Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health, Pets and Family

Why dog licks me? 5 reasons your dog may be licking you!

Have you ever received a gentle but juicy lick across your face from your dog when you least expected it?  Or, have you ever been woken up with a big lick in the face by your dog pal?  If you are a dog lover the answer is likely yes to both and you are no doubt wondering why my dog licks me?  

Reasons Dogs Lick Us

Dogs lick people for a variety of reasons sometimes, they’re just trying to be affectionate, other times, they might be showing concern or love and sometimes, they may want something from you (e.g. food).  

Small brindle puppy licking a long haired Caucasian girl with long curly hair in a blue jean dress.

 Whatever the reasons it’s important to understand why your dog is licking you so that you can provide the appropriate response and keep them happy. Read on for the top five reasons that your dog pal may be licking you.  

An Unmet need

My Adorable Dozer wakes me up with a big lick letting me know he needs to go out for a potty break.   Sometimes a big lick across the face is the only sure fire way that your pet knows that he won’t be ignored.  

Either way paying attention to your pets needs and addressing them may result in terminating his desire to lick and keeping your dog happy.

Man on a couch with dark hair being licked by an adult boxer dog.

Submissive behavior

We have all heard the story of the mother of puppies (and many other mammals) greeting their mother on her return home with licks to the face.  

Many dog lovers and dog experts surmise that this means that they are happy to greet their mother and are indicating their submissiveness and intent to be good dogs on her welcome.  As a result they say as your dogs grow up they may have the same tendency to lick you.

Lady in jeans in a forest with long blonde hair being licked by a big white furry dog.

Dog Licking From Fear

Just as a puppies lick their mother with greetings and those licks may indicate communication of their intent to be submissive, those puppy licks may also indicate a puppies fear.

A puppies licks may indicate that they are seeking comfort from their fear at being left alone or dog separation anxiety.  Many dogs may lick you in the course of experiencing fear or attempting to relieve that fear.

Dogs May Lick a Hello Greeting

There is nothing better than picking an Adorable dog up and rubbing noses with your pal.  Sometimes it results in a big lick.  That is a hello greeting. And if you stuffed your face into other mammals they may not impart a large lick but our dogs, always the ones to please, will nine times out of ten lay on a big lick when met with a person face in their space. 

Blonde girl in red dress and red bow in hair being licked by a small brown and white dog.

Is a dog Licking You the Same as Licking Itself?

No, dogs may lick themselves and that is quite a bit different than licking you. Dog’s may lick themselves for many other reasons, a primary reason a dog may lick itself is pain and discomfort.  

Brown dog licking his paws while lying on a cushion.


It’s always nice to be the recipient of a lick from your dog, but why do they do it? There are five possible reasons for this behavior. Some dogs may use licking as an appeasement gesture which could mean that they feel submissive or vulnerable in some way.  

Is a dog licking your face a sign of affection?

Yes, your dog licking your face may be a sign of affection or a sign they are choosing to be submissive.

Are there benefits of your dog licking your face?

No, there are no benefits, not only will it be confusing to a dog to allow them to lick your face but dog’s saliva is full of germs and may actually transmit parasites to you.

Why is my dog licking everything all of a sudden?

Your dog may be licking everything all of sudden or what seems like everything all of sudden as it is nervous, anxious or uncomfortable for some reason. There are other reasons dogs may lick you like showing submissiveness.

Why do you think your dog licks you?  Comment below.