Does your dog lick your face? My dog does. I try to dodge away, at the same time remaining friendly so that I don’t hurt his feelings or make him feel like he’s done something wrong. He also licks others dogs’ bottoms, which is the main reason why I don’t let any dog lick my face! Both of these are completely normal dog behavior. Here are a few of the reasons why they do it:
A dog wants to show respect
Even if you have just one dog, all dogs are pack animals who follow the example of others. It’s in their DNA. Wild dogs lick their pack leaders to show respect, so if your dog licks you he or she might be telling you they considers you to be their pack leader. “In the wild, young wolves will lick around their mother’s face to interact, request feeding, and demonstrate submission to an older animal. As they grow, they still lick around other wolves’ face’s to communicate, detect pheromones, or show submission, ” says The Healthy Pet Club. Licking is also a way for dogs to express their love for you.
A dog is curious
Dogs’ noses and mouths are used as sensory tools, to probe things and also to figure out moods from smells. By licking you he will discover whether you are happy or sad, relaxed or stressed out.
Your dog wants to wash you
When a dog licks a human, he is probably trying to wash you with his tongue, just like he does when he lies in his dog bed to clean himself, his dog companions or littermates. “Licking is a natural instinct in canines. When a mother licks her pups and her pups lick each other during the course of grooming and other social interactions, we’re observing quintessential licking behavior in dogs,” says Vet Street.
A dog likes the taste
Licking gives pleasure to a dog, making him feel good. If your dog licks you, it could just be because he enjoys it. You might have slathered on body lotion or sun cream – those are really interesting tastes for dogs. So is sweat, because it tastes salty. Do you find that your dog licks your bare legs in summer? That’s the reason. Most owners don’t mind if their dog licks them, but everyone feels differently about the subject. Personally I don’t mind my dog licking my legs, or my hands because I can easily wash them. But I’d prefer my dog not to lick my face. Let your dog know his boundaries.
Your dogs licks other dogs’ behinds
It’s a way of greeting each other and making friends! They usually sniff other dogs’ butts rather than lick. And size doesn’t come into it – it could be cute small dogs trying to lick a large dog, or vice versa! “Dogs have two anal glands that sit on either side of the anus, and emit a smell…This scent contains information about what the dog eats and how healthy it is — as well as the dog’s own personal smell. The glands are a business card with information about the dog’s gender, age, diet, exercise level and possibly even how stressed or relaxed it is,” says Bustle. Whichever dog they choose to sniff or lick, it’s intended as a friendly action and there’s nothing sexual or threatening about it.