Why is my Boston Terrier licking my feet?

Boston Terriers, like many dog breeds, may engage in licking behavior for various reasons. While occasional licking is considered normal for dogs, excessive and persistent licking of human feet may signal an underlying issue that needs attention. Here are some possible reasons why your Boston Terrier may be licking your feet non-stop:

Affection and Bonding:

The heartfelt bond between dogs and their human companions is a unique and cherished connection. One of the ways our furry friends express their deep affection is through licking, a gesture laden with meaning and sentiment. Your Boston Terrier’s persistent licking of your feet can be a beautiful manifestation of this affection and an earnest attempt to strengthen the emotional bond between you. In the world of dogs, licking serves as a powerful tool for communication and connection. When your Boston Terrier showers your feet with gentle licks, they are conveying a message of love, trust, and attachment. It’s their way of saying, “You are an important part of my pack, and I care deeply for you”. This affectionate behavior often traces its roots back to puppyhood. Puppies lick their mother and littermates as a means of seeking comfort, nurturing, and approval. This maternal bond formed through licking carries over into adulthood, where dogs extend the same affectionate gesture to their human family members.

Cleaning Behavior

Dogs are born with an innate inclination for cleanliness, and it extends beyond themselves to their beloved pack members, which includes you. When your Boston Terrier lavishes your feet with a symphony of licks, they are, in their eyes, fulfilling a vital role as your personal groomer and caretaker. In the wild, pack members assist one another in grooming, reinforcing social bonds and maintaining hygiene within the group. This instinctual behavior is deeply ingrained in your Boston Terrier’s DNA, and they may perceive your feet as an extension of their pack that requires their attentive care. The act of licking, for your Boston Terrier, is akin to running a gentle grooming session. They may be meticulously cleaning your feet, akin to how they would groom themselves or their fellow canines. This gesture is not just an act of physical cleansing but also a symbol of affection and loyalty.

Stress or Anxiety

Dogs are incredibly intuitive creatures, and they have their own way of communicating when something doesn’t sit right with them. If your Boston Terrier is incessantly licking your feet, it may be a silent plea for help, signaling that they’re grappling with stress or anxiety. Much like humans, dogs experience a range of emotions, and when these feelings become overwhelming, they may turn to comforting behaviors to cope. Licking is one such self-soothing mechanism for dogs, akin to how we might fidget or chew our nails when feeling anxious. Stress and anxiety in dogs can be triggered by various factors, such as changes in their environment, routine, or even their own health. If you’ve noticed any recent alterations in your Boston Terrier’s life, such as a move, a new family member, or a change in their daily routine, these could be potential stressors. By licking your feet, your Boston Terrier may be seeking solace and reassurance. They find comfort in the familiarity of your scent and presence, which helps alleviate their anxiety. It’s their way of saying, “I’m feeling uneasy, and I need your support.”

It’s essential to be attentive to your dog’s behavior and to consider any recent changes in their life that might be contributing to their stress. If you suspect that stress or anxiety is the root cause of their excessive licking, providing a stable and nurturing environment, along with consulting a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if needed, can help your Boston Terrier find the peace and tranquility they seek. In times of emotional turbulence, your understanding and support can make a world of difference to your loyal and loving companion.

Medical Issues

Persistent licking can sometimes indicate an underlying medical problem. Check your dog’s paws and the area around their mouth for any signs of irritation, wounds, or allergies. If you notice any abnormalities, consult your veterinarian.

Taste and Smell

Your feet may have a scent or taste that your dog finds appealing. They might be licking your feet because they like the taste or smell of sweat, lotion, or other substances on your skin.


Dogs are curious, energetic creatures, and a bored Boston Terrier can sometimes resort to peculiar behaviors in search of stimulation. When your furry friend is persistently licking your feet, it might be a clear signal that they’re longing for mental and physical engagement. Boredom can cast a shadow over a dog’s day, leaving them in search of ways to fill the void. Licking, in this context, becomes a repetitive, self-soothing action that helps pass the time. Much like a child twirling their hair or tapping their fingers when they’re restless, dogs may use licking as an outlet for their pent-up energy and restlessness. If your Boston Terrier hasn’t had enough opportunities for play, exploration, and exercise, they may turn to your feet as a source of diversion. In their eyes, your feet might become an intriguing subject to investigate and interact with. Recognizing the role of boredom in your dog’s behavior can be a cue for action. Providing mental stimulation through puzzle toys, interactive games, or training sessions can keep your Boston Terrier’s mind engaged. Regular exercise, such as walks, runs, or playtime, addresses their physical needs and offers an outlet for their boundless energy. When boredom is replaced with mental and physical activity, the urge to lick as a pastime may naturally diminish. Your attention to your Boston Terrier’s need for stimulation and playtime is key to ensuring they remain happy, active, and content, rather than resorting to repetitive behaviors as a remedy for boredom.


Sometimes, dogs lick excessively because they have learned that it gets them attention. If you react when your dog licks your feet, even negatively, they may interpret this as a form of interaction and continue the behavior.

To address excessive licking, it’s essential to identify the underlying cause. If you suspect stress, anxiety, or a medical issue, consult your veterinarian for a proper evaluation. Providing mental and physical stimulation, along with positive reinforcement training, can also help redirect your Boston Terrier’s behavior and provide them with alternative ways to express themselves. Additionally, keeping your feet clean and free from substances that may attract your dog’s attention can reduce the likelihood of excessive licking.

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