Why Do Yorkies Lick So Much?

Many Yorkie dog owners have noticed their dog licking themselves, their owner, or even random objects. You may be wondering why do Yorkies lick so much? Thankfully it is very normal and natural for your Yorkie to do this. In this article, we will go over some of the common reasons why your Yorkie is licking excessively.

Why Do Yorkies Lick So Much

Reasons Why Your Yorkie is Licking

Below are some of the common reasons why your Yorkie is licking. Evaluate each one carefully to see if it matches your dog’s behavior.

1. Sick Yorkie

Dogs that feel sick may show signs of licking excessively. You will most likely notice your dog licking the tops and sides of its nose. This is a response to all the drainage and sinus pressure your dog has when it is sick.

Dogs are like humans in the way that they do not enjoy being sick. So, when you see your Yorkie licking, it means it is trying to make itself feel better.

When your dog is sick, you can try to keep your dog from having to lick constantly by offering your dog plenty of water. One of the worse things you can do is let your dog become dehydrated.

2. Your Dog is Bored

Your Yorkie could just be licking itself due to boredom. Dogs get very bored easily, so what are they supposed to do? You may notice your dog licking its own paws, and it can simply just be a sign of your dog being bored or even anxious.

3. Showing Affection

If your dog is licking you quite excessively, such as your face or your hands, it is most likely just your dog showing you some affection. Dogs don’t have any way of telling their owner that they love them, so they have to resort to showing affection the only way they know how, such as licking their owner.

The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed is known to be more affectionate than others, so you may find your Yorkie giving you kisses more than other dog breeds.

Dogs can also tell when their owner is feeling sad, stressed, or even nervous, so your dog could be giving you some extra love based on the way you are feeling.

Yorkie Licking Owner

4. Attention

Again, some dog breeds seek more attention than others, and the Yorkie is one of them. The Yorkie can be very stubborn, especially if you are ignoring it or happen not to care what your dog is doing; it may cause your dog to lick excessively.

What I mean by excessively is that your dog won’t stop until you continue to keep giving your dog attention. Your dog may have started this habit, and you rewarded your do by going it attention every time it licked you. Your dog learned that’s what makes you respond and kept repeating this pattern.

Remember to try your best to give your dog enough attention throughout the day. There are so many fun activities you can do with your dog to curb that boredom. Also, remember to do your research on the Yorkie breed before making your decision to purchase one. If you are not interested in a higher-maintenance dog, you may want to choose a different breed.

5. Dental Issues

Dogs get dental issues just like us humans. Yorkshire Terriers are actually prone to some dental complications because their jaws are so small their entire life. If you see your Yorkie licking the sides of its mouth, it could be a sign of a dental issue or even excessive tarter on the teeth.

If you see any signs in your dogs’ mouth of dental decay, irritation, redness of the gums, or excessive tarter buildup, you should take your dog to the veterinarian.

Your vet can take a look at your dog and determine if any medicine needs to be subscribed or if you just need to start a good basic hygiene routine.

Dog breeds like the Yorkie are prone to dental problems, so it is very important to brush your dogs’ teeth on a regular basis. You do not need to do this every day, but you can make this part of your bi-weekly routine.

You can purchase special dog toothbrushes as well as treats that are designed to clean your dogs’ teeth as they chew on them.

6. Salt on Skin

A previous dog that I owned was not a Yorkie, but it would lick my legs, and it was so strange. Dogs that lick your skin are doing it because you taste good. I know that sounds so strange, but it is true. Human skin, when it sweats, creates a salty acid layer, and dogs can taste that.

A dog’s tongue has taste receptors, and they really like the salty taste on the skin, which could be one reason why your dog is licking your arm or legs.

Why Do Yorkies Lick?

7. Allergies

Yes, if you did not already know, dogs can develop seasonal and regular allergies just like we do. Some major allergies for dogs can be in their food or the things around them, such as grass, fertilizer, and different smells of products.

