Why Does My Dog Lick Lick My Face?

Have you ever wondered why your dog loves to lick your face? It’s a common behavior among many breeds of dogs, and it can be both endearing and perplexing. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why your dog might be licking your face, and why it’s important to understand the behavior. So, why does my dog lick my face? It could be a sign of affection or an attempt to communicate something else.

What is the Meaning Behind Dog Licking?

Dog licking is a form of communication that can be used to express a variety of emotions. Dogs lick to show affection, as a sign of submission, and to groom themselves or other animals. It can also be a sign of stress or anxiety. Dogs will often lick their owners’ faces as a way of showing love and affection.

Reasons Dogs Lick

Dogs lick for many reasons, including:

  • Showing Affection – Dogs often lick their owners’ faces as a way of showing love and affection.
  • Grooming – Dogs will lick themselves and other animals as part of their grooming routine.
  • Submission – When dogs are feeling submissive, they may lick the face or hands of the dominant animal in the pack.
  • Stress & Anxiety – Some dogs may lick excessively when they are feeling stressed or anxious.

Benefits of Dog Licking

Dog licking can have many benefits for both humans and dogs. It can help strengthen the bond between an owner and their pet, provide comfort in times of stress, and even help with physical ailments such as allergies or skin irritation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dog saliva has antiseptic properties that can help keep wounds clean and promote healing.

How to Respond to Dog Licking?

Dogs licking their owners is a common behavior, and it can be both endearing and annoying. Understanding why your dog licks your face can help you determine the best way to respond. Generally, dogs lick as a sign of affection or to show submission. It is important to respond appropriately so that your dog understands the behavior is acceptable or not.

Positive Reinforcement

When your dog licks you in a gentle manner, it is best to respond positively. This will encourage the behavior and let your pup know that it is appreciated. Some ways to positively reinforce this behavior include:

  • Petting or scratching your pup in return
  • Giving treats or verbal praise
  • Engaging in playtime with your pup
  • Ignoring the behavior

Redirecting the Behavior

If your dog’s licking becomes too aggressive or excessive, it may be necessary to redirect the behavior. This can be done by providing an alternate activity for them such as playing with a toy or going for a walk. Additionally, you can teach them commands such as “sit” or “down” which will help distract them from licking and give them something else to focus on instead.

Is Dog Licking Unhealthy?

Dog licking is a common behavior among canines, and it’s often seen as a sign of affection. While it may be cute, there are potential health risks and cleanliness and hygiene concerns that come with it.

Potential Health Risks of Dog Licking

The saliva of dogs can contain bacteria that can cause infections in humans, such as:

It’s important to be aware of these potential risks and take steps to prevent them from occurring, such as washing your hands after petting your dog or avoiding contact with their saliva altogether if you have an open wound or weakened immune system due to illness or medication use.

Cleanliness and Hygiene Concerns

Dog saliva can also contain dirt, parasites, allergens, and other contaminants that can cause skin irritation or allergies in humans if they come into contact with it too often or for too long a period of time without proper cleaning afterwards. Additionally, dogs may also lick their fur which can contain fleas, ticks, mites, and other parasites which could potentially spread to humans if they come into contact with the dog’s saliva on their skin or clothing afterwards without proper cleaning or disinfecting first


Is There a Way to Stop Dog Licking?

Many dog owners are familiar with the feeling of having their pup’s tongue on their face. While it can be endearing, it can also be overwhelming and unwanted. Fortunately, there are ways to discourage this behavior and help your pup learn more appropriate behaviors.

Training Techniques for Discouraging Dog Licking

Training techniques for discouraging dog licking include:

  • Redirecting the behavior: When your pup starts to lick you, redirect their attention to something else such as a toy or treat.
  • Positive reinforcement: Reward your pup when they don’t lick you with verbal praise or treats.
  • Consistency: Be consistent in your training and make sure everyone in the household follows the same rules.

Alternatives to Discouraging Dog Licking

If you don’t want to discourage your pup from licking altogether, there are alternatives that can help manage the behavior. These include:

How Can I Make Sure My Dog’s Behavior is Healthy?

Having a healthy relationship with your dog is essential for both of you to be happy. Understanding your dog’s needs and behaviors, as well as seeking professional help when necessary, are two key steps to ensuring your pup’s behavior is healthy.

Understanding Your Dog’s Needs and Behaviors

It’s important to understand why your dog may be licking your face. Dogs lick for many reasons, including showing affection, seeking attention, or trying to communicate something. It’s important to observe the context of the licking behavior and consider other factors such as diet, environment, and stress levels.

Seeking Professional Help When Necessary

If you are concerned about your pup’s licking behavior or any other issue related to their health or wellbeing, it’s important to seek professional help from a veterinarian or certified animal behaviorist if needed. They can provide guidance on how best to address any issues that may arise and ensure that both you and your pup are happy and healthy!


It’s clear that there are many reasons why your dog might be licking your face. While it could be a sign of affection, it could also be an attempt to communicate something else. It’s important to understand the behavior and look for other signs that may indicate what your dog is trying to tell you. If you’re looking for more information about why your dog might be licking your face, or other pet-related topics, visit A Pet’s Home. Why does my dog lick my face? Understanding the behavior can help you better understand and care for your beloved pet.

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