Our seven-year-old Chihuahua has two very repetitive habits. She yawns all the time, at least two to three times a minute, and she constantly licks our leather couch. She hibernates under a blanket all day (summer or winter), and in the late afternoon becomes very active. She isn’t overweight and is walked two to three times a week. What’s wrong? And how do we get her to stop?
Many short-haired little dogs love hiding under bedding (whatever the season) and rest. Later in the day all dogs usually have what I call ‘mad hour’, where they suddenly race around.
Some copy their owner’s yawning and it can become a habit. Dogs also yawn and lick their lips to calm themselves. Yawning and couch-licking can indicate dental pain or perhaps an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Try to ignore the licking and move out of the room. Your dog will follow you. Distracting the dog is better than a verbal command, as saying ‘no’ can be experienced as a reward. A calming collar could help. After a medical check-up, if problems persist, see a behaviourist.
Words: Home magazine