Why Does My Dog Lick My Knees? (+What’s Happening + How to Stop!)

Noticed your dog licks your knees or even specifically licks the back of your knees when you walk? It might seem like a random or even funny habit, but there’s usually a reason behind it. Whether it’s an affectionate gesture or they’re attracted to the taste of your skin, we’ll help you understand what’s motivating them so that you can most effectively manage it.

In this article, you’ll learn why your dog licks your knees, whether it’s a behavior you should allow, and things like what it means if your dog licks your knee at night. Once you know what’s going on, we can then teach you how to gently discourage it if it becomes bothersome. Let’s get started!

Why Does My Dog Lick My Knees?

Why Does My Dog Lick My Knees?

Your dog licks your knees due to a combination of affection, the taste of your skin, and their instinct to groom and show submission. This behavior can be endearing but also puzzling. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help determine whether it’s a harmless sign of love or something that should be discouraged for health or behavioral reasons.

Why Does My Dog Lick Behind My Knee?

Your dog licks behind your knee because of the unique scent and taste your skin provides, which can be comforting and appealing to them. Additionally, this area may accumulate sweat and other scents that attract your dog.

Licking can also be a way for your dog to express affection or seek attention, as well as a soothing self-stimulation behavior if they’re feeling stressed or anxious.

Dog Licks My Knee: Okay to Allow?

Allowing your dog to lick your knee is generally okay if it’s done occasionally and is not excessive. However, it’s important to ensure that the behavior does not become obsessive or a way for your dog to seek attention constantly.

Consistent licking can also indicate underlying issues such as anxiety or boredom, which may need to be addressed.

How to Stop Dog Licking My Knee

If you decide that your dog licking your knee should be curtailed, training them with a simple command such as “leave it” can be effective. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to train the “leave it” command:

  1. Hold a treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it, then close your fist around the treat and say “leave it.”
  2. Wait for your dog to stop trying to get the treat and to look away or sit down, then reward them with a different treat from your other hand.
  3. Repeat this exercise several times until your dog understands that “leave it” means they should not touch or lick the object in question.
  4. Gradually move to practicing with your knee by using the “leave it” command when they attempt to lick, rewarding them for obedience.

This training helps redirect your dog’s focus and teaches them to seek rewards through obedience rather than through licking.

While a dog licking your knees can be a sign of affection or attraction to the taste of your skin, it’s important to monitor the behavior to ensure it doesn’t indicate a deeper issue with anxiety. Training your dog with commands like “leave it” can help manage the behavior if necessary.

It’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, boredom, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog licking your knee and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about why your dog licks your knee ever again!

Why Do Dogs Lick Kneecaps?

Why Do Dogs Lick Kneecaps?

Dogs lick kneecaps for several reasons, ranging from affection and grooming to the taste of your skin after a workout. This behavior is generally considered a sign of love or a way for dogs to explore their environment. Understanding the motivations behind this action can help you address any underlying issues or simply appreciate the gesture as a sign of your dog’s affection.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Kneecaps?

Your dog licks your kneecaps due to a combination of factors such as the salty taste of your skin, their instinct to groom, or as a way to seek attention. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and taste, and your skin’s unique scent and flavor can be intriguing to them. You may see your dog lick your ankles or lick your clothes for similar reasons.

Additionally, licking is a comforting behavior that stems from puppyhood, when their mothers licked them for grooming and bonding purposes. If you’d like to control the behavior, you can learn a command to stop your dog licking your knee by going back to the first section now.

Why Does My Dog Lick the Back of My Knees When I Walk?

Your dog licks the back of your knees when you walk because of the motion and the exposed skin, which releases more scent and sweat. This area can be particularly appealing after physical activity when you’re more likely to sweat, leaving behind a salty residue that your dog finds irresistible. If they’re sweaty enough, they may even try to lick your clothes later.

It’s also a way for your dog to show affection and stay connected with you as you move around.

Dog Licking My Knee at Night

If your dog licks your knee at night, it may be seeking comfort, closeness, or trying to soothe itself before sleep. Nighttime can amplify your dog’s need for security and bonding, and licking is a self-soothing behavior that helps them relax. It’s also a way for them to engage in a quiet, comforting activity that strengthens your bond.

In summary, dogs lick kneecaps for a variety of reasons, including taste, grooming, affection, and communication. While generally harmless, if excessive licking becomes bothersome or is a sign of underlying issues, addressing the behavior with positive reinforcement training or consulting a veterinarian for advice might be necessary.

I’m sure you’re ready to begin now that you have all of your questions about your dog licking knees answered, so I’ll let you get started on things. Best wishes, and thank you for taking a look at our article “Why Does My Dog Lick My Knees? (+What’s Happening + How to Stop!)”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.