One dog licking another dog's face ... can you think of a cuter sight? While it's definitely awe-worthy, find out the various motives behind this behavior!

Why Does My Dog Lick Another Dog’s Face?


One dog smooching another dog’s face … can you think of a cuter sight? At my house, this adorable behavior is a daily occurrence. Every morning, my toy Poodle prances over to my Chihuahua and practically gives his eyes and entire snout a tongue bath. During one of her recent licking sessions, it had me questioning, “Why?!” So, I did some digging. Here are the motives detailed by canine behavior experts:

If A Young Puppy Licks His Mother’s Face …

While the motive may change as your puppy ages into adulthood, licking another dog’s muzzle is actually a behavior that can be traced back to the baby stage. Experts say it may be a sign that puppies want to be fed. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), “Wild dog puppies lick their mother’s lips when she returns from a hunt, her belly full of predigested meat. This is the signal for her to regurgitate and for the family to share the spoils.” This instinctual behavior is also present in domesticated puppies as they first transition off their mother’s milk to solid food.

If During An Introduction …

You’ve probably heard it many times before — dogs are pack animals and can sense their social hierarchy. During an introduction, sometimes a lower-ranking canine will gently lick a more dominant dog’s muzzle as a way to show he comes in peace. It’s really a sign of respect! 

If Between Bonded Dogs …

As you may guess, canine friends will often lick and groom each other out of affection. In this case, it doesn’t have anything to do with social hierarchy. They’re just showing some love to one another! Awwweeeee<3

If A Dog Is Wounded …

If you notice your own dog constantly licking your other dog’s face, it’s worth a quick wound check. Sometimes a dog who excessively licks their fur dog is tending to a cut, scrape, tumor, or another medical issue that needs treatment.