Why Do Dogs Lick Your Nose?

My chihuahua licks my nose.

As gross as it is, Neva always loves to lick my  nose.  She does it when she is excited, when I first come home, or if I am talking to her.  I try to push her away, but she gets her little feelings hurt.

I always wondered “Why do dogs lick your  nose?”

Some people say that it is simply just because you let them.  They say if you curb the habit, they won’t do it anymore.  That may be true, but my boyfriend doesn’t let her lick his nose and she still tries.  Another theory is that they like the saltiness of your skin.

The answer goes deeper than that.

Licking is a form of communication to dogs.  When they first meet another dog, they will lick the face as a sign of greeting.  It is also a sign of intimacy and social bonding.  If they lick your face, it could mean they consider you a friend.

They also lick as a sign of respect.  Lower ranked dogs in a wild pack will lick the alpha male’s nose as a sign of submission.  Neva commonly licks Charlee’s face too.

The last explanation is that when they are baby puppies, they lick their mother’s face when they want food.  As gross as it is, it triggers a regurgitation effect from the mother so the babies can eat.  I’ve never seen this happen, but supposedly it is common in wild packs of dogs.  But then again, I have never been around puppies that were just born.

Whether it is submissive, friendly or out of hunger, there is nothing wrong with your dog licking your face.  They do it because they love you.  It is not unsanitary, as dog saliva has antibiotics in it to protect from bad bacteria and germs.  If you do still wish to train them to not lick, it is advised that you train them when they are puppies!

Does your dog do this?  I want to hear your stories in the comments!

 

12 comments on “Why Do Dogs Lick Your Nose?

  1. Jamie says:

    Definitely for affection and attention. But ours affectionately nibbles our noses more than licks

    Like

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