Should we let the dog lick our face?

Should we let the dog lick our face?

Some dogs love it, others avoid it like fire … However, the feeling of a wet tongue on the face in everyone will cause strong emotions! How to react to such a quadruped’s behavior and should we even allow the dog to lick us on the face?

Why do dogs lick our faces?

This behavior of dogs is considered by many hounds to be a clear sign of dog’s love. However, this is not always true. Licking your beloved guardian’s face can have many meanings and reasons. Here are some of them!

allow the dog to lick
photo: Shutterstock


Scientists suspect that licking other individuals on the face or mouth has its roots in the instinctive behavior of puppies. Licking the dog’s mother by the mouth was supposed to make her return the food she consumed (regurgitation), which younger pooches could feed on. This way of bringing food to the puppies in the nest has ceased to be needed by home pets and has almost disappeared. It is possible, however, that some of the behaviors associated with it have survived to this day and began to fulfill other functions.

Showing feelings

Licking your face can be a sign of affection! It does not apply only to people – we can also observe such behavior between very close-knit dogs and it does not have to apply only to the mouth. Just like licking a guardian can involve the hands, hands, feet or neck. It is possible that it is the dog’s equivalent of stroking, which is something that is simply to please the other individual.

A way to attract attention

Licking someone on the face always arouses a lot of emotions in the person being licked – this relationship will be quickly noticed by all pets. And he will quickly learn that such behavior can easily get the attention of a guardian. Dogs can therefore use facial licking to encourage human interaction, such as playing or stroking.

Collecting information

Licking someone’s face can have a similar function to licking other dogs’ urine while walking. With the help of the tongue, the quadruped delivers the smells and substances collected to the Jacobson’s organ in its mouth. Thanks to this, he can carefully analyze the information on our face about our mood … or just eaten dinner.

Distance request

Sometimes it happens that by licking a man, a dog wants to show its uncertainty or discomfort associated with too intense approaching the face to the dog’s mouth. Such behavior may then be accompanied by curled ears and wide-open eyes or excessive excitement or even stiff body posture. This rarely applies to a guardian with whom the dog has a very strong relationship and who respects the dog’s personal space. However, it can happen to a veterinarian who brings his face closer to the dog, because he wants, for example, to take blood from him. A dog licking a doctor in such a situation sends a clear signal that he would like to end this uncomfortable situation. Therefore, everyone should remember that licking a person’s face can also be a request for distance. Confusing him with love kisses sometimes ends up really tragically …

allow the dog to lick
photo: Shutterstock

Let your dog lick our face?

Such behavior of the dog does not pose any threat to a healthy person. However, it is worth washing the face and neck thoroughly with soap after each session of dog kisses. Of course, if we do not wish to show such affection on the part of the dog – and we have the right to do so – we do not have to let him. A firm „no”, stopping stroking or even getting up from the couch for a moment will allow the animal to quickly understand that licking us on the face will have a bad effect for him. All you need is consistency!

Author: Aleksandra Prochocka


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