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Why does my Doberman lick fabric on a regular basis?

Hi everyone,

I have a six-year-old Doberman and for the past few months, I've noticed that he has started licking fabric on a really regular basis. He basically licks anything with fabric on, like the sofa, the carpet or even our clothes. I'm just a little concerned as to why he's doing it and if it could be a sign of something more serious.

For a little background, he is a pretty active dog and gets a lot of exercise every day. He also eats well and has never had any major health issues. The only thing that has changed in his routine is that we've moved to a new house recently. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with his behaviour.

Has anyone else experienced this with their Doberman or any other dog? Could it be a sign of anxiety or boredom? Or is there something else going on? Any advice or insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

All Replies



I have a six-year-old Doberman, and she used to lick fabric for hours every day. We tried different tricks to divert her attention, like offering her toys, playing with her, and giving her different chew bones, but nothing worked.

As I was getting quite worried about it, I consulted my veterinarian. The vet advised me to get my Doberman's complete medical checkup done, as sometimes licking in dogs is associated with gastrointestinal problems too.

During the checkup, it turned out that my Doberman had some digestive issues. As soon as we started treating her problem, her fabric licking behaviour reduced significantly.

Thus, as many other users suggested earlier, fabric licking in dogs can be due to boredom, anxiety, liking for a particular smell or even a medical issue. It is better to get your Doberman checked by a vet so that you can rule out any possible medical issues.

Hence, get your dog treated immediately and provide her with enough mental and physical stimulation to cope up with the boredom, if that's the issue, and prevent the fabric licking.


Hi there,

I have a four-year-old Doberman and he also had a phase where he would constantly lick fabric. I was quite concerned too and did some research on the topic. It turns out that it is a pretty common behaviour among dogs and not necessarily a sign of a serious problem.

Some possible reasons for fabric licking include boredom, anxiety, seeking attention, or simply because they like the taste or texture of the fabric. It could also be due to a medical issue like an upset stomach, but since your dog is otherwise healthy, that's probably not the case.

In my case, we figured out that our Doberman was actually licking fabrics because he was bored. We started giving him more mental stimulation by introducing new toys and playing games with him, and the behaviour slowly stopped. Perhaps try doing the same with your dog and see if it helps.

That being said, if the fabric licking persists and you're still concerned, it's always best to consult with a veterinarian just to rule out any underlying medical issues.

Hope this helps!


Hey there,

I can totally understand your concern about your Doberman constantly licking fabric as I had a similar experience just a few months ago. We had brought a new carpet and since then, our Doberman had started to lick it every now and then. We were quite worried if it was something serious.

After a bit of research, we found that such behavior in dogs is very common and might not necessarily indicate a severe underlying health issue. As already mentioned, boredom or anxiety can be one of the possible reasons for fabric licking. In our case, we realized that the new carpet must have had a particular smell or taste that our Doberman loved, and therefore he was licking it.

We washed the carpet properly, and it seemed to reduce the licking quite a bit. We also made sure to keep a close eye on our Doberman's behavior and provided him with other interesting things to chew on thus could re-channelize his interest. That really seemed to have helped.

However, if your Doberman's fabric licking behaviour persists and causes you significant concern, seeking advice from a trainer or veterinarian would be wise.

Hope this helps.


Hello everyone,

I have had two Dobermans, and with both of them, I have experienced the issue of fabric licking. While it is true that dogs licking fabrics can be due to myriad reasons such as anxiety, boredom, or even pica as someone mentioned earlier, it can also just be a learned behavior.

What I mean is that, just like humans, dogs can have quirks and habits that they pick up over time due to sheer repetition. With my first Doberman, he would always lick the couch cushions while lying down, and because he learned that it would result in affection and attention from us, he made it a habit.

Thus, I would suggest considering whether your Doberman started licking just one fabric item first and then perhaps got used to the behavior and started doing it on other things too.

In such a case, the solution is simple - ignore the behavior and avoid giving any attention, petting, or treats while they are doing it. With consistency and time, your dog should lose interest in fabric licking, and the behavior would eventually fade away.

Once you have ruled out any possible medical issues or underlying reasons, reducing attention and reinforcing other good behaviors with treats would do the trick.

Hope this helps!


Hello everyone,

I have a seven-year-old Doberman who used to lick fabric constantly, and like many of you, I was quite worried and curious about why he was doing that.

After consulting with a veterinarian, I learned that licking in dogs can be due to various reasons like boredom, anxiety, medical conditions, or even some behavioural issues. The vet suggested that I observe my dog's behavior and look for any other signs like depression, aggression, or compulsive behaviour.

Upon observing and spending more time with my dog, I noticed that he would lick fabric mostly when he wants to play or engage with me. I realized that my dog was trying to initiate playtime and didn't know how to let me know.

To address the issue, I made sure to set aside time to play with my dog every day and engage him in activities like chasing a ball, tug of war, or hide and seek. Over time, the fabric licking behavior slowly faded away, and he would come to me when he wants to play or spend time together.

So, sometimes, dogs lick fabric as a means of communication, and it's essential to understand what they are trying to convey by reading their body language and observing their behavior. Try to spend more time playing and engaging with your dog to see if that helps to reduce the fabric licking behavior.

I hope this helps.


Hi there,

I have a five-year-old Doberman who also licks fabric on a regular basis. At first, I was quite concerned about it and thought that he might be facing some medical issues, but then after observing him closely, I realized it might be something else.

I noticed that he was licking fabric, especially our clothes when they had some food stains or crumbs on them. Later on, I read some articles online that mentioned that dogs are instinctively attracted to food smells and they would try to lick anything that has some odour.

Since then, I have consistently tried to keep our house clean by picking up any crumbs or food leftovers and washing our clothes regularly. Surprisingly, after working on keeping our house clean, my Doberman slowly stopped licking fabric on his own.

So, you might want to check the area where your dog is licking to see if there is any trace of food odour that might be attracting him. Doing simple things like cleaning up before and after meal times can make a huge difference.

I hope it helps!


Hi there,

I have a three-year-old Doberman, and like your dog, he too started licking fabric incessantly. Initially, we thought it was due to boredom or anxiety, but it continued even after we tried different methods to divert his attention.

We then consulted with a dog behaviorist who told us that it could be a sign of a compulsive disorder called pica. Pica is a condition in which dogs eat or lick non-food items, and it could arise due to various reasons such as anxiety, boredom, or medical issues.

The behaviorist suggested that we monitor our dog's eating habits and look out for any potential deficiencies in his diet. They also recommended cognitive-behavioral therapy and training techniques.

After following the advice, we saw a significant improvement in our Doberman's behaviour, and the fabric licking stopped. I would highly recommend consulting with a reputable dog behaviorist, who can provide insights tailored to your Doberman specifically.

In summary, fabric licking in dogs can indicate different issues, and it is essential to determine the underlying cause before you can work on correcting the problem effectively.

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