever wondered why dogs lick? Like any other dog, Yorkies express their affection through licking. Some dogs go overboard and shower you with licks to a point where it gets overwhelming. Some also keep on licking themselves or the air too much. It can be their normal nature.

However, there can be instances where excessive licking can be linked with health issues. Whether you want to train your dog to lick less or cure a health issue, you must find the cause behind the unrestrained licking. This article will discuss the different reasons why Yorkies lick too much.

Your Yorkie is Licking for Your Affection and Attention

The most common reason why your Yorkshire terrier constantly licks you or other human friends is to express their affection. They are unable to speak our language and so they communicate by their actions, licking in this case.

Yorkies are also one of the breeds that are more affectionate and needy than others. Studies show that the oxytocin (love hormone) levels are dependent on the interaction with their owners. This proves that dogs or Yorkies in this case, show affection or try to get attention by licking their owners.

It should also be noted that dogs can sense when their human friends are upset or stressed, and they try to comfort them. Hence, when you notice that your Yorkie is licking you a lot when you come home after a long day, know that it’s trying to cheer you up.

Your Yorkshire Terrier is Licking the Salt from Your Skin

Another reason might be the taste. Dogs typically have five taste receptors. Two of these tastes are salt and acid. Salt and acid naturally exist on human skin, mainly as a result of sweat production. Like licking a lollipop, Yorkies will lick your skin, your unwashed clothes, and furniture you have been using just to have a taste of the natural secretions.

Yorkies Lick
Photo by brownieM on Pixabay

Your Yorkie is Simply Curious

Most dogs are curious and like to sniff around to get to know new objects, people, or environments. However, dogs like Yorkies prefer to lick to identify new items when they are curious. Similar to us humans using our hands and fingers to feel an unknown item, Yorkies will lick it to quench their curiosity.

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Your Yorkie Might Have Fleas

Your Yorkie might have fleas in their fur, causing them to have itchy skin. This can make your dog lick itself followed by vigorously scratching and chewing. Inspect your dog’s stomach area and underneath their leg joints for fleas. Take immediate action after confirming your dog has fleas. 

Your Yorkie is Licking out of Boredom or Anxiety

Yorkies are incredibly smart and have high energy levels. They become frustrated and bored when there is a lack of physical activity. Hence, they utilize their energy by incessantly licking. They also lick when they are stressed or nervous, similar to us biting our nails or fidgeting when we are anxious. 

Your Yorkie Might Have Developed a Habit

The licking might be just a bad habit your Yorkie developed. Initially, you loved your dog’s kisses—who can resist an adorable pet’s love and affection? However, the incessant licking may get annoying at a certain point. Your initial acceptance of such behavior gave the wrong notion to your Yorkie that this is normal and you like it. You can train your dog to stop such irritating habits.


Your Yorkie Might Have Some Serious Health Issues

Your Yorkie might be licking due to some underlying health issue. It is best to get a vet’s consultation.

Your Yorkie Might Have Dental Problems

Yorkies are susceptible to some dental issues. Clear indicators are your Yorkie licking the sides of its mouth. There might be excessive tartar buildup, inflamed gums, or irritation. You should take it to the vet to confirm it has any dental problems and get the appropriate treatment.

Your Yorkie Might Be Suffering from Pain

If your Yorkie is constantly licking a certain region repeatedly, paws in most cases, chances are she might have pain in that part. The pain can be caused by a wound, insect bites, a broken nail, or a piece of glass stuck in it. 

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Your Yorkie Might Have Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can be one of the reasons behind your dog licking excessively suddenly. The imbalance can lead to hair loss and other uncommon issues. Your dog might be licking the balding spots and irritating parts which can result in a secondary infection.

The dog might be overproducing cortisol, which leads to insufficient production of thyroid hormone and Cushing’s disease. Getting your dog checked at the vet and taking the necessary treatment is the way to go.

Your Yorkie Might Be Suffering from Dermatitis

Your dog might be trying to soothe inflammation caused by dry skin, mites, allergies, auto-immune diseases, etc. It’s essential to get these things treated immediately. You can also invest in high-quality clippers for your Yorkie for proper grooming. The grooming will minimize the cause of such issues.

Your Yorkie Might Be Having Gastrointestinal Issues

General discomfort accompanied by the excessive licking of a specific part, mostly paws, can be a sign of diseases like chronic pancreatitis, bad digestion due to the entry of gastric foreign bodies.

Your Yorkie Might Have Oral Growth or Lesions

Lesions or growths in the throat or mouth can cause excessive salivation. This will make your Yorkie constantly lick the air and swallow. It is best to get it inspected by the vet and cure it with the necessary medication.


Reasons Why Your Yorkie Licks the Air so Much

If you notice that your Yorkie is licking the air too much, it might be one of the following reasons:

  • Trying to get food out of its mouth
  • Trying to lick its nose
  • Trying to get rid of drool

Some of the more serious and concerning reasons might be:

  • Dental issue
  • Sign of seizure
  • Stomach ache

These issues need to be addressed by a vet.

yorkie running on grass

Why Does Your Yorkie Lick Its Paws so Much?

Yorkie licking paws excessively is not a good sign. Some of the common reasons your dog is licking too much could be a wound, an infection, GI issues, or hormonal imbalance. If your dog is licking its paw excessively, it can inflame the paws or make them sore. This will make the paws very sensitive and more prone to getting hurt.


How to Prevent Your Yorkie from Licking Themselves

Sometimes, out of bad habit, your Yorkie will lick themselves so much that they will make their skin inflamed and sore. You can make your dog wear a buster collar to stop licking themselves.

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You can also get them fun chew toys to keep them busy and distracted from all the obsessive licking. Another alternative is to spray bitter apple spray on the parts that they lick the most. 

How to Train Your Yorkie to Stop Licking Your Face and Hands

If you want to stop your dog from licking you too much, you need to train it with patience, consistency, and loads of positive reinforcement. The following steps will guide you through the whole process.

Preparation for the Training

Make sure you have plenty of your Yorkie’s favorite treats. You need to plan the training at least twice a day. Each session should last about 10 minutes. You also need to choose a training spot with minimal distractions such as foot traffic, loud TV, etc.

yorkie licking

Training Your Dog to Stop Licking Your Face

You need to let your dog lick you first and then stop it to teach him to stop this action. You need to give him a treat immediately when he stops. Soon your Yorkie will stop simply by your command.

  1. Keep training treats in your pocket and one in your palm, and let your dog lick you. Every five seconds, keep repeating the word “lick”. Stay quiet when your dog pauses.
  2. Now rise to a level where your dog can’t lick your face and while doing so, command stop/no/stop lick.
  3. Immediately give treats when it stops licking and give praises.
  4. Repeat this every session.
  5. After five days, repeat all the steps except the rising part. If your dog obeys, reward him with a treat. If not, repeat this step without rising and command your dog to stop licking until successful.

Training Your Dog to Stop Licking Your Hands

The steps are the same as mentioned above but instead of holding a treat, you need to let your dog lick your empty hand, and once it stops you give a treat from your pocket.



There are various reasons your Yorkie licks everything. If your dog suddenly begins licking excessively, get her checked by the vet to find any health issues. If it’s a bad habit that is getting out of hand, train it with patience and positive reinforcement.

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