Why Do Dogs Lick Your Face (Is It Out Of Love?)

Are you curious, Why do Dogs Lick your face endlessly?

I’m sure you can relate when – let’s say you come home from being out all day, and your dog comes and greets you with some slobbery kisses to the face.

Ok, so as dog owners, we know that dogs like to lick A LOT, especially our faces, but they can also tend to lick our hands, feet, legs wherever they can reach HaHa… and let’s face it some of us like, and some of us don’t. I, for one, love it.

Most of us refer to it as puppy kisses because they are excited to see us. This is true, but not the only reason why dogs like to lick our faces.

Why do dogs lick your face
We do dogs lick your face (is it out of love?)

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I’ll explain to you in this post what those reasons are and also in case you’re a dog owner that wants to stop your pup from licking you so much, I will give you some tips on how you can redirect them from touching your face with their slobbery tongue or at least how to limit it.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Face:

We have to start with when your dog was a puppy. 

When they are puppies, their Mother will lick all her pups to groom them and also teach them how to respect her like a pack leader. So they learn from a very early age that licking is a good thing. 

It’s a way of showing strong family bonds, so it’s natural for them to express their love for their pack leader by licking – that’s what they’ve learned from a very early age, and that’s what we relate to as puppy kisses – its a sign of love and affection for sure.

It is merely a way they can communicate and show their respect to us.

But that’s not all.

Licking goes deeper for Dogs.

It goes back to the days of dogs out in the wild.

A mother would regurgitate some food up for her puppies when they would lick her face. It was a way the mother could help feed her pups.

I know it sounds pretty gross, but it’s the only way a mother could provide the food her pups needed since she couldn’t physically carry it back to her puppies. Hence why dogs like to lick our faces.

Dog’s also will lick us just because they like the taste of us. You see, when we sweat, it can be a little bit on the salty side, which your dog will find tasty.

The licking also releases pleasurable endorphins that make them feel calm and at ease, which can lead to better behavior.

dog licking woman face
Happy woman with french bulldog licking her face out of love

What Happens if a Dog Licks Your Face:

There is a very minimal risk if a dog licks your face when it comes to healthy people. The bottom line is that they want to show you they love you and respect for the most part when they are licking you.

A dog’s saliva carries a capnocytophaga canimorus, which is a normal bacteria found in dogs and is harmless to them, and It should not be of much concern to you if you’re a healthy person.

It can only spread to humans through dog bites or if you let them lick an open wound you already have and in people with weaker immune systems, but this would be rare situations and according to the CDC even after a bite it still would be rare for it to lead to illness.

If you have concerns, though, after interacting with your dog, make sure you practice general hygiene by washing up with soap and warm water.

Plus, the best thing to do would be to speak to your doctor about interacting with your dog if you fall into those categories and are concerned.

Otherwise, those slobbery kisses are just that and not much to worry about.

Short on time? Pin this to your favorite dog Pinterest board to read later…

Why do dogs lick your face?
Why do dogs lick your face (is it out of love?)

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Licking Me?:

Honestly, your dog means no harm by licking you. Your pup loves you unconditionally and wants to show you that.

Dogs can’t speak it to us and tell us that obviously so they do what they were taught by their mother and that’s licking. It’s entirely natural for them.

I do understand though some people generally don’t like it and find it unpleasant.

Read on to learn some tips on how to stop your dog from licking your face.

You see, dogs learn by association. 

The more you let them lick, the more they will do it – for example when my son plays with our dog on the floor, and he laughs every time our dog licks his face while playing that signals to our dog that it’s ok to plant those slobbery kisses on his face so our dog thinks he should do it more because that’s what he wants me to do.

The best thing you can do if you don’t want to have your dog lick so much or not at all. Is to set the rules early so your dog will learn not to lick.

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Here are a few things you can do, and just like with any dog training, it will take time for them to catch on.

  1. Don’t react to them. Simply walk away, this will send your dog a signal you aren’t interested.
  2. Teach them not to do it when you say the word “No” and then reward them for not licking with a special treat – they’ll learn fast not to do it if they want that treat. LOL…
  3. Remember Dog’s learned early on from their mother that if they licked, they could possibly get food, so make sure to keep your hands washed and yourself free of any food scents to avoid potential licking.

This might sound really simple, and you might even have heard of these tips before, but honestly, it’s that easy.

Trust me the licking will stop in time.

You just need to stay consistent with your training and it will be accomplished before you know it.

The big thing to remember, though, is if you really want to stop your dog from licking, is to make sure everyone in your household follows the same rules; if not, it’s not going to work. And that goes for any training when it comes to teaching dogs.

Otherwise, your dog will be receiving mixed signals and will follow the ones that they think make you happy. Dogs are natural lovers and aim to please and certainly can tell that if a child is laughing while they are licking their face that the child loves it and so in return, the dog will do it again.

Dogs can sense when people are happy…

I have included a video for those who want to visually see what you can do to get them to stop licking below.

Trainer Teaching Dog Not To Lick

Why Dogs Lick Your Face and Are Dog Licks Really Kisses!?:

If someone asks you Why do dogs lick your face now, you can tell them the reasons behind it, but bottom line, they just are doing what’s natural to them.

They are being respectful and loving.. so to me, those licks really are what we know as KISSES.💕

If you are still someone that doesn’t want them to lick you, which is fine, we all have our own preferences, but at least now you know how you can redirect that behavior with the mentioned tips in this post – be consistent.

Let me know in the comments if you like or dislike your dog licks. I would love to know…

Until next time,

Have a pawsome day!


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