Why do dogs like to lick on the face and lips a lot? what does this mean other than being affectionate?

Asked by dyak on Jan 20th 2008 Tagged behavior, facelick in Behavior & Training
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Like most dog behavior, this has an underlying meaning which makes sense if you trace it back to when dogs lived in the wild in packs.

Face licking is usually done by submissive dogs to dominant dogs. It is an echo of when an alpha male dog would have come back to the pack with a dead animal or after he finished eating first. He would have had blood and meat still left on his mouth and the other, less dominant dogs would have shown him respect by licking his muzzle and neck.

Now that dogs are domesicated, they still have an ingrained instinct to do this type of behavior.

It is definitely a sign of being affectionate when a dog does this to a person, since the dog's tail is wagging and he is usually exicted. But, there is an underlying show of respect and letting the human know that they are being submissive.

You can also observe this behavior between dogs.

Jack answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer

Gray Dawn Treader

Sometimes Treader will lick my lips while I am talking. Then I get a tongue in my mouth! Yuck!

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I love kisses!!!! I give them to my momma all the time!

Kratos answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer