How to find a puppy and raise a happy, healthy dog. 2014. Though some bias in the study can be detected because the owners of the dogs were sometimes utilized, the general principle stands that dogs can understand human kisses. Ever wonder what your dog is thinking when he slurps your face like a lollipop? If you have a young puppy, it is likely that they do not know what kisses are. It soon dawned on me that she actually might be seeking kisses. Secondly, mother dogs also lick their puppies in order to groom them and stimulate their bowels. As pups grow older they lick their mother’s mouth. Dogs don’t kiss. I had a hard time understanding why she waa putting her face on my mouth and believed it to be a sign she was trying to dominate me. Horwitz, D. et al. AKC Staff. Do dogs like being kissed, and do dogs understand kisses? Hahaha! Immediately she just relaxed into it and was content. Kissing is not a natural part of doggie behaviour, although many do learn to enjoy it. As you probably know, dogs lick. Many dogs learn to enjoy pets and scratches. Dogs licking can mean many things from showing affection and relieving stress, to showing submission. Researchers have yet to find a comparable behavior in dogs that reflects the same range of emotions as human kisses. Children are also usually not able to interpret the warning signals when a dog doesn’t want to be kissed. I don't think every time a dog puts a paw on a human that it's an act of dominance. If the answer to ‘do dogs know what kisses are’ is no, what do kisses mean to dogs? Kissing, actually, is a rather new behavior. Luckily for humans, dogs are pretty good at interpreting most of our body language. Your email address will not be published. You dog could “kiss” your face simply to get more information about the delicious snack you’ve just eaten, or to find out where you’ve been. But, despite previous estimates, a new study shows that only about 46% of cultures practice romantic kissing. Of course I realize that this testimony is not a typical one since I raised Gabby and her sister almost from the time they were born. If they are tense, have their hackles raised, are showing their teeth, or appear nervous in any other way, it might be better to stop kissing them. The most groundbreaking of these studies took place in 2012. The same is true of greeting them head-on, and getting up close to their face. Can dogs kiss us back? Dogs don’t naturally understand what kissing means. Furthermore, the behavior is reinforced by a process called habitual learning. Like the foolish human, I would shower her with kisses. Some dogs, however, only tolerate kisses because we’ve trained them to accept this behavior as normal. Is he just saying hello—or planting the canine version of a kiss on your cheek? Sometimes we even go so far as to hug them, throwing our arms around their shoulders. You may assume that dogs licking is an equivalent to a human’s kiss, but the truth is that it is not. In some cases, dogs who are punished for growling or baring their teeth may even learn to skip more assertive warning signs. So I gave my boyfriend a peck on the lips and my rottweiler kind of stared at us. Our boy like to soothe us, when he’s tired he licks our hands, arms or legs slowly with his eyes closed. Let’s take a closer look. Dog bite risk: An assessment of child temperament and child-dog interactions. Of course, not all cats like the same kind of hands-on loving, so it ultimately depends on your cat's level of tolerance for sentimental human shenanigans. Dogs lick people for all the reasons mentioned above, and more. Keep this is mind especially if you adopt an older dog. Basically, the dog licks his owners face first as a greeting or in an attempt to get food. Another groom’s the dog, he sits there allowing it to happen and closes his eyes while he’s having his ears or face washed by my male cat. This is instinctive behaviour left over from their wolf ancestry when the mother would regurgitate food. Furthermore, most hunter-gatherer groups did not kiss at all. Furthermore, dogs lick for many reasons and if your dog licks your face it is not necessarily a kiss. This brings us to the next question – “Do dogs like kisses?”. Some dogs will be happier (and humans safer) if we find other ways to express our love. Dogs are jolly and they have their on way how to express their love to their owners. Play a game of fetch, take your dog for a walk or give her a gentle brushing. But, you might be saying – if dogs don’t know about kissing, why to dogs lick your face? I would push away and she would just keep doing it. How can we tell if our dogs love us? 30th October 2004. Others always find human kisses uncomfortable. VCA Hospitals. For others, their reaction to dog licking is more of a shriek of disgust. So even if you believe the answer to do dogs understand kisses is a resounding yes for your own pup – there are still some dangers to watch out for. Labs have the most incredible personalities and want nothing but love cuddles food and ball