Why do dogs lick us? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Why do dogs lick us?

This seems like a funny question but I wonder what are people's opinions. I do not mean when they are obviously licking food off of us or flavors. Is it a subordinate response? A mothering response? Grooming behavior? It is easy to say because they love us and of course they do but what about a less anthropomorphic viewpoint? For instance, Inga will be mouthy. When told No Bite she will then lick. Or she will just come over at random times and start licking. No just my hands and arms, she also licks my pants.

She will also when told No Bite instantly start fleaing me and no I do not have fleas. I wonder why they do this?

Last edited by Nurse Bishop; 04-02-2017 at 05:14 PM.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:22 PM
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We taste like chicken.




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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:24 PM
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I think part of it can be submissive, part of it can because you taste good (salty), or part of it is because there may be a scent on you they want more of (Jacobson's organ).

The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:28 PM
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I think it depends on the situation. They wake me up by purposely seeking my face to lick me. If they are laying on my lap, they lick my face. They rarely lick my hands. It's always my face. To my understanding, this is a sign of submission when they lick another dog's face. But it sure doesn't feel like submission at 6am when I'm getting head butted.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Inga is not allowed to lick our faces, because.... you know.. But yes, young canids will lick a superior's lower jaw in hopes to elicit then to regurgitate food.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:50 PM
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I honestly don't know.

Newlie does not lick much as general rule, and when he does, it feels like it is for different reasons. For example, he will lick my hands if I have been eating something salty. And, although he has gotten better over the years, he still doesn't care for anything with a nozzle being near his ears and will lick at my hands and the bottle to try to keep it away. Then, there have been several periods of time when I was laying in bed, that he would start at my hands and lick thoroughly most of the way up my arms. I would eventually have to stop him because his tongue would start to feel like sandpaper. It sort of felt like grooming behavior, but the only times this happened was after a death, first my mother, then my husband.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:52 PM
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LOL Pretty sure they aren't expecting me to vomit for them. I would say it's just a sign of affection and not to overthink some things.




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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Wow Newlie. What a sweet thing. She KNEW you were sad.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:00 PM
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting that. That dog's brains produce natural endorphins when they lick us- My brain makes natural endorphins too. But so many pictures showing dogs licking faces, even children's faces. Yuck. This does not cause natural endorphins to be released in my brain. Surely, dog owners must see where those dog mouths have been. I guess its the nurse in me.

OK, I found this
Why does a dog lick your face?
Your dog is hungry. Dogs sometimes use licking to communicate that they are hungry. Puppies lick their mothers' lips to stimulate a regurgitation reflex so they can eat the food their mothers vomit. Like their wolf ancestors, wild dogs lick the pack leader's face as a way of begging for food.

Last edited by Nurse Bishop; 04-02-2017 at 06:36 PM.
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