Why Does Your Dog Lick You?
When your dog approaches you and begins to lick your face, you interpret this as some loving gesture that humans would sometimes perform. However, some people are more skeptical and feel that this licking can mean other things, such as a request for food or even to just show that they have respect for the person or dog that is on the receiving end of this “face wash”!
In the wild, there’s only one reason why dogs lick, and that is because they want more food. Take the wolf for example; when a mother returns from the wild after searching for food, she will be greeted by constant licking from her young. This is because a lot of canine animals in the wild have a regurgitation reflex that is triggered when their face is licked. This means that the young know that they will have access to food when they lick their mother, as they will just be feeding on her vomit. While this may seem quite sneaky on their part, the mother also knows this and decides to go along as it’s easier for her to carry the food in her stomach.
Well, before we continue, it’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of pet dogs don’t have this regurgitation reflex so won’t be constantly vomiting! However, some people still read into this idea and have drawn their own conclusions. One of these is that if a dog licks their owner, they are also asking and expecting food. Various high-profile dog trainers, including “The Dog Listener” Jan Fennell, have caught onto this idea so don’t write it off entirely.
Most owners believe that their dogs simply lick as a sign of love though. Respect was mentioned as well, which is definitely another plausible concept. For example, there is always a dominant dog if there are more than one in a household, and from past experiences it seems like this dog always gets the most attention. This attention includes the licking of the face, so the respect issue could definitely be something valid as well.
Don’t think anything less or anything more of your dog through this article though. It was written to give you the various reasons why dogs like to lick their owners or fellow breeds. The vast majority of the population believe that their dog licks them as a sign of love and there’s no evidence to suggest that this won’t be the case with your pet.
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