Licking is an instinct behaviour in dogs, and they lick for many reasons. Whether you’re a fan of your pups’’ sloppy kisses of you’re wanting to keep the kisses down to a minimum, we’ve got a list of the reasons why your furry friend wants to lick you!
One of the main reasons they lick you is to show affection, how cute! This stems from the feeling they have when they were licked by their mother as a young pup. It creates a feeling of comfort for them, and this feeling can be retained when licking you.
Another reason is to show empathy, licking is a comforting behaviour and if your furry friend can tell that you’re upset and concerned about you then they may try to lick to make you feel better and care for you. They can sense your emotion from scent, and notice changes in your behaviour. A small 2012 study observed that when owners pretended to cry, their dogs were more likely to lick and nudge their owner compared to normal behaviour.
If your furry friend is a belly rub fan or a head scratch lover, they might be licking you to get your attention, as they lick you, you’re more likely to interact with them by giving them belly rubs or head scratches, and of course food. This then encourages them to lick more next time when they want something.
If your pup is licking you a lot and it’s not usual behaviour for them, then they may be feeling a bit anxious. Licking helps your furry friend calm down and relieve anxiety, this is most commonly found with dogs who have social anxiety and are generally skittish.
However, if you’re not a fan of getting licks from your pup or it’s getting excessive, there are things you can do to help, and training is one of them. But training will be useless without rewards to reinforce good behaviour, and here at Sabre we stock delicious and healthy treats for your furry companion which will be a fantastic reward for your pup!