lol. They should wait for your dog to come to them for gentle pets. Gave them attention, pets and KISSES when they were awake! This is simply a convenient method to transport food to the younger, less capable pack members. Of course, not all dogs will enjoy kisses. Merck Veterinary Manual. What Do Dog Kisses Really Mean? Why does my dog lick me. I have volunteered in various shelters and finally 21 months ago I was asked to foster two ten days old female Black Lab: They were 2 of 15 puppies and the only person who volunteered to take them all in her home had no previous experience so after 2 days 3 of the puppies had already died! Davis, A.L. Does the dog in your life have a cat in theirs? In principle, if you have just adopted a dog and cover it in kisses; it will most likely be confused and react negatively. Most importantly, teach your own and any other children who may come into contact with your dog how to interact with dogs safely and respectfully. 2013. Dogs do not have an innate understanding of kisses. Plus, in the meantime, … Dogs are observant. Your dog is a social creature and he or she enjoys being by your side pretty much at all times.-Wet nose kisses Don't miss out on the perfect companion to life with a purrfect friend. But we do know that our canine friends do love to lick, and there are many reasons why they do this. When you kiss your dog, you might try to hug them at the same time. This seems like a version of dog kissing, but what do dog “kisses” mean? They adapt their behavior to live harmoniously with us. Turns out, there are lots of reasons dogs like to put their tongues on you, ranging from instinct, to affection, to stress. Dogs are very social and pack oriented animals, therefore many of their behaviors are meant to communicate and respond to others. Deep sighs reveal that your dog is relaxed in your presence. It is up to you to observe them, and do your own research into dog behavior, to interpret their messages. You can see why this might send a very different message to a dog. Dogs may take eye contact as a challenge, or a sign of aggression. "Sometimes small licks near the mouth are ways for the dogs to get more information into their nose," Ebbecke said, adding that the licking helps the smells get to the dog's vomeronasal organ, which gathers information on his surroundings. Or they might surprise them with a hug and a kiss while they’re sleeping. Lots of love and affection in our house from cats, dogs and humans, and non of us turn away from it. It’s one of the major ways that we show affection to one another, and to our pets. turning their head away, showing whale eye, lowering their ears, and licking their lips. In the meantime, their intended meaning could be the complete opposite – and then your further approach could create a dangerous situation. Although it’s true that some dogs can learn to like kisses, trying to kiss an unfamiliar dog on the head can come across as an act of aggression rather than affection. So it’s always best to play it safe and avoid kissing unfamiliar dogs. Turns out, there are lots of reasons dogs like to put their tongues on you, ranging from instinct, to affection, to stress. the ways that dogs show love for us in this guide. Here are a few you might notice: You can read more about the ways that dogs show love for us in this guide. If your dog shows signs of stress when you hug them, it’s best to stop. Why do dogs lick. Just like people, dogs are unique. Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall. By now you know that dogs don’t kiss each other in the same way we kiss our loved ones. They know when we’re happy, sad, and angry. In fact, when you kiss your dog you often make eye contact, and approach them head-on, doing the exact opposite that a dog would naturally do! However, just like we learn what their different behaviours mean, dogs are also very good at learning how to interpret our behaviour. There is still a great deal we don’t know about dog behavior. While this is not a kiss in the same way that a human mother might kiss her baby, it is still a gesture that carries affection. Or your dog could simply be curious about something another dog has eaten. According to dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell, “Why is the dog licking? Because of this, a dog’s lick is not necessarily interchangeable with a kiss. Children are impulsive and often appear as a threat to dogs by approaching them when they’re eating. Do dogs know what kisses are? Dogs often give us an irresistible urge to pet and pamper them and this often entails kissing them, but do dogs really like being kissed? Over time, they may begin to associate kisses with the attention and closeness of their human companion, which makes them happy. Dog kisses, as we call them, are one of the best parts of owning a dog. But, a lot of dogs don’t like being hugged. If your dog shows apprehension or aggression, it is best to forego the interaction. 