People love their dogs. Very often, these animals aren’t only cute additions to the families – they are their members. Dog owners tend to spend lots of time searching for the right food on websites like https://petfoodreviews.online/, buying toys, or even clothes for their best friends, looking for ways to train them, to adapt the houses, to make dogs’ life more comfortable, safer. It’s no wonder that they are observing their dogs and waiting for the signal that their love is reciprocated. That’s how they interpret dogs’ licks.
Dogs seem to be licking people’s faces a lot. Most dog owners see it as a sign of affection. Is it really the case? Some dogs tend to lick people’s faces more than others, though. Does it merely mean that they are more affectionate? Or is there something more to it? Maybe they say hello in that way, mark their things like this, or try to taste you? Unfortunately, there is no unambiguous answer, but dog experts have some theories.
Is it safe to let dogs lick you?
A lot of people seem to like it, especially if it truly means that a dog loves them, and it’s generally safe, both for you and your dog. However, you need to stay cautious because dogs can unintentionally harm you. Their mouths might be clean, but they contain a lot of natural bacteria that can be dangerous to humans; that’s why their bites may be harmful. You should be fine, though, as long as it doesn’t get into an open wound.
Why do dogs lick you?
They seek attention
Dogs are quick to notice which behaviors force different kinds of reactions, so they probably know that licking will always provoke a response. Most people laugh and smile when dogs lick them, but there are also those who will get angry and yell. When dogs want attention, it doesn’t really matter if the reaction is positive or negative. They simply want you to notice them when they feel sad, bored, or lonely, and they feel rewarded even if you push them away. Barking isn’t always as efficient as licking.
They suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder
It’s not very common, but it’s possible in the case of dogs that have experienced trauma and prolonged anxiety. If you feel like your dog is licking everything too often, including himself, you, and objects all around him, you should consider speaking to your vet or visiting an animal behaviorist directly. Dogs may also need medications to relieve their anxiety, as they aren’t capable of learning if they’re too stressed. But meds should always be combined with proper training. It’s especially important to react if your dog has an unknown history (or you know that he has been abused in the past.)
They like your taste
Don’t worry; it doesn’t mean that your dog will finally end up eating you. But it’s true that dogs can enjoy your taste. After all, it’s a little salty and very characteristic, and dogs tend to like these kinds of flavors. Licking is also their way of exploring the world – dogs need to touch and taste almost everything they see. And you’re part of that world, too.
They want to help you
Dogs seem to know whenever you’re stressed, anxious, or sad. So if you come back from work, feeling angry and tired, and you lay on the couch, you may expect your dog to run to you to bring you some comfort. He will do so by licking your hands or feet. And it truly is comforting, isn’t it?
They love you
Yes, one of the reasons why dogs lick you is probably affection, as they tend to lick people that they spend a lot of time with or other dogs that they have befriended. After all, that’s what their mothers do when they have their puppies – they lick them to show them love and make them feel safe. Dogs lick your faces if they can get to it, or any other patch of skin available, like hands, neck or a leg. So why do some dogs tend to lick more than others? It’s just like with people – not everybody likes kissing and hugging, but it doesn’t mean they love you less. They may have different ways of showing affection, or they don’t like licking.
Train your dog
You may love your dog’s kisses, but no one wants them all the time. You may also think that having a dog lick your face is disgusting – and it’s ok; it doesn’t mean that you love him less. One of the most effective ways to get your dog to stop licking you is to stop paying attention. Don’t be happy, but also don’t show him that you’re angry. Turn your head away and act like it didn’t happen. Reward him with affection and treats when he’s not licking you.
A little bit more complicated, but still possible, is to train your dog to kiss you only when he hears a specific command. You may try it yourself, by rewarding wanted kisses and ignoring unwanted kisses, but you can also turn to a dog trainer.
Remember – the sooner, the better