Why do dogs lick your face?

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  1. afriqnet profile image50
    afriqnetposted 6 years ago

    Why do dogs lick your face?

    Does your dog lick your face? Do you find this behavior to be offending and how have you successfully stopped your dog from licking your face?

  2. agilitymach profile image97
    agilitymachposted 6 years ago

    Face licking is a greeting between puppies and their mothers.  It's a form of saying "I love you, and you are my family."

    They also lick our faces because, let's face it, there's good smells for a dog there.  Our mouths are there....food goes in our mouths....food smells good...  You get the idea. smile

    Most people find it annoying, however, as it certainly is not a human greeting!!! You stop it through training.  I would first try to redirect your dog away from the behavior.  For most dogs (but not all) I would give a small, verbal negative marker said softly like, "that's wrong."  Then I would give the pup a toy to chew instead and give a positive marker like, "But this is good. Yes!"  When training pups, I have toys all over the house for quick redirection.

    You also can try the ignore method.  This takes time, but does work.  When the pup licks your face, stand up and turn your back on them.  Don't give any reward or punishment, just stand and ignore until the pup quits jumping or licking you.  When it does, you can sit down and again give attention.  When it licks your face again, same thing.

    This takes patience because the behavior will actually get worse before it gets better.  This is called an extinction burst, and you can Google it to read about it.  Over time, the pup will get the message that all fun with dad stops when face licking starts. 

    This method works, but takes time and 100 percent commitment and consistency to get it trained. smile

    1. afriqnet profile image50
      afriqnetposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for giving such a comprehensive and well thought answer. I have voted it as the Best Answer

  3. wetnosedogs profile image59
    wetnosedogsposted 6 years ago

    My youngest dog likes to lick my face. One reason I think is the food thing. Another is she is impatient and she thinks giving me kisses will get me going to the door to open it or to the food dish. Her favorite time I think to lick my face is when she has been her bad self and giving me kisses is her way of an apology and how can I ever think she was a bad girl. She is one smart dog.

  4. Tonipet profile image84
    Tonipetposted 6 years ago

    It's their way of kissing us and showing their affection to people they find care. This is an animal instinct that I don't find offending. Maybe it's the messy feeling on the face that most of us stops our dogs from doing this. It's good mine stops when I tell them to stop.

  5. JamesGrantSmith profile image56
    JamesGrantSmithposted 5 years ago

    My friends dog is always trying to Lick me, it is weird and obviously i stop it. Use things like classical conditioning to stop it, e.g. every-time it tries to lick your face punish it and then if it doesn't try and lick your face give it a treat.


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