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Domestic Animals

Why Does My Dog Lick Me When We Cuddle?



selective focus photography of white and tan shih tzu puppy carrying by smiling woman
selective focus photography of white and tan shih tzu puppy carrying by smiling woman....Photo by Helena Lopes on

Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by israel olaniran

Have you ever wondered why your dogs showers you with slobbery kisses when you’re enjoying a cozy cuddle session? The endearing gesture of a dog licking its human companion is a common sight that often leaves us pondering its deeper meaning. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of canine behavior and explore the various reasons behind this adorable display of affection.

Why Does My Dog Lick Me When We Cuddle
Image by Angel from Pixabay

Why Does My Dog Lick Me When We Cuddle?

1. Natural instinct

Dogs are wired with an innate tendency to lick, rooted in their early days as puppies. When pups are born, their mother licks them as a grooming mechanism and to stimulate bodily functions. This natural instinct carries forward as dogs grow, becoming a way of bonding and social interaction.

Read: why does my dog cough after drinking water?

2. Communication and Bonding

Licking is a form of communication in the canine realm. Just as dogs use barks, tail wags, and body language to convey messages, licking serves a similar purpose. When your dog licks you, it’s expressing feelings of comfort, trust, and attachment. This behavior solidifies the special bond you share, creating a deeper emotional connection.

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3. Exploring the Senses

Dogs perceive the world through a heightened sensory experience. Their acute senses of smell and taste contribute to their understanding of their environment.

Read: why does my dog sit on my feet?

4. Recognizing Familiar Scents

Believe it or not, your dog’s tongue is equipped with scent receptors that aid in recognizing familiar individuals. Licking allows them to gather valuable information about you—your scent, mood, and even recent activities. So, when your dog licks you, it’s not just a random action; it’s a way of identifying and acknowledging you.

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5. Expressing Love and Care

Licking isn’t just a one-sided act; it’s a two-way street of affection. The act of licking releases pleasurable endorphins for both dogs and humans, creating a sense of joy and happiness. So, when your dog showers you with licks, it’s not only expressing love but also enjoying the interaction itself.

Read: can dogs eat chorizo?

6. Reciprocity in Relationships

Just as humans exchange hugs and kisses to show love, dogs use licking as a reciprocal behavior. When you respond positively to your dog’s affectionate licks, it reinforces their desire to continue the delightful ritual, further strengthening your unique bond.

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7. Establishing Dominance and Submission

In the wild, licking plays a role in social hierarchy among canine packs. Alpha dogs often receive respectful licks from subordinate pack members as a sign of submission and respect.

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8. Translating to Human-Dog Dynamics

Interestingly, this concept of pack mentality translates to our relationship with dogs. While they may not be part of a traditional pack, they perceive their human family as their social unit. Hence, licking becomes a way to acknowledge your role as the leader while showcasing affection.

Read: why are shih tzu the worst dog breeds?

The following reasons mentioned above are the major reasons why your dog would lick you when you cuddle.

Setting Boundaries

While doggie kisses are endearing, excessive licking may not always be welcome, especially if it’s interfering with your cuddle time. Establishing boundaries through gentle commands and training can help manage this behavior.

Redirecting Attention

If your dog’s enthusiastic licks become a bit too much, consider redirecting their attention. Providing a chew toy or engaging them in a playful activity during cuddle sessions can help shift their focus and keep both of you content.

Why does my dog lick me when I cuddle her?

Dogs often lick their owners during cuddling as a way to express affection and bond with you. It’s a sign of love and comfort.

Why does my dog lick me when I hug them?

Similar to cuddling, licking during a hug is a demonstration of your dog’s affection and a way to communicate their feelings.

Do dog licks mean love?

Yes, dog licks are a way for them to show love and care. It’s a behavior rooted in their natural instincts and social bonding.

Do dogs know what cuddling is?

While dogs may not understand the concept of cuddling as humans do, they recognize it as a positive and bonding interaction.

Why does my dog lick me when I pet her?

Licking when you pet your dog can be a combination of affection, appreciation for the attention, and their way of communicating with you.

Why does my dog lick me excessively?

Excessive licking can indicate various things, including anxiety, discomfort, or a desire for attention. It’s essential to observe their behavior for context.

What does it mean when a dog licks you in the face?

Licking your face is a display of trust and affection. Dogs consider the face a particularly important area for bonding.

Why does my dog lick me excessively at night?

Nighttime licking may be due to boredom, anxiety, or habit. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine and providing mental stimulation can help address this behavior.

Why does my dog cuddle with me at night?

Dogs often cuddle with their owners at night to feel safe, secure, and close to their pack leader (you).

My dog won’t stop licking me all of a sudden. What could be the reason?

Sudden changes in licking behavior may be due to medical issues, discomfort, or changes in their environment. Consulting a veterinarian is recommended.

Why does my dog lick my feet?

Dogs might lick your feet for a variety of reasons, including a way to show submission, comfort, or simply seeking attention.

Why does my dog lick my hands?

Licking hands is a way for dogs to explore their environment, show affection, and establish a connection with their human companions.

Is excessive licking harmful to my dog’s health?

