Why Do Dogs Lick People?

Depending upon personal preferences, getting licked by a dog can be one of the most endearing or annoying habits that dogs can exhibit. Many dog owners and dog lovers absolutely love getting licked by dogs whereas other people do not share the same enjoyment and excitement.

If you own a dog, there’s a good chance that you’ve been licked by your beloved dog a fair number of times. But have you ever wondered “why do dogs lick people“? Some people will tell you that dogs only lick to taste the salt in human perspiration. Other folks will insist that our dogs lick us because they love us. It’s time to set the record straight once and for all and find out why our dogs lay those slobbery, seemingly affectionate doggy kisses on us :-) And for that we’ve sourced the help of Dog Tag Art.

Why Do Dogs Lick People?

Why Do Dogs Lick People?

Why Do Dogs Lick People?

When a puppy is born, one of the first things it experiences is the soothing comfort of its mother. The mother dog uses licking as a means to clean and encourage but also as a way to convey affection and protection. While puppies are nursing the mother will take this time of relative tranquility to bathe her offspring. From the minute they enter the world, dogs are taught the importance of licking.

As puppies mature they learn to lick just like their mothers. A young dog will often lick the faces of older dogs as a way of greeting and to show admiration and respect. Puppies also tend to turn to licking when they get hungry to indicate to their mother that it’s time to eat. The older a dog gets, the less they tend to lick other dogs, but this action never stops completely. Normally at an older age, licking is used more for grooming themselves and each other.

OK, so why do dogs lick people?

We have briefly gone over why dogs lick in the first place but why do dogs lick people? It is not really because they like the taste of our skin. Dogs tend to turn toward licking because they think of their owners as their parents or leaders. Even older dogs that have given up constant playful licking still view themselves as our “children” and licking is a way to show their loyalty.

A dog’s personality will also determine the amount of licking they unleash. Some dogs are more sociable and seek constant approval. These dogs will lick on a regular basis and will not be picky about who they lick. Other dogs can be very self assured and independent which gives them less incentive to win the affection of every human they meet.

Dog owners do a lot to encourage licking as well. What do we normally do when a cute pup gives us a lick on the hand or cheek? We immediately melt inside and start scratching behind those ears or rubbing that furry belly. So although licking is a result of instinct and evolution it certainly is promoted by our response as owners.

People tend to have different feelings about being licked by their own or other dogs. Some of us think it is cute and endearing, while others can only be slightly disgusted while worrying about where exactly that tongue has been. It is important to keep in mind that a dog’s “kisses” are not as unsanitary as most people imagine. Some studies have shown that a human handshake is much less hygienic and that a dog’s lick might even be good for you!

Source: Dog Tag Art

It’s a simple fact that dogs interact with the world through their noses and mouths a heck of a lot more than we do. From their habitual chewing to their super keen sense of smell, dogs simply have to use their snouts to stay in touch with the objects and people in their environments.

And, as we read above, not all dogs are chronic lickers. It really does come down to their personality, level of training and overall demeanor. Like it or love it, though, if we’re going to spend time around dogs we’re going to get licked sooner or later. Even if you find doggie kisses to be a bit on the repulsive side, you have to admit that it’s nice to know that our dogs lick simply as a way to bond with us and to seek our approval.

So do you love dog kisses or does the idea of a dog licking your face send chills down your spine? Please let us know by commenting below. And while you’re telling us what you think, please help us share this information with all dog owners by clicking SHARE above.


Share Your Thoughts...