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Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dogs Faces: 6 Reasons Why!

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Majid Tanveer, DVM

We love our dogs by hugging and kissing them, so they often want to express their love to us.

And can it be any cuter when they lick to show their love?

I know, right?

But too much licking sometimes makes us worried if there is anything wrong with the dog.

Why does my dog lick other dogs’ faces?

Dogs lick other dogs’ faces to show their affection and love. It sometimes means that they are hungry. Because some of them used this with their parents at a young age to express that they are hungry and want food, though experts say there could be many reasons behind this behavior. 

Does this overview seem helpful to you? Great!

We have briefly discussed why your dog is doing this and how to fix it.

Jump on the wagon to know more!

Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dogs Faces: Here You Know Why

There are a couple of probable reasons behind your dog licking the face of your other dog, and it could be a mix of them.

Yet, there are a lot of factors to consider when determining the root cause, as well as several actions you may take to address them.

Let’s get straight to the reasons:

Reason 1: Hunger Problem

If there is one thing that all dogs have in common, it is that they all like a nice snack and supper. 

Many experts believe that dogs’ need to lick another’s face stems from how wolf puppies exhibit their hunger in the wild. 

To convey their hunger, the puppies frequently lick their mother’s face. Many experts think wolf puppies indicate their desire by licking their mother’s mouth. This tendency is ingrained in all dogs, even when they get old.

Your dog is not a wolf but a descendant with a similar evolutionary history. When wolf pups are born, they await their mother to return from a hunt. Wolf puppies, like tiny birds, can’t digest solid food yet; therefore, their mother has to chew it for them first.

That’s not to imply you’re starving the dog or that he’s hungry every time he licks someone else’s face and sometimes licks air too. It indicates that the conduct was physiologically imprinted into them at a young age.

Reason 2: Seeking Attention

Since adult dogs are physiologically conditioned to lick their faces to relieve hunger, they appear to employ this activity differently as they mature. 

Most notably, dogs lick the faces of other canines and human faces to attract attention.

Like the first explanation for the behavior, this may be traced back to your dog’s wolf-puppy ancestry. Puppies kiss their mother’s face whenever they seek attention from her, whether it’s because they’re hungry or not. 

Many puppies continue to exhibit this behavior far into maturity, although they will do it to other canines and their mother.

If your dog only licks faces while it is playful and seeking attention, it is most likely doing so to get extra attention. Most dogs today appear to lick faces for this reason instead of the other two.

Reason 3: Showing Affection

Dogs lick each other as a form of bonding. This might be why your dog has been licking the other dog’s faces. This is more likely when your dog licks the other dog in different places, and your other dog licks it back.

Reason 4: Hygiene

Since a dog cannot lick its face, other dogs frequently lick it. Your dog licks the other dog’s face might be that it is assisting your other dog in cleaning itself. 

This is more probable if your other dog returns the favor and licks the other dog in other regions, such as the back. Sometimes they keep licking their lips too.

Reason 5: Obsession

It’s also possible that your dog’s behavior results from an obsessive-compulsive condition. This is when your dog gets the urge to lick the other dog and can’t stop himself from doing so.

This is more frequent when your dog licks the face of the other dog regularly. In this instance, it would be beneficial to seek a veterinarian’s assistance.

Reason 6: Showing Respect

Last but not least, another reason dogs might lick one other’s faces is simply a symbol of respect. Wolf puppies appear to appreciate their mother’s face by licking it. 

Adult wolves, on the other hand, appear to do the same thing to canines other than their parents.

It could help to conceive of this conduct as the canine equivalent of saying please or speaking to a boss. Licking another dog’s face and licking ears is a subservient stance that tends to attract the attention and protection of older or stronger canines. 

If you have several dog pets, one of which is the Alpha over others, you may observe your dog doing this.

How to Get Rid of This Behavior

Since the licking habit is in the dogs’ nature, we can’t discourage them from doing so, but there is a way to maintain the constant licking problem. 

You can give them their favorite toy to distract them from doing that. Also, you can train them regularly and reward them for fixing this. 

You can seek help from experts or vets as well. Hopefully, this will help you to get rid of the licking problem.

You’ll be able to get professional guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs and eliminate the danger of illness or harm as a result. Here are some books based on that topic:

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I hope you will find this valuable information in your first attempts.


When a dog licks a puppy, what does it mean?

Licking puppies shows maternal love and care among mama dogs and their puppies. Whenever a dog licks a sibling, it is usually with the intention of grooming. If a puppy licks his mother’s face, it could be his way of greeting her, getting her attention, and possibly even requesting food.

What is the purpose of dogs licking each other’s muzzles?

Consider this the canine equivalent of social kissing. Dogs who are already friends will kiss each other. Two canine pals who are incredibly close will lick and groom each other. The first dog licks the second dog’s muzzle to confirm that he is coming in peace. 

What causes dogs to lick their ears?

Dogs lick their ears as a bonding activity. It’s similar to being a part of a salon’s group package. They also may do it to you at times. Some dogs require this pampering habit more than others.