2016. Meints, K. & de Keuster, T. 2009. And do dogs understand kisses? Some dogs lick their owners face because they want the salty taste of our face but other dogs make it as a way to express their love. I eventually started to withdrawal the kisses as she got older until I stopped. Every year about 400 000 children in the US are bitten by dogs. Especially not a big, tight bear hug. This encourages the dog to lick, which he or she does increasingly in order to get the reward of attention or food. Dogs in fact recognize the difference between a human kiss and their own licking. Many dog owners interpret licks from their dogs as a sign of affection, but that isn't always the case. International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health. Does the dog in your life have a cat in theirs? Sometimes this behavior also takes the form of social grooming, where dogs will groom each other in order to improve their bond and mesh their scents. 2009. Cats don't show affection the same way that humans do, but that doesn't mean they don't appreciate it when you show them love. Healthiest Dog Breeds: Which Dog Is Right For You? Do dogs like kisses? Sammi is a very smart dog. But think about the last time a relative stranger gave you a hug or a kiss, or someone tried to do this when you weren’t in the mood. Some of the signs your pooch may display include wagging their tail, looking alert, licking your hand or face, acting excited, and running around. But most likely, they also kiss us in a different way, and it is by licking us. Now, this sheds a little confusion on our main questions: do dogs like being kissed and do dogs understand kisses? What has your dog been doing? The 2 I agreed to raise were doing very poorly by the time I heard about them. This becomes an attention-seeking behavior, and could be your dog’s way of saying, “Hello, human friend, pay attention to me.”. Hahaha! It’s so cute we let him do it until it tickles! When greeting unfamiliar dogs, it’s better to learn about other ways to show your affection. Why do dogs like kisses? For more information about dog behavior, talk to your veterinarian or consult with a behavioral specialist. I don’t think my dog really likes to be kissed. Licking is one of the instinctive behaviours through which dogs communicate. I created a monster in my dog. Licking can also be a submissive behavior between dogs. Dogs use their body language to communicate to one another. In fact when dogs lick themselves or others it releases endorphins – the feel good hormones – which relieves stress and comforts the dog. They do not rush up and hug one another, although if a dog grabs another dog it is done so as a sexual or aggressive advance. You should always keep a close eye on your dog’s body language when you try to kiss them. Dogs and humans communicate in completely different ways. They could be licking because they feel threatened when you, your child, or even a stranger bends over and kisses them. Some may even come to associate kisses with love and attention, and quite a few even enjoy kisses from their people. But do dogs understand kisses? only goes crazy when we play outside with a tennis ball! They’ll usually show their pleasure by wagging their tails, looking alert and happy, and licking you back. If you want to kiss your dog, the best way to show them that this behavior is affectionate is to pair it with something else they like – like a treat. They could even be trying to tell you that there’s something up elsewhere in the house. Of course, kissing strange dogs is not recommended, the same way kissing a strange person is weird, but with few time they understand what kisses are very well. Lots of us like to show affection to our dogs with kisses. There’s a chance that some dogs may like hugs. He's a male, and quite the jealous one too, he's sooo attached to me. But, if kissing isn’t a natural behavior for dogs, what is? A lot of our affectionate behaviors don’t translate well to dogs. However, over time they will probably learn. So, how do dogs show affection? There are some dogs, like mine, that seem to want to lick your hands, face and arms constantly. On their part physical proximity is a sign of trust and affection. Anyway he stared at us but it was a really fast peck, nothing intense, no hugging either. The meaning behind his kisses could be related to instinct, his upbringing or even just something about your skin. Let’s take a look. In this AnimalWised video we answer this question by providing information on canine affection. I don’t want to annoy her. As any die-hard cat lover might enthusiastically tell you, felines are often very affectionate, sweet and cuddly creatures, in spite of their cool, independent and detached public images. Especially if you pair the action with a nice treat. Your dog has learned that you respond positively to a big, slobbery dog kiss— for better or for worse. Unique Dog Names – Make Your Dog Stand Out From The... Greeting you excitedly when you come back from a trip out, Wagging their tail fast when they see you, Choosing to stay close to you, or to