Why Do Dogs Lick Their Humans Faces?

Dog lick human faceWhy Do Dogs Lick Their Humans Faces?


It may not be the tender signal of affection as most people perceive it to be when your dog jumps on you and start licking your face. Licking is a natural behavior that dogs uses to communicate either with people or other animals. Whenever your dog licks your face, he could be trying to send you a signal, keep you clean, investigate you or he may simply enjoy the delightful sensation of licking your skin.

Below are the major reasons why you dog licks or kisses you face:

Dogs are naturally pack animals that follow an established social order. Although there are several reasons for face licking, but face licking in dog is primarily a way of paying respect to a pack leader. Even amongst house pets if you have more than one dog, a lower dog that is in the pack order will submit and lick the “big dog’s” face. Although size does not matter here. You could have a 75-pound Doberman that is strong, powerful and very protective of the pack (family), but totally submissive to a tiny 5-pound Papillion. Your dog may be communicating that he acknowledges you as the leader of the house when he licks or kisses you face.  Dog licking another dog's face


Dogs are very instinctive in action. Of all the reasons dogs lick faces, the main secondary reason for this mouth action is to investigate. Dogs have powerful and sensitive tongues that can get lot of information off of the tastes and scent of your skin. They can probably tell what you have eaten for breakfast, tell where you’ve been and who you’ve been with but don’t be afraid, your secrets are safe with your best friend.


Face licking is another way to show affection. Licking to show affection is an ancestral   behavior especially in puppies, they learn this behavior from their mother and this helps strengthen family bonds. A dog licking your face is showing his affection for you and trying to strengthen the friendship he has with you.

The Spice of Life 

The human skin releases sweat that is produced in the body, and it has attractive scent to dogs, you may notice that when you’ve been working at the backyard, and are all sweaty your dog just can’t resist you. That’s not affection; you are just perfectly seasoned like a roasted parcel of meat. Your dog loves your scent and salty sweat on the surface of your skin, and can’t get enough of it. You might find it “repulsive” but he loves it! From his perspective, it’s you, only better.


Dog licking the face of a childDogs like to lick because this act releases pleasurable endorphins in dogs and often gives them a sense of security and comfort. Your dog may lick and kiss your face simply because it feels good.


When you dogs are hungry, they sometimes use licking to communicate that it’s time for lunch. Like in Puppies, they lick their mothers’ mouth to stir up regurgitation so they can eat under-digested food their mothers vomit. As a way of begging for food, you dog may start this behavior around his feeding time, he may be letting you know that he needs some food.

Tips on what to Do About Face Licking

While many dog lovers don’t mind and enjoy having dogs lick their faces, some dogs can get carried away with face licking. Show him how you feel about face licking and then train him to stay within the limits you set. So, decide right from when you bring your new dog home what behaviors are acceptable, and which ones are not. Following are few simple ways to train your dog against face licking.

    • Be Gentle: There’s never a cause to hit or yell at your dog, you can simply throw in some toys for him to play with.
    • Be Firm: Speak in low, firm tones, and tell your dog “stop it” when they are behaving the way you don’t want them to.
    • Act like it hurts: This is especially helpful with puppies, if you are an actor at heart, go all the way and whine a bit. Your dog will quickly get the indication that licking or jumping is not okay.Cheers Simone, Yara & (Nikita)

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