Training my dog out of a self harming(?) habit?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/9vro0d/training_my_dog_out_of_a_self_harming_habit/

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My dog is male mixed, was rescued as a puppy from the streets, adopted and returned and we got him July of this year

I've seen him licking his paws constantly and consistently but I assumed it was A) part of his grooming habits B) possibly something he did at the shelter for comfort(?) Or C) just because he pees squatting not lifting his leg and so sometimes he gets his paws a little wet and maybe was trying to clean them

But today I noticed his… Hmm you know he little bean a bit higher up the front legs? The one that isn't on his paw and it isn't that other tiny toe that has a nail….? Not sure if it has a name??

It getting hurt, looks like he's licking it raw…

I will make an appointment at the vet to check what caused it as it may as well be that he's licking there because it's hurt not the other way around but I suspect he caused it…

I thought maybe I'll leave him more food stuffed toys when I leave as we think he has a bit of separation anxiety… But can't be sure because he doesn't bark or whine and he doesn't destroy things anymore

I'm worried he might be developing this self harming habit??

Does anybody have experience with this? What did you do?

I'd love to get a behaviourist to look at him but there aren't any where I live, even basic training is still a very new thing in my country and most people never train their dogs… Anyway we're pretty behind in responsible pet ownership being a wide spread mindset

He sometimes licks himself when we're at home so I'm not sure if it's a separation anxiety thing or just something he does for… Whatever reason?

Are there good toys for him to lick? Maybe redirecting is a good option? Any suggestions welcome

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