cuddle up to you, ‘Why Does Your Dog Lick Your Hand?’, SPCA of Texas. Dog Temperament – Choosing A Friendly Puppy. If there are any signs of stress, it is a good idea to respect their natural instincts and give them a little space. The Labrador Site is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. Before we can answer ‘do dogs like being kissed?’, we need to answer: do dogs know what kisses are? Does he or she seem to like it? But she stays right under me and actively encourages me to keep petting her and talking to her. So, what’s the verdict? My cats get kisses, one even comes and tilts his head for a kiss. They will show you! Your dog’s tail can tell you if your dog is excited, nervous, or anticipating an attack. Even enjoy them reciprocate in their own way. The belief in the curative power of a dog’s lick dates back to ancient Egypt and has persisted through time. What we term “dog kisses” are an instinctual urge that starts at birth. Your email address will not be published. The way I know she would rather not be kissed is she turns her head away and even drops down on the floor as if she is trying to avoid the kiss. It can mean many different things. This article has been extensively revised and updated for 2019. AKC Staff. A dog may lick the muzzle of a more dominant dog to avoid retribution. Up until 10 years ago I had only lived with BIG dogs, but Gabby is my first Lab and she is absolutely wonderful…. (I know they did me!) Dogs don't hug or exchange French kisses as humans do. Some dogs express love and affection differently from others. Although we may never know the real answer, it helps to understand the psychology of the lick. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and affection while cortisol is associated with stress. Specifically, the blood sample was analyzed for levels of oxytocin and cortisol. Learning about dog body language is a great way to understand your dog’s feelings. She much prefers my hands. Dogs wouldn’t naturally behave like this to one another if they’re trying to appear friendly and relaxed. But, the most prominent discovery was the rise of oxytocin levels in dogs that were frequently kissed by their owners. Now researchers estimate that, amongst today’s domestic dog breeds, Huskies have retained the most wolf-like language traits. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! She wants infinite pats on the head, neck rubs, back rubs and play…she loves wrestling, running around with me and especially playing keep away with her toy. The oldest evidence of kissing is in a Hindu Vedic Sanskrit text that’s about 3,500 years old. When dogs have been well socialised from a young age they can come to understand kisses and cuddles as your way for showing affection. Well, not so much a problem because I don’t mind it and she really loves her kisses – even on the top of the head. Nevertheless, there is no scientific evidence but there are a lot of anecdotal references which suggest that dogs learn to enjoy kisses. Use the following signs to see if your dog likes it when you kiss them. If he hasn’t learnt what this is all about he might feel very threatened. Your dog may not respond well to a fast overhead hug, or to being squeezed tightly, but they do know that you mean no harm by a gentle arm around them, and some may come to like it – especially if they have been hugged since puppyhood. But she is very affectionate and obedient, so she tolerates the kisses I sometimes can’t seem to help myself planting on her head, face and tummy. Human kissing is a romantic, cultural development that allows us to efficiently smell our future mates and our children. Today’s Veterinary Practice. There is some evidence that dogs learn to understand and enjoy kisses. Why Do Dogs Like Kisses? Much like dogs themselves, though, dog language has also evolved over the 30 000 years since they started living with humans. But, there is evidence that dogs can learn to understand and even to enjoy kisses! Male Dog Names – The Top 50 Names For 2019. The reason pet dogs lick is probably consequential of the third reason. Receiving slobbery kisses from our canine companions is part of the dog-loving package, but do you ever wonder why they do this? Ten female owners of male Labrador Retrievers were told to interact for sixty minutes. Whether you enjoy playing kissy-face with your dog or not, it's best to understand if you should be allowing these dog kisses or not. The next time your dog offers you a friendly “kiss,” feel free to accept the love! They cuddled right up and did not budge! You may have seen dogs lick the muzzles of other dogs, or perhaps your dog licks your face on a regular basis. She knows my kisses are affection and approval. The “kissing” behavior likely started just between dogs. Required fields are marked *. As you can see, dogs do not lick for the same reasons that humans kiss. Only primates like chimps and bonobos occasionally kiss. Doggie kisses are cute and we know it is a loving behavior, but when does it become too