When you have a dog, it can often seem like they will often lick you whenever they get the chance. But do you ever wonder why does my dog lick me? Keep on reading and find out!
Being an owner of one (or many) dog/s, we love their kisses. Most of the time, we think that it is their way of showing affection and appreciation, and reciprocation of our love. But is that really the case, or are there other reasons why our dogs are so keen on licking us?
Why Does My Dog Lick Me?
Well, if you are one of the many people who think that your dog/s lick you because it/they want to show that it/they love you, then you are right! Dogs lick people to show affection towards us humans.
One of the reasons why dogs lick is because they show affection towards humans, other dogs, and more. Dogs learned to show affection through licking from their mothers when they were puppies.
As many of us know, mother dogs always lick their puppies. If you entertain your dog while it is licking you, say you responded to their kisses by hugging or playing with them, your dog will repeat this behavior.
However, not all dogs like to lick their owners, but that does not mean that they are less affectionate, much like humans, they may have other ways of showing love.
Licks May Not Be About Affection
If you are thinking that there are other reasons why dogs lick you, you are right as well. Aside from showing affection, dogs have many reasons why they lick you. One of which is that they want your attention.
As stated earlier, dogs love it when we respond positively to their licking and would often repeat it. They would repeat it as long as you do not ignore it. They feel rewarded when you give them attention, even negative reactions such as saying no.
Your dog may also lick you to help in gauging your mood. If your dog is licking your sweat, they can understand exactly what your mood is. When we sweat, we also release a chemical known as pheromones. And once our dogs lick those, they can sense our mood.
Sometimes licking just may be just a strange behavior based on genetics that is passed down by previous generations of canines. When wolves return to their pups after hunting, they will regurgitate the meat that they hunted. Then their pups will lick it from their mouth. It is believed that this behavior is passed down in the DNA of dogs which causes them to do it instinctively at times.
Another reason why your dog may lick you is that you may be tasty! Strange and funny as that sounds, but dogs love licking anything that has an interesting taste. For example we may taste a little salty, especially after working out.
But not all the time a dog licks you means that they are happy. If your dog is licking you a little too excessively, it may be a sign of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder caused by stress and anxiety. A vet or an animal behaviorist may be able to help you and your dog with that.