Why Is My Dog Licking My Face?

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Why Is My Dog Licking My Face?

Whether we slurp our dog on our face or shy away in disgust, we usually view this behavior as an expression of love. And it's - dog kisses, if you want. But dogs also lick us for other reasons. They collect information, nurture and show respect by licking.

The reasons why dogs lick are rooted in their psychology, which is based on survival in packs. Immediately after puppies are born, the mother licks them to stimulate and cleanse the breath. When dogs were wolves then, lower members of the pack licked the faces of male and female alphas as a sign of submission.

While it may seem that small dogs lick more frequently than large dogs, there is no clear evidence that this is the case. Chances are, you'll let your Weimaraner sit on your lap or hold your English mastiff like a baby. They lick themselves just like a chihuahua or a french bulldog on your face.

Affectionate licking

The most common reason our dogs lick us is that they show affection. Licking causes your dog's brain to release opiate-like endorphins into its system. Endorphins calm and cause a general well-being. No wonder they want to continue!

Why Is My Dog Licking My Face?

Lapping up information

If we want to understand something, we watch, listen and ask questions. When dogs want to understand something, they watch, hear, smell and taste. Our skin is a Wikipedia with information about them. They find it particularly fascinating when it is sweaty and salty.

Tongue as grooming tool

Usually we think of cats licking themselves to spruce themselves. But dogs do it too. Their saliva contains enzymes that kill bacteria. When a dog licks itself, it gets rid of dead skin cells and dirt. While your dog may not realize that you are having a bad day, he may feel compelled to give you a bath just because he cares.

A slurp for respect

You may be licking your dog to show that he respects your position as an alpha member of your little pack. If you have more than one dog, you will find that those who lick most of the other dogs have a lower order. Wolf and wild puppies lick their mother's mouth to express their submission and ask them to refill their meal so they can write it down.

Why Is My Dog Licking My Face?

You taste good

Sometimes our dogs only lick us because they like our taste. Notice how they often go straight to the mouth? The sense of smell of a dog is phenomenal. If they can find someone who is more than 100 miles away (and they can), they can even spot the smallest remnant of the burrito they had for lunch.

How do you lick it off?

Knowing that licking your dog shows his way to show that he loves you, respects you and thinks you are just delicious, may make it easier to endure. But if it offends you anyway, there are ways to discourage it.

Say "no licking" in a firm voice, then gently, but quickly move your face away from yours. Make sure you say "no lick" first and then immediately move your head away. Soon you will find that if you simply say "no leak", your dog moves its head itself.

You can also try to break away from him when he starts to lick. Get up and go away. Do this repeatedly and consistently. You want to show him that licking means that he gets no attention.

Be careful not to confuse your dog by inadvertently rewarding him for licking you. Sometimes, when a dog licks us, it is natural to reach it and give it a pat. Hope springs from dogs forever. If you get up 27 times and go out of the room but lick the 28th time, he'll remember that reward forever and try for another.

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