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. Tracy Mills says:

    Tippy my 8 week old chihuahua licks my whole face, gentle love bites on my upper eye lids/eyebrows, and tongue up my nostrils which really hurts. He’s so excited and happy to see me he won’t lick me anywhere else except my face and he tries his hardest to get near my face when I’m away from him, he jumps and falls on his back, gets up and tries again. I don’t want him to get hurt so I stay near the floor until he gets the licking out of his system.


  2. ThatChiGuy says:

    My Chihuahua does this every chance she gets. It’s hilarious because it’s always the nose or ears. My furry buddy is named Mia, and she’s one year old.


  3. Sheri says:

    I have a Jack chi who is obsessed with sticking her tongue up your nose, if she gets near your face she sneaks up to the nose then the tongue is going a mile a minute. She does it also when excited and when someone is sleeping. She is not so bad with me, I dont let her do it. Is there away to make her stop? She is 2 and you can hear the tongue coming lol


  4. Donald says:

    You may still be crazy. Call the doctor just incase. Bye


  5. Kimberly says:

    My male Chihuahua does this to me constantly, mostly to just me. He will lick my husband and children’s faces (kisses and so on) as well as give my husbands face the. “Once over” -after a long day of work. However I’ve always wondered if Thor was the only one doing this… glad to know I’m not crazy 😊


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s