A sign of allergies in dogs can be very severe but also very mild and strange. One of the symptoms most people wouldn’t think of when a dog is experiencing an allergy is excessive licking.

If you notice your dog licking you, furniture, its paws, air, and other random things, don’t cast it aside; definitely investigate it.

8. Your Dog has Fleas

Fleas can be very easy to identify. A symptom besides constant itching from your dog you may notice is licking of the paws. You may even notice your dog eating at its paws because it is so itchy.

Thankfully there are many flea and tick treatments out there that can easily handle the flea situation on your dog. After a few months, your dog should be able to get rid of the fleas completely. That irritation should stop, and your dog shouldn’t be excessively licking anymore.

9. Serious Health Problem

Other than being sick, excessive licking can be an issue of a major health problem. Watch your dog closely to see what body part your dog is licking. If your dog keeps licking that same area, it could mean they are injured or have something serious going on there.

If this becomes a habit for your dog or does not stop, then I would definitely take the time to consult your veterinarian to see why your Yorkie is licking itself.

10. Bad Habit

Does can develop bad habits just like their owners. So, people bite their nails or fidget, and your Yorkie may lick itself just out of it being a habit. Unless you reprehend your dog, it will think that it is acceptable to do this type of behavior.

You can actually train a dog to stop excessively licking. This will take a lot of time, especially if your dog has this bad habit formed.

Yorkie Licking Its Face

Why Do Yorkies Lick Their Privates?

A normal amount of licking is completely acceptable in the animal world. Yorkies and other dog breeds lick for various reasons and shouldn’t cause very much concern.

When a Yorkie licks its private parts, it usually means it has just used the bathroom, and it is cleaning itself up.

You won’t usually see a dog licking its butt area after it uses the bathroom. If your dog continues to lick the private area, it could mean that there is an underlying condition such as an infection.

Remember that if a female dog is doing this, it could also be a sign of the dog going into heat. If you are ever concerned, you can take your Yorkie to the veterinarian to be examined.

Why Do Yorkies Lick the Air?

Some dog owners think that when their dog is licking the air, it can mean something is wrong, but most of the time, your dog is either:

  • Licking the sides of the face.
  • Trying to lick its nose.
  • Your Yorkie is trying to get food out of its mouth.
  • Getting rid of excess drool.

Some of the more serious reasons why your Yorkie is licking the air:

  • Stomach ache.
  • Serious dental issue.
  • Sign of seizure.
Why Do Yorkies Lick the Air

Why Do Yorkies Lick Their Paws?

You do not want your dog to lick its paws excessively because it can indicate a problem.

Common reasons why your Yorkie is licking its paws could be due to a hormonal imbalance, GI tract issue, wound on the paw, or even some sort of infection.

If your Yorkie is licking its paws out of habit, it can cause fur stains that can mess up the dog’s grooming. This excessive licking can also cause your dog’s paws to become sore or inflamed, making your Yorkie get hurt easier.

Ways to Get Your Yorkie to Stop Licking

If you are bothered by your dog’s licking behavior, you can do a few things to correct it.

  • Distract your Yorkie from the bad habit licking behavior it is exhibiting. You can distract your dog with toys or even chew treats that will keep your dog’s mouth busy.
  • Give your Yorkie plenty of exercise to ensure your dog is not bored, and it will also help tire your dog out.
  • Train your dog to stop the licking behavior by teaching your dog the “No” command.
  • Make a negative reaction to the licking, and your dog will eventually be able to tell that you do not like it.


As you can see from this article, there are many reasons why your Yorkie is licking. It can be difficult to determine which one best fits your dog. Hopefully, your Yorkie isn’t dealing with any major health concerns.

Now you know the answer to why do Yorkies lick so much, and you can curb that behavior. Let us know in the comments if your Yorkie licks you a lot out of affection or if it has turned into a bad habit.

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