How to Stop Your Boston Terrier From Licking You

If your Boston’s daily licks are just getting to be a little too much for you to handle, it’s time to take some action. Bella, our Boston, is a big licker. When she was a pup, we would have wet marks on the couch where she would lick one place over and over again. 

Today Bella will still lick the floor at times as well as us. She especially likes licking me after I go for a run. I think she likes the taste of the salt on my body. I have to tell her not to lick me continually. Here are some things I do to stop the licking.

How to Stop Your Boston Terrier From Licking You. Boston Terrier Society.
Bella licks the most after we workout. Which is exactly when we don’t want her to lick us.

All of these techniques work better if you’re catching your pup in the early days of this licking behavior, not years after she’s already set in the routine. Also, consistency is key! You can’t try to get your pup to stop licking half of the time and expect great results. It needs to be every lick, every time.  

Interested in learning why your Boston is licking? Click here to check out this article I wrote on why Boston Terriers lick.

How do I stop my Boston Terrier from licking me?

There are several ways to get your Boston Terrier to stop licking you. These techniques must be used consistently to see the results you want. They are: say no, walk away from the situation, distract your Boston, and try not to make your self taste desirable to your Boston.

Each Example Individually

Just Say No

Start off with the good old fashioned ‘no.’ Every time your Boston Terrier starts to lick you, firmly say ‘no’ or ‘stop.’ You don’t have to yell, just be firm enough to get her attention and to pause a bit before licking you.  Hopefully, during that pause, she forgets what she was there to do in the first place.

Walk Away From The Situation

If the ‘no’ command does not work, you may have to dismiss yourself from the situation. Don’t give your pup any attention when she is licking you. Move away from her into another room or go outside so that she doesn’t get what she really wants:  to be with you! You can give your Boston all kinds of love and attention when she’s not licking you but stop as soon as the tongue comes out.


Distractions can work wonders when it comes to stopping licking. If you feel a big wet one coming on, tell her to sit or lie down instead. Have a toy ready or a get her to chase you around the living room. If your Boston has specific occasions when she really likes to lick you, set it up, so the distraction is in place before the licking starts. For example, have a toy with you when you get home from work so that when you open the door, you’re ready to play instead of getting drowned in dog slobbers.

Try Not To Taste So Good

(I’ve never personally tried this, but it seems like it would work)

As a last ditch effort, you can try to make yourself less tasty. Smearing lemon juice on your skin may give you a flavor that’s less than desirable when your Boston terrier licks you. This technique works better if your pup has a predictable area that she likes to lick you.

However, if your pup is less discriminating, you’ll have to slather your entire body in the unpleasant flavor to get your point across. You’ll also need to be careful as some of these substances that don’t taste as good may also cause irritation to your pup’s mouth and nose. You don’t want to hurt your Boston, you just want to stop the licking.  

How to Stop Your Dog From Licking the Furniture

If your Boston Terrier’s uncontrolled licking is aimed at something other than warm and fuzzy things, you can still try the same stop-licking methods described above. These techniques might not work as well since you need to be present for most of them to work. However, they are still worth a try.  


For those pups with a little obsessive-compulsive disorder licking behavior or that are licking out of boredom or anxiety, try getting them some exercise. Play fetch or tug-of-war, take a couple of laps around the block, whatever will wear them out and keep their mind busy so that they don’t revert to licking the furniture.


Another option for furniture lickers is no-lick sprays. There are many types available on the market, each with different ingredients. These sprays work by your dog associating the bad taste or smell with the spot that she wants to lick so that she won’t lick it anymore. The key is to find a product that is safe for your Boston and that she doesn’t like the taste of. 

Homemade Spray Options 

Apple Cider Vinegar Spray Recipe

  • 2 parts apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part white vinegar 

Lemon Vinegar Spray

  • 2 parts lemon juice
  • 1 part white vinegar.  

Both can be mixed in a spray bottle and applied to furniture. Be sure to test a small, out of the way area of the fabric before you douse the whole couch in case of bleaching. You may also want to dab a small amount of the mixtures on your dog’s tongue to gauge her level of dislike for it. 

Believe it or not, some dogs actually like the no-lick sprays and will actually seek it out, especially if your couch is covered in it. 

Always check with your veterinarian before you use any no-lick sprays to be sure the ingredients are safe.

Final thoughts…

If the excessive licking is just another quirk that you love about your Boston Terrier, then you’ve found the right dog for you! However, if your pup’s licking has become a wet, slippery situation that’s starting to come between you, it’s time to get that tongue under control.

Hopefully, these tips gave you some insight as to why your Boston might overuse his tongue and ways that you can help dry up the situation. If nothing seems to be working, make sure to rule out medical causes of licking by visiting your veterinarian.  

What ways have you stopped your Boston Terrier from licking? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Leave a comment below.

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

Recent Posts