Licking in dogs is a common behavior. Apart from licking each other, you will find dogs licking their owners on the face and especially the mouth. This behavior developed when they were puppies, and their mother would kiss them on the mouth and nose. However, if this is the first time your dog licks you in the mouth, you are probably wondering what it means. While it is an awkward occurrence for you, for the dog, it is fulfilling and fun. 

Why does my dog put his tongue in my mouth? Likely reasons why your dog puts their tongue in your mouth are that they are seeking attention, doing it for rewards, trying to show you affection, or because they like the taste.

Since numerous reasons could lead your dog to lick your mouth, let’s examine them one by one to get a clear understanding.

Why Does My Dog Put His Tongue In My Mouth?

Affection

One of the reasons your dog could be licking your mouth is to indicate their affection for you. Since they were puppies, their mother used to lick their mouth and nose as a sign of love. Thus, when this happens to you, they share what they learned on how to show affection.

What happens if you dislike this display of affection? Instead of getting upset and shouting at it, train it on how you would like it to be affectionate with you. Dogs are trainable, and you will be surprised at how fast they can learn.

Seeking attention

Dogs love to spend time with their owners. How much time do you spend with your dog? If you have little or no time to play or go for a walk with your dog, it might result in licking your face whenever it gets a chance to be with you.

It would be more likely that your dog has been licking your mouth if it started doing it since you started giving it less attention yourself.

What is the best way to deal with this issue? Try finding more time to spend with your dog and doing fun activities like playing ball, and long walks, among others. Also, if it tries to lick your mouth, redirect this behavior to something else immediately. In this way, you will understand that licking is unacceptable behavior to you.

Natural behavior

One of the ways that dogs get to explore the world after being born is through licking and sniffing. Is your dog a puppy? If yes, it may be licking your mouth as a way of exploring. The behavior is likely to continue even as it gets older if you do not correct it.

Great understanding and patience are necessary in this case. Avoid punishing your dog and instead train it the way you want it to behave with you.

Boredom

How much time does your dog get to exercise in a day? Is it possible that your dog is spending so much time locked in the house throughout the day? If so, the chances are that your dog is bored and is looking forward to stimulating itself by kicking your mouth.

If this behavior is bothering you, it will help to give you ample time to exercise each day. For instance, if you are not around during the day, take it to a dog trainer or dog daycare center. This provides an opportunity to interact with other dogs and hence relieves boredom. Also, you can take long walks in the evening.

Excitement

What is the dog’s mood when it licks your mouth? Is it always exciting? If you realize that your dog licks your mouth immediately, you get off from work, or after a walk, the possibilities are that it is exciting. Other triggers could cause excitement.

The solution, in this case, is to avoid excitement triggers, and it will probably stop licking your mouth.

To get pre-digested food

Yes, as terrible as it might sound, your puppy might lick your mouth in an attempt to get some remaining food. It is essential to note that puppies, while still under their mother’s care, lick their faces to get a snack. Thus, when your puppy smells some snacks in your mouth, it will tend to lick and get it.

Reward

Does your dog get rewarded after licking your mouth? Do you always give it some toys, or take it for a walk? Then your dog may lick your mouth because it expects to get a reward. Stop rewarding your dog and the behavior will stop.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Mouth And Nose?

Behavioral aspect

When the puppies are born, their mothers lick their mouths and noses as a way of grooming them or getting them to urinate or do other activities. It is, therefore, a learned behavior during puppyhood. Thus, if your dog likes licking your mouth and nose, there may be some dirt or food remaining, and your dog feels obliged to remove it. This behavioral trait can be annoying to humans, but it is a common behavior that dogs enjoy.

Submission

Young dogs tend to lick larger or older dogs as a sign of submissiveness. Thus, if they lick your face, it could be a sign of their submissiveness towards you. You might also notice that your dog licks your mouth and nose whenever you are angry as a way of calming you down.

Gathering information

Dogs have a strong sense of smell when it comes to smells and often use their nose to gather information. Thus, your dog might lick your face in an attempt to get your distinctive smell, where you are from, or what you have eaten.

Grooming

From the first day they are born, even before opening their eyes, their mother has always licked their faces to remove any dirt or food remains. Even when they are old, they will lick themselves to remove dirt from their bodies. Thus, if it starts licking your mouth and nose to ensure you are clean.

Nice taste

Your dog may think you taste good. Dogs like the salty taste, and since human sweat is salty, they are likely to enjoy licking your face. The nose is saltier given its salty secretion.

Pleasure

Licking dogs is pleasurable. Thus, a gentle lick of your mouth and nose is something they would enjoy. Thus, the fact that it feels good for the dog could be why it licks your face.

Prevent personal invasion of space

Is it possible that you are getting so touchy with your dog and it does not like it? The dog might give you a slobbery kiss on your mouth and nose to stop you from invading its body space.

What Happens If My Dog Licks Inside My Mouth?

Parasite transmission

Hookworms and roundworms are prevalent parasites among dogs. They are primarily transmitted when the animal ingests another animal’s stool or licks its anus. The worst part is that these parasites can easily be transmitted to humans through dogs licking your mouth, nose, and eyes. Thus, allowing your dog to continue licking your mouth and nose exposes you to the possibility of getting these parasites.

Stomach upset

Getting a stomach upset is another thing that could happen if you allow your dog to continue licking your mouth and nose. Dogs spend their time placing their mouth where it is not supposed to be. Thus, they are prone to collecting various bacteria that can result in stomach upset in humans.

How to Stop My Dog from Licking Inside My Mouth?

Training

The best thing about dogs is that they are trainable and are very good at obeying commands. If you dislike your dog’s behavior of licking your mouth and nose, you can train it or register with a professional trainer. Teach your dog things that you like and reward it for following your instructions.

Avoid entertaining it

When it licks you, what action do you take? Do you sit there and allow it to continue even though you do not enjoy it? The best way of dealing with this behavior is to move away from it. If you are holding it in your arms and it starts licking you, put it down and avoid rewarding it for its behavior. Also, pretend you do not notice its attempts to lick you and focus on other things.

Exercise

Since one of the reasons for this behavior is boredom, ensuring that your dog gets enough exercise every day is essential. If you are not around, take it to the dog care center or hire a dog sitter. Also, after a workout, your dog might be overly excited, resulting in it licking your face. In this case, calm it down and direct it to do other things.

Give it attention

Dogs can sometimes be attention seekers. If you have not been spending time with your dog lately, it is likely to lick your face when it gets a chance as a way of communicating with you. It wants you to remember its existence and how much it loves you. Despite your busy schedule, always create time to spend with your dog from time to time.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.