The dog’s tongue is among the primary instruments it uses to interact with the environment. Dogs tend to communicate with their owners and each other through licking. You will notice that pup’s kisses usually increase in energy and number, especially in the morning. Dogs will reinforce their behavior basing on the response they tend to get from you since they are creatures of habit. But why do dogs lick more in the morning? If you are a woman, you might find the dog licking your stick on bras! Why?
This article talks about where the behavior comes from and what you need to do in return to reciprocate.
The Origin of the Behavior
Whether on the streets in the city, wild, or lounging in the house with their owners, a dog licks for different reasons. Licking is usually a dog’s natural behavior which starts in puppyhood. The mother does lick the puppy to communicate, clean, and also stimulate them to start breathing. You can find the same behavior in the wild, with pup’s licking the mother’s mouth when they are still young as a form of grooming and social bonding too. During social interactions, adult dogs can lick each other to communicate their reconciliation desires. Besides, they can also lick to display a submissive attitude. It, therefore, means that the subordinate members in the pack will keep licking the dominant members to keep the peace. Let’s now talk about dogs licking your face in the morning.
Dogs lick their owners face in the morning simply because they like how they taste apart from the usual morning greetings. When you get to sleep, your skin usually secretes some oil and sweat, and your dog may be drawn to the taste of your salty skin. So, when it jumps to your face, it’s only trying to show affection. You reinforce this type of reaction, whether you respond negatively and positively, and you shouldn’t expect the dog to grow out of the behavior soon. It’s usually their way of getting your attention and showing affection too.
Another reason why dogs lick is that you might be having food remnants on your face, which they can taste and smell easily notwithstanding that fact you know or don’t. It also applies to when you wear some tasty lotions and creams when you want to go out. The dogs can immediately sense any new flavors on your skin and would often go for a kiss.
Encouraging the Dog’s Behavior
As earlier mentioned above, what you choose to reinforce will continue. Therefore, it means that responding to the dog’s kisses in the morning with hugs and giggles; you should expect the same reaction each day. Whether you are a fan or choose not to engage your puppy in this kind of exercise would depend on the breed of the dog. For instance, a Yorkshire Terrier or Chihuahua kiss feels very different compared to that of a giant dog such as Great Dane and Newfoundland.
Either way, you need to ensure not to unintentionally reinforce the behavior so that it doesn’t become excessive. It can be harmful to both the dog and you. If it does limit the time you enjoy with your puppy or vice versa, then you should stop. The best way to handle this behavior is to ignore and only allow the dog to lick you when you ask. It’s not very easy to achieve, but it will eventually be worth it. It would help if you also put into consideration the fact that it will affect the dog’s socialization and the way different people react to his kisses. The dog will be avoided, especially if it can’t control the reactions whenever new people approach him.
Other Considerations and Solutions
Training your dog goes a long way. If you realize your dog is a kissing enthusiast, you can begin teaching and reinforcing basic behaviors like hand targeting and sitting down. It will come in handy in maintaining control over your dog’s reactions and additionally help build his relationship with you and confidence in itself. Some people think that less confident dogs tend to lick excessively. You should, therefore, teach your dog to respond to your requests reliably.
However, the most important thing is to remain calm and patient with your dog and never repudiate affection with a reprimand.
From displaying affection to self-grooming, dogs tend to lick mostly to communicate their emotions and feelings towards their owners and environment. Your dog’s kisses might be sweet but irritating or too much to other people. The best thing you to do is to ignore and walk the other direction. Eventually, the dog will learn to stop and render you kiss free!