Dog lovers know that there’s nothing better than a slobbery kiss from your favorite canine. But what does your dog’s licking really mean? Is it simply a way for dogs to show affection or is there more to it than that?
When we ask, “Why do dogs lick people?” we must remember that they are practically licked into life. One of the first sensations that puppies feel, upon entering this strange world of ours, is the nurturing tongue of the mother who whelped them. Mom uses her tongue to clear away baby’s nostrils, encouraging each puppy that emerges from her womb to breathe the sweet air and make use of tiny lungs.
With such a greeting, it’s only natural that the tongue is one of the primary instruments by which dogs interact with their environment. Given this, we must expect the tongue, and its power of licking, to play at least some part in their interactions with people.
Dogs lick people for some reasons that we can safely interpret and likely for many reasons we will never understand, until that glorious day when dogs acquire the power of human speech.
Let’s look at six different reasons why dogs lick people succinctly explained by Melvin Peña, freelance writer at Dogster, on the next page.