Dogs are Man’s best friend. They are the most preferred companions for humans because they are easy to train, feed, and get along with. Other than that, some dogs are really safe to have around children. They are also more intelligent, strongly loyal to a fault, and can return affection to their owners. The last mentioned, where an animal shows affection, is the reason why many owners loved their pets so much. In dogs, this show of affection will include cuddling and licking. Why is that a dog licks its owner’s face or hand?

A sign of affection

Licking can be a simple demonstration of a dog’s affection for its owner. If you observe a female canine nursing her pups, she licks them to clean their fur. She also licks their stomachs and anal area to encourage the pups to urinate and defecate. The pups, in turn, lick their mother when they need to nurse, and they also lick their siblings’ bodies to play or to clean their fur, too. Aside from that, older puppies lick the mouth of the mother dog to encourage her to regurgitate food that will be eaten by the pups.

Dog Licking Face Why Does my Dog Lick Me?

A sign of submission

In the wild, dogs lick not only to clean themselves, or show affection with their mates, but also to show  submission to an Alpha dog. A follower may lick the leader of the pack for permission to have a go at the prey.

As a way to get acquainted with the environment

Since dogs can not speak, their yapping and barking are often misconstrued by those unfamiliar with a dog’s behavior. Anything that gets them excited they bark at. Anything that they want to extend affection or to show submission, they lick. However, there is another reason why dogs lick.

A dog’s licking behavior is similar to sniffing, which is one way for the animals to get to know their environment. A dog’s tongue is the counterpart of the human hands. The dog would lick anything that can be reached by its rather long tongue. For example, a dog will try to identify a suspicious looking can it sees lying on the road by sniffing it and licking its contents. Using its strong sense of smell, the dog can identify whether the can has edible materials or now. When the scent of the can’s content seems okay, the dog moves on to tasting it and seeing how safe it may be to eat it. A dog is not afraid to taste different objects because its stomach can handle the garbage these pets may ingest.

As a way to communicate with its master

Dogs have been known to be emphatic creatures that can sense the emotional state of their master. If their master was happy, dogs would want to share with their master’s happiness. The same thing is true when their masters were sad or troubled. Dogs would want to offer comfort.

For the dog snuggling and slobbery kisses are the best ways it can show its affection and empathy. A dog given a treat would show its approval and thanks by licking. Licking can also be the dog’s way to gain its master’s attention. For some dogs, licking can be a behavioral problem, although in most cases, the pet may be just craving for its master’s attention, and trying to tell its master that it is uncomfortable, tense or unhappy.

A Final Reminder

Pet owners must be cautious in stopping the dog from licking. Pushing roughly or hitting the dog is not a good way to stop the dog. Instead of stopping, the pet would lick all the more, thinking that its master is not satisfied with its show of affection. A firm NO would be enough. At first the message may not get through to the dog, but when the dog sees that you are displeased with its actions, then the message will finally sink in, and the licking will stop.

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Categories: Animals

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