Why Do Dogs Lick Our Faces?

Why Do Dogs Lick Our Faces?

Why do dogs lick our faces? Is it just doggy kisses, or something more?

It’s the idyllic scene, an owner home after a long day at work or a vacation and their dog rushing to lick their faces in an affectionate greeting! But is that all our doggy laps are, or does our dogs licking faces means something else? We have some top reasons your dog licks your face!

  • It IS Love! – Dogs show affection and a pack bond with other dogs through licking. When a puppy is born their mother will lick them to help blood and air flow; other members of a pack will likely lick the puppies too. This establishes and strengthens the pack bond between them and the puppies. If your dog licks you as a greeting, they are likely showing their affection to you AND strengthening their pack bond with you! How sweet!

  • Good Taste! – Dogs use their noses and mouths to gather information; they are sensory animals. This being the case, their use their sensory orangs (nose and mouth) to investigate things, people, and other dogs. Humans skin probably taste a bit salty or of what we ate last which dogs will love! It’s an interesting taste exploration for them, and they love it!

  • Clean Up! – Dogs have a much more sophisticated sense of smell that we do. if you’ve been out somewhere and gotten dirty, they’ll know! Much like our Mums did as kids, licking a tissue and wiping away any muck, dogs will attempt to lick you clean too! Quicker than a bath…but maybe not quite as efficient…!

  • Fun and Games – Dogs love getting our attention. We are most likely their favourite person and will vie for attention if they’re feeling a bit bored, lonely, or just a bit mischievous! As stated before, dogs use their tongues to investigate people, dogs, and things. The endorphins that are released from this act will not only make your dog feel calm and comforted, but it also brings you into the equation! Whether it’s to gently discourage them, or give into their games, your attention is what they seek!

  • Dog Talk – Dogs use licking as communication. Wolf puppies in the wild will lick their mothers mouth when they want food – communicating their hunger. Dogs will lick other dogs mouths as a greeting, but also to establish their intentions. Dogs will lick to show submission lack of confrontational intent, to people, other dogs and other animals! So, if your pup licks your face after being apart, they’re just saying “Hello” and wondering where you’ve been!

So there are a few reasons that your dog licks your face. Because dogs cannot communicate with us like they do other dogs, they use their tongues and noses to communicate with you, in their own special way. It’s very sweet if you think about it, they just want to be part of your pack!

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