View Full Version : OCD licking....floors,etc

15th March 2008, 11:58 PM
We have a one year old ruby who began licking the floor about 5 months ago....took a video into the vet and he was put on prozac,bach's rescue remedy and DAP systems thru-out the house.
Even with lots of exercise,interaction with other dogs and adding a puppy to our house.....there has been NO CHANGE.We do have anxiety issues with two humans in the house and I wonder if he's picked up on that?????I'm beginning to wonder if we may not be the right house for him.......It is so hard to watch him just lick the floor.....the floor gets soaked......
ANY advice would be helpful.
Thank you so much,

16th March 2008, 12:40 AM
It could be stress from the people, but OCD disorders are known in the breed as well. A puppy may possibly only have added to the stress rather than relieved it but also may help. A really outwardly stressful environment sometimes isn't the best place for pets generally -- they will pick up on that human tension and it can easily cause behaviour problems. They may displace their anxiety into such behaviours.

Sometimes such symptoms are thought to be evidence of other neurological problems like seizure disorders.

Some think they may be genetic:


Also see:

For problems such as aggression, compulsive disorders, fear, anxiety or phobias or when problems are not improving with the trainer's suggestions - consider other resources, such as a veterinary behaviorist or a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior to diagnose the problem, and then guide behavior therapy.

There are other certified behaviorists and consultants who have varying degrees of training and expertise who can work with youand your family vet to help. Treating behavior problems with approaches that focus on punishment and dominance may only serve to exacerbate fear and anxiety.

Dr. Landsberg is the past president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and co-author of “Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat.” Dog Training the Right Way By Gary Landsberg, BSc, DVM, DACVB

Cathy Moon
16th March 2008, 01:52 AM
Anything you can do to give him positive attention and to bond with him will help. He needs activities with you that take his attention away from licking and needs to be pulled out of his little world.

I would find several different activities to do with him every day for at least three to four 20 minute sessions. If he hasn't had obedience training, I'd start there, and then build on it with clicker training. You can use clicker training to practice obedience, loose leash walking, tricks, play agility, etc. I would walk him daily, and have at least one 20 minute play session, throwing little squeak toys for him to fetch and praising him for returning them. Talk to him and give him tummy rubs. Give him appropriate things to chew on like bully sticks, cow ears, dental chews for at least 20 minutes per day, when you can monitor him to prevent choking. After a walk, let him curl up with you on the sofa when you read or watch TV. Just a few ideas - hope this helps!:flwr:

16th March 2008, 08:15 AM
its not anywere you've used cleaning products is it ?
my papillon will try to lick up the floor cleaner

16th March 2008, 04:32 PM
Thanks......we have done ALL of the above.......the second he has a free moment...he's back to licking.....??????

Cathy Moon
16th March 2008, 04:56 PM
Does he get sleepy and take naps after going for a walk or obedience classes? I would try to manage him that way, and by giving him safe chews - does he like to chew? Also, does he have other dogs to socialize with, and a fenced area to run?

16th March 2008, 04:57 PM
Forgot to mention that I have contacted Dr.Dodman,from the cbs link above,but I don't have the $200 per phone consult......our vet's wife is a behaviorist and we go,again,next week......they have a half sister to ours and ....maybe......that would be the palce for him....????

18th March 2008, 08:20 PM
I know you said your not in a great mind set right now but i think this is a perfect oppertunity for you and your dog to help each other! Dogs live in the moment so they can teach you alot they dont care about yesterday or tomorrow all they care about is whats happening right now! To sort this problem you need to be dedicated and on his case 24/7! Have you thought of ambilical training where the dog is attached to you by its lead wherever you go the dog goes but you have to almost forget they are there no warnings that your getting up just get up and go about your day only difference is your dog is attached to you! He wont be able to lick the floor when hes helping load the washing machine haha! If he does lick he needs a firm correction but no talking as dogs associate being spoken to as attention and regardless if your saying bad dog they still regard it as attention! you have to snap his mind from being anxious to calm and submissive but you can only influence him if you are in a calm and assertive mindset!

good luck hope you can come up with something that works for you and your dog and you dont have arrange a new home for him!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx :xfngr:

18th March 2008, 09:02 PM
My Miles (11 months) had a weird obsession with pouncing on his shadow. He would stare at the floor for hours and wait until he saw his (or our) shadow and then he would rear up and pounce down on the floor - he was so distracted by this that that's all he could think about. I called my homepath vet, who sent me something to give to him (some kind of herbal remedy, I believe - PM me if you want to know what it is and I'll find out). Less than 1 day later the behavior stopped and (:xfngr:) hopefully it won't return (it's been at least two months)! Good luck! :flwr:

18th March 2008, 09:23 PM
Hi Shawna,
Now is probably the greatest time you will have to intervene with the OCD, the longer the habit the harder to change ( like humans :)). My dtr's dog, Shane, who lived a long life, had OCD and her main object was licking carpet. Her OCD wasn't challenged when she was young and she licked carpet most of her life-big dog with big wet spots :eek: on rug. I don't know the success rate of redirecting but I would think it is worth the effort for a harmonious existence with your Cav. Best of luck in your endeavors. :xfngr:

Mom of Jato
19th March 2008, 05:01 PM
My puppy is just 16 weeks old, and he has started licking my kitchen cabinets. He only does it when I am not paying attention to him (cooking, reading the mail, etc). I am a neat freak and they are perfectly clean, so I don't know what the attraction is. Any ideas??? I have tried bringing toys into the kitchen, but he only plays with them a short while and then starts the licking.

Cathy Moon
19th March 2008, 11:06 PM
If he has only certain places that he licks, I would spray bitter apple on it when he isn't looking. This will discourage the licking without accidentally reinforcing the behavior by giving him attention when he licks.