Why Does My Shih Tzu Like To Lick Me?

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Who doesn’t want Shih Tzu as a pet? Those big eyes and cut expressions are the love at first sight. Wherever Shih Tzu is present, you will find happiness and giggles around. A Shih Tzu weighs approximately nine to sixteen pounds.

However cute a Shih Tzu is, it must have habits that annoy or confuse you. One such issue is the licking of Shih Tzus. If you are a Shih Tzu owner, you must seek answers to why your Shih Tzu links all the time or why it is licking the other body parts.

This article will cover all the questions you have in mind regarding the Shih Tzu licking. It will also guide you on how you can prevent your dog from licking you.

Let’s start with Shih Tzu licking answers!

Why Does My Shih Tzu Like To Lick Me?

There can be various reasons why your Shih Tzu is licking so much. Some of the reasons may include showing affection, seeking attention, having anxiety, having allergies, feeling hot, dry skin, separation anxiety, etc.

Let’s go through these reasons in detail.

Showing Affection

If your Shih Tzu is licking you continuously, it may mean it is showing love towards you. Every living thing will be affectionate towards them in various ways, such as humans showing their love by hugging or kissing.

Shih Tzus will lick you to show that they care about you. You can always pat their head by saying a no so that they are licking you if you think it is not very pleasant for you too much. Licking is not the only way of showing affection, as there have various other ways, such as nuzzling.

Seeking Attention

If your Shih Tzu doesn’t stop licking after a few times, it must be seeking your attention. One of the things in all dogs is that they want attention from their owner as they do not like being ignored.

You must be looking for someone to play with or give them time, and you don’t need to worry about such licking if you give your Shih Tzu enough time and attention.

You must ensure playing with your Shih Tzu, taking it out for a walk and plenty of quality with them. However, if you are doing all these things above, then excessive licking may be due to any other reason below.


Anxiety has no limits; whether humans or pets, it can affect any of them. One of the significant reasons for excessive licking must be anxiety. Your Shih Tzu must be going through some stress.

Anxiety in Shih Tzus can happen mainly as a fear of separation. They might not like being away from their owners or comfortable spaces. If anxiety is the reason behind too much licking, you must consult a vet immediately.

A vet will provide appropriate medicines and ways for your Shih Tzu to deal with it to avoid such adaptations as excessive barking or excessive licking.


Allergies can be a significant cause of excessive licking, but It can be hard to identify if it is due to allergies. You must start noticing the times when your Shih Tzu starts licking too much and when it stops.

If your Shih Tzu stops and restarts after a specific time, it must be an allergy. It can be due to weather, food or any environmental issue. If that’s the case, you must visit your Vet as soon as possible.

Your Vet will help identify the kind of allergy and help you overcome your dog’s allergies with appropriate medicines and suggestions.

Feeling Hot

This reason may be new to you, but your Shih Tzu might feel too hot. You should never allow this situation to come as it also eventually affects your Shih Tzus’ health.

Dehydration can be bad for humans as well as pets; you must ensure to provide enough water to your Shih Tzu so that it stays hydrated to avoid any serious health concerns and also it will stop licking excessively.

If your Shih Tzu is feeling too hot, you must also ensure to provide a cold environment so it can feel comfortable.

Dry Skin

Isn’t dry skin the worst everyday skin issue? Yes, so is for the dogs. Dry skin is more common in the Shih Tzu breed. As the Shih Tzu has less fur and more quantity of hair on their body, it leads to excessive dryness on their skin.

The dryness will cause the Shih Tzu to lick more so that it removes the irritation by washing the skin with their tongue. But in reality, they are harming their skin by removing essential oils on their skin. It will make their skin even dryer, causing them to lick more.

Dryness on Shih Tzu can be due to excessive bathing or weather conditions. You must avoid bathing your Shih Tzu after every week. Also, ensure bathing your Shih Tzu will pet-friendly shampoos and things to prevent dryness.

Separation Anxiety

It is a common issue in most dog breeds. If the owner is not paying much attention to their Shih Tzu, they must start having separation anxiety. Shih Tzus want the attention and time of their owners.

It might also happen if you leave your Shih Tzu alone for a longer time; as a result of separation anxiety, it will start licking itself, and it may also begin to lick various other objects In the house.

Excessive licking will cause spots and dryness on their skin, encouraging them to lick more. You must observe Shih Tzu’s behavior to know if your dog has separation anxiety. This strange behavior ends once you get home or give them enough time.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Hands?

Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Hands?
Why does my Shih tzu lick my hands

Your Shih Tzu must start licking various body parts for various reasons. Your Shih Tzu must be licking your hands because of these reasons:

It Might Remind Them of Their Childhood

Your Shih Tzu must love to remember their childhood memories with its mother. The way your Shih Tzu’s mother used to lick must have many memories. Your Shih Tzu must be trying to relieve those by licking your hands more frequently.

Memories are not only for humans but also for your pets. They remember their childhood treatment by licking their owner’s hand as it reminds them of affection with their mother and siblings.

Although on hands can have many other reasons, if it happens once in a while and your dog is enjoying it, it must be the relishing of those memories.

It Might Be Trying To Groom You

Licking to the groom is a trait of a pack of animals. When the animals are in a pack, they ensure grooming one another. So, your Shih Tzu must be trying to groom you as it may consider you as a pack of its animals.

It also enhances and shows the bonding between the owner and the Shih Tzu, and it shows that your Shih Tzu is protective of you and wants to nurture you. It may consider you as a child or himself as a parent and ensures to groom you well by licking you on your hands.

You May Taste Good!

Shih Tzus love to eat. The food or even the smell of the food might attract them. You may have food in your hands or bits of remaining food on yourself, due to which your dog must be going crazy for you.

Do you know that salty human skin can attract dogs? Your salty hands may taste good to your Shih Tzu, which may develop a habit of constantly licking you. Your good tasty skin or food particles can also be why Shih Tzu is licking your hands so much.

It May Be A Way Of Greeting

As humans meet each other after returning home, so do the dogs. Your dog must be licking your hands to greet you after you go back to your home. Shih Tzus are emotional dogs, so they show their affection through licking.

Their licking will show that your Shih Tzu was missing you, and the only way to express you can find is through licking your hands again and again. You must extend your hand when your Shih Tzu wants; it will signify hugging.

Licking your hands also shows an approval that your Shih Tzu likes you, and now you are no longer a stranger to it.

It Maybe Trying To Communicate

Normal licking of the owner’s hand might be nothing to worry about as it must just be love and affection, but if your Shih Tzu is licking your hand obsessively, the reason might be something else.

It must try communicating to you about an issue. It may be crying or tackling its tail to hint at the problem. You must observe your dog’s body language to whether the licking is normal or aggressive.

Your Shih Tzu might be trying to tell that he is not feeling well or pointing towards a danger you might not be able to see.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Face?

Your Shih Tzu might be licking your face as a sign of affection and love. All the reasons above for hand licking can also apply to face licking. It mainly shows your Shih Tzu is trying to show affection or greeting you with love.

How To Stop My Shih Tzu From licking Me?

It becomes an unpleasant experience when the licking becomes uncontrollable. Sometimes it gets overwhelming to allow your dog to lick you all the time. The irritation might increase, and you may stop it. If you no longer enjoy excessive dog licking, follow these tips:

Ignore Your Shih Tzu

One of the most reasons for dog licking is seeking attention from the owner, so the best thing you can do to avoid excessive licking is to ignore your Shih Tzu. When a Shih Tzu licks you, and you pat or kiss it back, it encourages them to do it more.

You must not encourage your dog to do it more; instead, you must stop it or ignore it after a few licks. It will cut your Shih Tzu’s licking behavior if it stops getting attention from the owner.

Take A Shower

The salty human skin is an attraction for the dog; you must consider taking more baths to prevent your skin from tasting like that. The more sweat you have, the saltier your skin becomes.

Give Them Something To Eat

One of the cleverest techniques to deal with dog licking is to divert their attention by feeding them something as soon as they appear to lick you. You can give a bone or something to chew for a longer time, so the attention is longer towards licking.

Talk To A Shih Tzu Behaviorist

Excessive licking must be a sign of an underlying issue that you might not be able to discover. It is best to consult with a Shih Tzu or any dog specialist in such a case. They will help you investigate and recommend helpful tips and medications.

Change Your Scent

Your scent might be attractive to your Shih Tzu. You must try changing your scent or the products you use to see if your Shih Tzu stops licking you. A scent change can be effective in diverting the dog away from you.

Final Words

Shih Tzu liking you can be overwhelming and annoying at the same time. It may have many reasons to start licking you. Sometimes it is just normal, whereas sometimes, the issue is serious.

This article above covers all the main reasons why a Shih Tzu might lick you in various body parts and situations. It also mentions ways to prevent your dog from licking too much. It is a must-read guide for all Shih Tzu owners.

Enjoy your licking time with Shih Tzu!


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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