Brown dog licking Caucasian man's face with text "Why Do Dogs Lick Our Faces?"

We either love it or hate it: the warm, wet sensation of a dog licking our face.  Many of us tend to seek out this reaction with our furry companions, while others look on in horror.  Many dog lovers sort of enjoy the slobbery dog kiss – as a sign of affection. But is it really? Or are the dogs just after the leftovers on our chins?

Licking is in a dog’s nature. They do it for a number of reasons, but why do they like to lick people? A dog’s tongue is an important part of dog anatomy.  Unlike people, they don’t have hands and they can’t speak. The tongue is used to communicate, clean, show affection, and explore their environment. 

There are a few reasons for licking behaviors:

• Communication and bonding

• Grooming

• Submissive behavior

• Reconciliation – saying they are sorry for something they have done that is displeasing to their human

• Greeting with affection

• Their human’s skin tastes good

To a dog, licking is a perfect form of behavior. It plays a role in how they think, feel, and interact with their world. If their human dislikes the licking, the best way to stop it is to ignore it. Do not offer any attention for the behavior.

Licking is canine behavior that dogs use to communicate with people and other animals. All in all, a dog licking its human’s face is likely their way of showing how much they care for their human.

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