Why does my Yorkie lick me so much?

Why does my Yorkie lick me all the time

Yorkie FunIf you have a Yorkie as I do, you are well aware of that little darting tongue that goes 100 licks a minute. This can be quite endearing but it can also get annoying also. See the bottom of this article for solutions to stop the licking behavior if that is what you want.

Why your Yorkie constantly licks you, particularly your face is because they love you. It is a sign of affection by our Yorkies. Yorkies don’t do this to just anybody. This only happens only after the relationship between the two of you is built strong and stable. It shows just how close your relationship has become.

For a dog, licking is a natural instinct they have from puppies. When a puppy is born the mother licks them not only to clean them up but also to stimulates their blood circulation. In turn, the puppy licks their mother when they want to eat and suckle.

Other Reasons your Yorkie is licking

Apart from showing you love and affection. your Yorkie may be licking you for other reasons also.

Attention Seeking

Yorkies do love attention and they can be quite clever in the way they get it. They soon figure out that the more they lick, the more affection and attention they get. This is why you will see an increase in the behavior if they are used to you giving them what they want.

Licking to communicate

By licking each other, dogs are expressing feelings and emotions. This is part of dog body language and communication.

When a dog licks another dog’s ears they are showing sympathy. When a male dog is doing it to a female dog it can also be a courting behavior. Licking the mouth is a sign of obedience and even submission.

Showing Respect

Licking can also be a sign of humility and respect to you. This is a good thing as it shows they see you as the leader. Many dog behavior problems are the result of the dog thinking they are the boss.

Investigating and Exploring

A dog can get a large amount of information and data about the environment using their tongue. With humans, we will lick something to taste it. Dogs have a fraction of the taste buds that we do, so licking is not as much about taste to them.

Licking has more to do with feeling texture and smell. This may seem strange that licking something helps them to smell it. By licking something the odor is lifted to the roof of the mouth carrying it to the nose. In scenting breeds such as Hound dogs, their large jowls actually sweep the ground lifting odors into the mouth for this very purpose.

The taste of your skin

Dogs also like the taste of your skin, particularly if you have been sweating. When we sweat we produce salt through the pores in our skin.


Yorkies are high energy and very intelligent. Without sufficient exercise and activity, they can become bored and frustrated. For suggestions of how to exercise your Yorkie see here.

It is also important to provide them with plenty of toys to help occupy them. See here for the best type of toy for Yorkies.

Develops into a habit

Whatever the reasons your Yorkie is licking you, it can also be the result of habit over time. With the constant positive reinforcement and reward they get from licking you it simply becomes a learned habit.

Why do Yorkies lick the air so much

If your Yorkie is licking the air there can be a number of reasons for this. Sometimes they may be appearing to lick the air when in fact they are doing something else such licking their nose to moisten it or at something stuck in their mouth.

One of the main reasons for air licking is anxiety or stress. If your Yorkie is licking the air more than normal you need to ascertain if anything has changed in their environment or daily life.

Has there routine changed, is someone they are attached to absent (either a person or other animal) or is there any other potential cause of anxiety.

Other reasons your Yorkie is air licking or appearing to lick the air include;

  • to remove food from their mouth. If you have ever given your dog peanut butter you will know what this looks like.
  • they are drooling and are wiping it away.
  • can be related to a type of seizure known as a partial seizure.
  • it can be a compulsive disorder.
  • dental issues.
  • upset stomach or digestive issue.

If your Yorkie is occasionally licking the air it is not a big concern. However, if the air licking is constant or excessive it can be an indication that something is not right.

Check your dog’s mouth to make sure there isn’t anything stuck. If in doubt you should consult your vet as it may be a medical issue. Your vet can determine if there are any physical or medical issues causing your dog’s air licking.

A gastrointestinal disorder may be blame. Problems that cause excessive licking include bowel inflammation, delayed gastric emptying, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pancreatitis, a foreign body, or parasitic infection.

If your vet eliminates a medical cause they may consider a compulsive disorder or anxiety as the cause.

