Introduction: The Phenomenon of Dogs Licking People
Most dog owners are familiar with the slobbery, wet kisses that their furry friends like to give. But why do dogs lick people? This behavior, which can be endearing or annoying depending on the circumstances, has a variety of explanations ranging from instinctual behavior to communication to hygiene. Understanding why dogs lick people can help pet owners establish stronger bonds with their dogs, address potential health concerns, and train their dogs to exhibit appropriate behaviors.
Instinctual Behavior: How Licking is Natural for Dogs
Licking is a natural behavior for dogs, and it begins when they are puppies. Puppies are born blind and deaf, and licking helps them explore their environment and communicate with their mother. As they grow up, licking becomes a way for dogs to groom themselves and each other. Dogs have rough tongues that can remove dirt and debris from their fur, and licking can also help them cool down in hot weather. In addition, licking can be a way for dogs to show submission to a dominant dog or human. When a dog licks a person, it may be a sign of respect or affection, or it may be a way for the dog to establish itself as a member of the pack.