Living with a Border Collie is a bit like having a furry, super-smart toddler with an endless supply of kisses. They’re energetic, playful, and have a knack for showering you with… well, enthusiastic licks. But have you ever stopped to wonder, why do Border Collies lick so much? It turns out, there are several reasons for this wet and affectionate behavior.

Why does my Border Collie constantly lick me?

There are a few key reasons your Border Collie might be giving you the full-body sandpaper treatment:

  • Affection: Licking is a natural way for dogs to show love. Think about it – they can’t exactly give you a hug (unless you’re okay with being bowled over by a furry missile). Licking is their doggy way of saying “I love you!”
  • Communication: Puppies learn from their mothers by getting licked. So, licking can also be a way for your Border Collie to communicate with you and even groom you like you’re part of their pack.
  • Boredom or Anxiety: Border Collies are super smart and energetic. If they’re not getting enough mental stimulation or exercise, they might lick to cope with boredom or relieve anxiety.

How can I tell if my Border Collie’s licking is normal or a sign of anxiety/stress?

Most of the time, a Border Collie’s licking is simply a sign of doggy devotion. However, if the licking becomes excessive or seems to be accompanied by other anxious behaviors like pacing or whining, it could be a sign that your pup is feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Are Border Collies known for licking?

You betcha! Border Collies are notorious lickers. Their intelligence and working-dog background mean they need a mental and physical outlet for their energy. Sometimes, licking becomes a way to self-soothe or cope with boredom.

Are there ways to reduce excessive licking in Border Collies?

Here’s the good news: with a little effort, you can help curb your Border Collie’s overzealous licking.

  • Channel their energy: Border Collies were bred to herd sheep all day long. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Think daily walks, playtime at the park, or invest in a puzzle toy to keep those sharp minds occupied.
  • Redirect the behavior: When your pup starts licking excessively, gently interrupt them with a firm “no” and offer an alternative, like a chew toy or a good belly rub.
  • Address underlying issues: If you suspect your Border Collie’s licking is due to anxiety, consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

Do Border Collies lick more than other dog breeds?

While Border Collies are known for their impressive licking skills, all dogs lick to some degree. It’s a natural behavior for them to explore their environment, groom themselves, and show affection. However, Border Collies’ high energy levels and tendency to become easily fixated can make their licking more noticeable.

What are some alternative ways Border Collies show affection?

The good news is, even if you manage to curb the licking a bit, your Border Collie will still find ways to show you they love you. Here are some other signs to look for:

  • The wiggle butt: An enthusiastic tail wag is a universal sign of canine happiness.
  • Cuddles: Who doesn’t love curling up with a furry friend?
  • The happy play bow: This playful posture with their front legs down and rear end up is a clear invitation to fun.
  • Following you around: They just want to be near their favorite person!

So, should you worry about your Border Collie’s licking?

Not necessarily! Most of the time, it’s just their way of showing love and exploring the world. However, if the licking becomes excessive or seems to be causing them stress, it’s always a good idea to consult a vet or animal behaviorist.

In the meantime, embrace those doggy kisses (maybe with a bandana from Printies to catch some of the drool) and remember, a tired Border Collie is a happy (and less licky) Border Collie! So get out there, play fetch, and enjoy the boundless love and energy of your amazing pup.

Sources and References
  • texaspetco. “Excessive Border Collie Licking» Texas Pet Company.”, 5 Feb. 2021, Accessed 13 May 2024.
  • Tarit. “4 Reasons a Border Collie Is Licking or Biting Its Paws.”, 4 Mar. 2023, Accessed 13 May 2024.

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