Excessive licking can lead to skin irritation or other health issues. If you notice persistent licking, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.

Why does my dog also lick other objects and surfaces?

Dogs use licking to explore and understand their surroundings. It’s a way for them to gather information about the world.

Can I train my dog to stop excessive licking?

Yes, you can train your dog to reduce excessive licking through positive reinforcement and redirection techniques.

Is licking a sign of anxiety in dogs?

In some cases, excessive licking can be a sign of anxiety or discomfort. Observing your dog’s overall behavior can help determine the underlying cause.

Should I be concerned if my dog suddenly stops licking during cuddling?

Sudden changes in behavior should be monitored, but a temporary pause in licking may not necessarily indicate a problem. Dogs, like humans, can have variations in their moods and behaviors.

Final Thoughts On Why Does My Dog Lick Me When We Cuddle?

The heartwarming ritual of your dog showering you with affectionate licks during cuddle time is a beautiful testament to the deep bond you share. From their natural instincts rooted in puppyhood to their unique way of communicating and expressing love, each lick is a reminder of the unbreakable connection between you and your furry companion.

Israel Olaniran is an accomplished animal content writer with five years of expertise in creating engaging and educational material about cats, dogs, and other animals. When he's not writing, he dedicates his time to caring for his beloved four-year-old rescue puppy. Israel's work has been featured in renowned publications like "Pethouse," and he actively collaborates with local animal shelters and rescue organizations to raise awareness about their important work. His vast knowledge in animal care and ownership, as well as his up-to-date understanding of various breeds, making him a trusted source for global readers seeking reliable pet content.

Domestic Animals

30 Fascinating Facts About Dogs You Probably Didn’t Know.



photo of person holding black and white dog
photo of person holding black and white dog, Photo by Bekka Mongeau on

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by israel olaniran

We all love dogs, yeah? But how well do we know this beautiful creatures, Here are 30 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about dogs, Add anyone you know in the comment section.

30 Fascinating Facts About Dogs

  • 1. Dogs are descendants of wolves and were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago.
  • 2. There are hundreds of dog breeds, each with its own unique characteristics and traits.
  • 3. The Basenji dog breed is known as the “barkless dog” because it produces a unique yodel-like sound instead of barking.
  • 4. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and can detect scents at concentrations as low as parts per trillion.
  • 5. The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, known for its friendly and outgoing personality.
  • 6. Dogs have three eyelids: an upper lid, a lower lid, and a third lid called the nictitating membrane, which helps keep their eyes moist and protected.
  • 7. The Border Collie is considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds and excels in activities like agility, herding, and obedience.
  • 8. Dogs have sweat glands only in their paw pads, so they primarily regulate their body temperature by panting.
  • 9. The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world, with some individuals weighing less than 2 pounds.
  • 10. Dogs have a highly developed sense of hearing and can detect sounds at frequencies much higher than humans.
huskeys dogs driving sled through white snow
Photo by Pixabay on
  • 11. The Australian Cattle Dog was bred to herd cattle and is known for its intelligence, agility, and endurance.
  • 12. Dogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, although this varies depending on the breed and size of the dog.
  • 13. The Greyhound is one of the fastest dog breeds, capable of reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour.
  • 14. Dogs have a “third eyelid” called the nictitating membrane, which helps keep their eyes moist and protected.
  • 15. The Dalmatian breed is famous for its distinctive black or liver spotted coat.
  • 16. Dogs are social animals that thrive on companionship and interaction with humans and other animals.
  • 17. The Siberian Husky is known for its endurance and ability to withstand cold temperatures.
  • 18. Dogs have an excellent sense of taste, with taste buds not only on their tongues but also on the roofs of their mouths and the back of their throats.
  • 19. The Beagle is known for its keen sense of smell and is often used in scent detection work.
  • 20. Dogs have a unique set of vocalizations, including barking, howling, whining, and growling, to communicate with humans and other dogs.

Read: 30 interesting facts about lovebirds.

  • 21. The Golden Retriever is a popular breed known for its friendly and gentle temperament, making it an excellent family pet.
  • 22. Dogs have an innate sense of hierarchy and social structure within their packs, which can influence their behavior and interactions with other dogs and humans.
  • 23. The Poodle is known for its intelligence and hypoallergenic coat, making it a popular choice for people with allergies.
  • 24. Dogs have an incredible sense of direction and can navigate using landmarks, scents, and celestial cues.
  • 25. The Bulldog breed is characterized by its loose, wrinkled skin, distinctive pushed-in nose, and muscular build.
  • 26. Dogs are capable of forming strong bonds with their human companions and are known for their loyalty and devotion.
  • 27. The German Shepherd is a versatile and intelligent breed often used in roles such as police work, search and rescue, and therapy.
  • 28. Dogs have whiskers, or vibrissae, located on their muzzle, eyebrows, and chin, which help them sense vibrations and navigate in dim light.
  • 29. The Shih Tzu is a small breed known for its long, flowing coat and friendly disposition.
  • 30. Dogs communicate using a combination of body language, vocalizations, and facial expressions to convey their emotions, needs, and intentions.

How many of them did you know? Tell us

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