Ever wondered why dogs loved licking people, even if they’re not their owners? While licking people is often seen as a sign of affection, there are some instances when other reasons come into play. Sydney Bartson Queen, a senior manager of the behavioral sciences team at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), explained that the meaning of a dog lick can depend on how the licks are offered:
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
“Some small kisses at the mouth are sometimes appeasement behaviors, like the way some small puppies lick at the mouths of adult dogs,” the ASPCA manager added.
Dr. Mary Burch, a certified applied animal behaviorist who is the director of the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s Family Dog program, says: “Licking can be a sign of affection. It might also give a dog afeeling of security and comfort, just as the dog had when licked by its mother in the litter.”
Queen added that licks can also be a way for dogs to gather more information, such as small licks near the mouth. “The licking helps the scents get up to the dog’s vomeronasal organ).”
Dogs may also offer a lick or two in order to appease the person so that they can be left alone. This tends to happen when a person puts their face too close to the dog’s face before they are comfortable, Queen told Newsweek.
“Some dogs are even unintentionally taught to give kisses as a way to maybe create space between them and a person.
“A dog learns that you can get a person’s face further away from them by licking it when the person moves away after receiving their “kisses,” she explained.
Image credit: Honest Paws (Unsplash)