Many pet parents already know that their dogs give sloppy puppy kisses, but is that normal behavior? If your dog is aggressively kissing, it could be a sign of trouble. However, for the most part, dog kisses are just a show of affection. Here are a few things that you will want to know about those kisses from your pooch.
Why Does My Dog Want To Kiss Me?
If you spend any time around your dog, you have been the subject of a dog kiss. As humans, we take a quick kiss as a sign of affection, but it can have a different meaning for dogs. Remember that licking (or kissing) is something that puppies learn from birth.
As soon as the puppies are born, the new mother licks them to stimulate breathing. She continues to lick them to clean them and care for the young pups.
Puppies lick their mother when they want to be fed. Licking her mouth stimulates an automatic reflex to regurgitate her meal, which her puppies will eat. Not only does licking help to support a young pup’s life, but it is deemed as a social gesture.
Dogs are pack animals, and they rely on certain social activities to maintain order. If your dog is socialized correctly, you are seen as the “pack leader.” Dogs will lick the muzzles (or faces) of the higher-ranking dog to show respect.
Most people believe that a dog kiss is a sign of affection, and in many cases, that is correct. When you are bonded with your dog, you can expect plenty of doggy smooches from your pup as a way to show friendship and affection. When they lick you, it releases endorphins into their brains. In turn, the dog feels a sense of reassurance.
This is the same feeling a child gets when they hug a parent. In some situations, the dog might give you a kiss to cheer you up when you are sad or sick. While these kisses are tied to instinctive behavior, sometimes your dog just wants to show that they love you.
Why Does My Dog Try To Kiss Me on the Lips?
Dogs communicate with their tails, bodies, and mouths. More than likely, your dog sees you as another dog in the pack. In that case, they will treat you like another dog. If your dog tries to kiss you on the lips, they view you as the mother.
When puppies want to get their mom’s attention, they lick at her mouth. This is more common for those younger dogs. You might have forgotten about dinner time, and your pup is letting you know that they are hungry. Here are a few other reasons why your dog will try to kiss you on the lips.
You might not want your dog to feel inferior to you, but that is how the pack works in the wild. As the leader, your pup wants to do everything to please you. Many of these kisses are socially driven. As the dominant member of the pack, your dog tells you that they respect and want to be obedient to you.
These kisses are their ways of communicating their submission to you. Don’t get jealous if your dog gives kisses to other members of the family. Anyone who has earned their respect and love often receives a kiss on the lips.
Like wanting food, dogs give kisses around the lips if they are looking for a bit of affection. They may want to play a game of fetch or go for a walk. If you have been ignoring your pooch, this might be their way to let you know they want to be the center of your world. When your dog licks your face, make sure you give them some acknowledgment and take care of their needs.
What Does It Mean When a Dog Kisses You on the Face?
Dogs use their senses to gather information about other dogs, animals, and humans. This natural tendency goes back to their pre-domestication days. In the wild, they use their sense of smell to identify other dogs, explore places, and discover different objects.
Take a look at typical puppies. As they set out to explore, they will lick or put anything in their mouths. They use their tongues and noses the same way as baby humans use their hands (and mouths) to explore. When puppies grow up and turn into adults, they still have that instinct to kiss and gather information about you.
Speaking of a dog’s sense of smell, it is more powerful than our human noses. Since dogs don’t have the best vision, they can identify people by their distinctive odor. Believe it or not, your skin releases unique pheromones to you. When your dog kisses you, they are tasting your scent. As a result, those kisses are a way that they can recognize you.
Those taste markers are different for everyone, and your dog will lick to identify members of their pack. When you see your dog again, a fresh kiss helps them to accurately identify and refresh those memories of “their” people.
They might also lick to see if strangers can be considered a friend or foe. When someone is stressed, hormones are released into the skin. Some dogs lick to make sure it is okay to trust these new individuals. However, some dogs are not trying to recall you, but they like the taste of salty skin.
Why Does My Dog Aggressively Kiss Me?
Some dogs let their excitement get the better of them. If they know that you love to kiss, they will aggressively lick you to show their affection. In some cases, dogs can become stressed. Licking you might be a way to calm them down.
Remember that licking can release happy hormones into the dog’s brain. When they lick, they are trying to release more of those happy feelings.
However, sometimes the kisses are a little more forceful. In some situations, they can even try to nip at your face, and that is never good. These aggressive kisses can happen for several reasons. Forceful kisses often occur after you have been away from your dog.
If you leave your pup for work and then come home, you could be greeted with a series of licks. Your dog is doing this as a greeting. The pup is letting you know that they have missed you.
In some ways, your dog could be thinking that licking is a form of playtime. Watch a group of dogs; there is always one that seems to be more aggressive than others. They might not even know that they are aggressive with you. If you don’t stop the behavior, your dog will continue kissing you until there needs to be a correction.
How To Stop My Dog from Kissing Me?
Many people love dog kisses, but some pet parents don’t want a face of dog saliva. That’s perfectly fine. Some dogs would spend their whole time slobbering unless you try to break this habit. It is okay to get the occasional kiss, but constant licking can be an issue.
This can be a problem, especially if your dog is around strangers. While you might love those puppy kisses, strangers could be scared when a dog tries to lick their face. Plus, it is always good for your dog to have manners when out in public.
If you are looking to curb some of the kisses, you must address the dog’s behavior. Puppies are easy to train. When they are at the right stage of life, make them aware that kissing is not acceptable with you.
If you encourage licking behavior, your dog will assume it’s acceptable for you and everyone that they meet. When your dog tries to lick you, make sure to correct them with a firm “No!” After a while, they will stop kissing your face.
When you discourage licking, your dog will figure out that kissing is not always the acceptable form of affection. Unfortunately, this training might not always work. In those cases, reach out to a behavior expert to find out the proper training methods for your dog. If you consider dog kisses to be a bad habit, make sure to correct that behavior so that it doesn’t continue to be a problem for you.
From showing affection to identifying people, dogs give kisses for a variety of reasons.