Why do Yorkies lick their paws so much

If your Yorkie is licking their paws insistently it probably indicates an underlying problem. If they are only doing it occasionally it is not likely a problem. It is normal for a dog to groom their paws.

However, if it seems to be constant it can be because of several reasons. If you look at the bottom of their paws they are likely to be red. This is saliva staining. They may have even chewed them to the point where they are bleeding or swollen. The main reasons they are licking and chewing their paws or even just one paw may be;


If they are licking only one paw and are limping there is probably something wrong with just that paw. Check the paw for any cuts, insect bites or stings (such as a bee sting) or anything stuck in the pads or between the pads. This can be anything from grass seed to broken glass or sharp object.

If in doubt it is best to consult your vet. An infection in the paw can turn nasty very quickly.


Contact allergies are fairly common in a lot of dogs. These are an allergic reaction to something that they have walked on especially if the allergy is just on areas that have contacted the ground. This can include the end of their muzzle where they have been sniffing the ground or other areas just by lying on the ground.

One of the most common causes of contact allergies in dogs is a grass type weed called Wandering Jew. This weed is very common in many areas and is toxic to dogs. Herbicides and chemicals you may have used around the home can also cause irritations to your dog’s paws.

A possible solution to a contact allergy is to put boots on your Yorkie. View dog shoes here on Amazon. Alternatively, you can use a soothing spray like this to provide relief from the irritation.

Other causes of allergies can include food, dust mites or a yeast infection. If you are unsure of the cause of your dog’s allergies consult your vet. They may take a blood test to narrow down the most likely cause.

Medical Reasons

Your dog may have an underlying medical reason for their allergies. This can include things such as GI abnormalities such as lymphocytic-plasmacytic infiltration, chronic pancreatitis, and a gastric foreign body. Another medical cause may be a hormonal imbalance.

Obviously, if you have any doubts, consult your vet.


Yorkies are highly active dogs that need physical and mental stimulation. If your Yorkie is home alone for long periods of time or isn’t getting sufficient exercise and play they may be bored and frustrated.


Anxious dogs often try to find relief by licking themselves excessively. Paw licking or chewing is like the dog version of a person chewing their nails.

This anxiety may be caused by boredom and lack of exercise, depression or being home alone for long periods of time.

For more information on anxiety in dogs see here.

How do I get my Yorkie to stop licking

Firstly you need to ascertain what type of licking behavior it is you want to stop. Is it affection or attention-getting behavior such as face licking. Or is it more of a medical issue related licking or even due to boredom or anxiety.

If you are unsure which of these three areas the behavior falls into it is best to consult your vet. Once the vet has given a green light that the licking is not related to any health concern, you can work on stopping the dog from licking excessively on your own.

If it is a nuisance behavior that you wish to stop you will need to do some training to break the habit.

Don’t pay attention to the dog and instead, say No or Stop in an intense manner. Your dog needs to understand that when you say no, it means they have to obey you. Be consistent and don’t give in. Of course, being this stern may be tough on you both. But in the end, it will all be worth it.

puppy chewingFor a licking problem that stems from boredom, you will need to do more to occupy your Yorkie. Provide as many chew toys as you possibly can. This way, your dog will have something to bite on and forget about licking. See Best chew toys for dogs. Chewing releases endorphins to your dog’s brain in much the same way the licking habit has been doing.

For more information on how to stop a dog from excessive licking see here.

Summary – Why do Yorkies lick everything

Yorkies can be excessive lickers whether it is licking your face or licking themselves or other objects. The first step is to determine why they are licking. Consult your vet to eliminate any health or medical related causes.

Once health causes are eliminated you can start to work on stopping the behavior yourself with training for nuisance licking behavior. For licking caused by boredom, you will need to provide more activity for your Yorkie.

Does your Yorkie lick excessively. Let us know in the comments how you have solved this behavior.

Other Yorkie related posts you may like

How to exercise a Yorkie

Best Type of Toys for Yorkies

What do Yorkies like to do for fun

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