One of the behaviors your dog may use involves licking, especially licking your face. When dogs are puppies, their mothers lick them to groom them and to get them to urinate and even digest food. Before a pup even opens its eyes, it knows the calming and familiar experience of being groomed by mom. Young puppies will groom each other, too.
Do you wonder why dogs do this and if you should stop or manage it in some way? As a dog trainer I often coach clients on how to interpret and guide the interactions between multiple dogs in the household. As social group animals, they employ a large number of different interactions. In the widest sense, all doggy body language is geared towards increasing the peace in their group and preventing escalations. Even though dogs might seem hostile or belligerent to us at times, they mostly try to prevent serious confrontations by using different expressions of body language. It is a habit that is crucial for survival. It is rarely used for inducing regurgitation in dogs — most frequently it is an appeasement signal.
Ever wonder what your dog is thinking when he slurps your face like a lollipop? Is he just saying hello—or planting the canine version of a kiss on your cheek? Although we may never know the real answer, it helps to understand the psychology of the lick. As any dog owner knows, dogs lick often and for a variety of reasons.
Lots of dogs love smothering their dog parents with wet kisses. Dogs also like to lick their fur, favorite toys, other dogs, and even the walls! So, why do dogs like to lick everything?