Medically Reviewed by Dr. Majid Tanveer, DVM
Dogs love to show affection through physical contact. Some of us might find it endearing
But others may find it a bit unpleasant when your pup licks your nose.
Why does my dog lick my nose?
Your dog licks your nose for various possible reasons. The primary reason is their instinctive behavior. Also, it could be a submissive gesture or sign of affection and even boredom. The taste of your skin is also a reason. And remember the rewards that you give when they lick you.
We will examine different reasons for this nose-licking. Also, we will head to see what to do about your dog’s excessive licking habits.
But first, check 7 of the most likely reasons dogs lick your nose.
7 Reasons Your Dog Lick Your Nose
It is not just your dog that licks your nose. All dogs do that. You might have also noticed that they do this with each other.
The licking habit of dogs is a foreign behavior for us, just as when dogs stare into space. However, it is normal behavior for dogs.
Let us explore the seven most likely reasons why dogs lick your nose.
Reason 1: Instinct Drives Licking Behavior
No one disagrees that, like all other animals, dogs are intuitive creatures. Their mother does it to help them breathe and clean them after the birth process. From day one, the first thing they experience is licking from their mother.
Also, licking and smelling are ways for dogs to make better sense of things. First, they smell and then lick. This is how they gather information.
Furthermore, dogs can know about your mood through their nose and mouth receptors. So, yeah, they may understand if you are sad or happy.
Reason 2: Your Dog Loves You
Licking is your dog’s way of showing affection. This represents his trust level, and he considers you his own.
Dogs learn this functional behavior from their mothers and mates. This is how they strengthen their trust relations and family bonds.
Licking is a dog’s way of kissing you. When you adore it, you kiss your dog in your way. Sometimes they also tend to lick your pillow. You can also think of this licking as a kiss.
Reason 3: Submissive Gesture
Dogs are packed animals and follow social order. And in this established social order, licking is a way of accepting dominance.
By licking, your dog is accepting you as his dominant pack leader. It is giving you respect. And consider you as his superior.
And being a pack leader, you are responsible for their food and for giving them love.
Reason 4: You are Rewarding Your Dog
When your dog licks your nose, you give it treats or toys. It learns it and tends to repeat it.
And they will continue to keep doing it to get more rewards.
Reason 5: He Thinks You Taste Good
Your skin has a salty taste. They may also smell food that you recently ate. And no doubt they love it.
They may also lick your mouth, cheeks, ears, and even eyes for the same reason.
Reason 6: To Get Your Attention
Suppose you have ignored him or deprived him of your attention. And licking your nose is a way for them.
Besides attention seeking, it could also be because of hunger or insecurity.
Reason 7: He Wants To Clean You
When puppies are born, their mother licks them to clean them. This is how they learn this and do it with their other mates.
So, licking your nose might be your dog grooming you. He considers you of his pack and thinks he should help clean you.
3 Ways to Get Rid of Dog-Licking Habit
To some dogs, licks may seem cute. But this seemingly harmless cuteness can soon become an unpleasant slobbery habit. And if left unmanaged, this habit can turn into nipping, biting, or groaning.
There are bacteria in the dog’s saliva and mouth. Through the mucous membrane of your nose, these bacteria can find a way inside your body.
However, dogs’ saliva is no serious health threat to humans. Still, if a dog is being naughty with you. For general safety, you better stop it.
You can do certain things to stop your dog from licking.
Don’t Reward Him When It Licks You
Suppose your dog is encouraged because you reward him right after the nose-licking. Then stop rewarding him.
He will learn that you don’t like or approve of it. And then give him a reward when he doesn’t lick your nose. This will help a lot.
Train Him To Stop Licking Your Nose
Whenever your dog licks your nose, you need to train and teach him about not licking.
When it licks your nose, you should respond by standing and turning away from him. Leaving the room entirely would convey a solid disliking message.
Then you may come after some time and can respond with love. He would probably start licking again. And you will react the same way: to turn away from it.
And when you give him love, and he doesn’t lick. You reward him with a treat, toy, food, etc.
Make Something Else His Attention
Suppose his licking habit is because he seeks attention. Provide him with something else so that he doesn’t require your attention.
Arrange for his playing by giving him bones or toys. You can also teach your dog agility or maybe create an indoor obstacle game for him.
To ease you, I have listed some of the best toys for your dog. Check them out:
|Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy||Check Current Price|
|Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuffed Toy for Dogs||Check Current Price|
Hopefully, these will keep him busy and distracted from licking your nose.
Also, your dog having these toys won’t feel boredom and won’t need any exercise.
Dog Lovers Also Ask
Can you get sick from a dog lick?
Not very common, but still, there is a chance. If you are a healthy person, there is no need to worry. But if you have a weak or problematic immune system, you might get sick. Either way, you need to stop your dog.
Should you allow a dog to hump any toy or pillow?
Humping itself is not wrong and is average for dogs. So yes, let it hump a toy or pillow but on a strict schedule. It is a healthy and acceptable thing. But don’t let them do it for the wrong reasons, like aggression. Also, If you see this becoming an uncontrollable habit, stop them through distractions.
Why would a dog put its paw on you?
When a dog puts its paw on you, it means he is expressing his feelings. And this feeling is undoubtedly hot and sweet. He might be saying I love you, or I trust you. Also, it can mean other emotions as well. These different feelings might be attention-seeking or hunger.