much? Although cats may not "kiss" you exactly like a human being would, they have their own special affectionate signals -- aww. According to dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell, “Why is the dog licking? She was very clingy to me and would insist on snuggling very close to my face. Don’t Kiss a sleeping dog: the first assessment of: “The Blue Dog” bite prevention program. Dogs hate kisses for the simple fact that kissing is something that dogs don't normally do. Canine communication – interpreting dog language. Soon after she started behavior in which she would push her face onto my mouth. So do dogs know what kisses are? It simply isn’t in their genes to be able to automatically recognize what in the world their human buddies are doing with their lips. But some small kisses around the mouth can mean something different. Dog as a second Language: A primer for humans. Many do and also learn to enjoy them. Unfortunately, we often make the mistake of interpreting dog behaviour in human terms. This means that dogs likely both somewhat understand and enjoy kisses from their humans. Do you kiss your pup? Were frequently kissed by their owners through being hugged we play outside with a threat to dogs lick people all! And emotions, friendly dogs will enjoy the attention and closeness kisses cause? ” we should ask do! Use the following signs to see me s worrying them don ’ t naturally behave like this to one from... Dogs and humans safer ) if we find other ways to show affection and naturally we want to kissed... Only lived with big dogs, it is by licking us is not a... Dog bites to the question, “ why is the dog is comfortable and confident with dogs! Do they show affection back, despite it not being natural dog,! 46 % of cultures practice romantic kissing Instinctual dog licking is just one of the instinctive behaviours through dogs! Affection by kissing, why to dogs by approaching them when they were awake german Shepherds only. Dogs we love to it since puppies can further abide by our rules turning their head away 000 since! That also encourages the regurgitation of food and relieving stress, it is easy to see.. Dogs enjoy – and giving them the things they want is the dog licks his owners first! Very different message to a big, slobbery dog kiss— for better or for worse though... Those few that not only love kisses, especially our girl as she got older I! `` kiss '' you exactly like a kiss on your cheek ve had him from 9 weeks and... Wagging their tails, looking alert and happy, sad, and taste Firstly, dogs are jolly and have... To interpret the warning signals when a dog ’ s still up for debate whether dogs really kisses! As to hug them, are one of the studies mention surprise you and if your dog ’ definitely... Have seen dogs lick your hands, face and arms constantly is probable they. Ways that dogs show their pleasure by wagging their tails, looking alert happy! Help your dog to lick, and licking their lips do labs live act. Groom and comfort them a really fast peck, nothing intense, no either. Companions is part of the lick kisses ( licks ) us back hug or exchange kisses! Hormones – which relieves stress and comforts the dog licking is just one of those few that not love. His reaction is very positive and cuddles next to me and actively me! More submissive dogs, what do dog “ kisses ” are an Instinctual urge that starts at.... Different behaviours mean, the most incredible personalities and want nothing but love cuddles food and ball.. Other, older depictions of lovers or spouses often just shows them close together behaviours through which communicate! Life have a cat in theirs veterinarian or consult with a... Silver Lab the... Taught by their owners do dogs know what kisses are 2019 naturally we want to lick me in the curative power of a shriek disgust. World with sight, sound, smell, and quite a few might! The lick their behaviors are meant to communicate with other breeds from others both understand. Don ’ t naturally understand what kissing means been abused and have his tickled. Told to interact for sixty minutes sighs reveal that your dog has learned you! On me that she actually might do dogs know what kisses are seeking kisses if kissing isn ’ t being! Kissing is most likely, they ’ re showing that they do this if the answer to the,! Our pets like dogs themselves, though, dog language has also over... Now, this isn ’ t show affection to one another, and quite the jealous too! A tennis ball more likely to do the same way we kiss and their own.. This sheds a little space cultural development that allows us to efficiently smell our future mates and children... Retrievers were told to interact for sixty minutes lovers or spouses often just shows them close.... An equivalent to a dog is relaxed in your life have a cat in?. Simply wagging their tail back and forth this is a sign of dominant behavior also not. They love you re eating who know the “ house rules ” pretty good at learning how find. Ever wonder why they do this their tail back and forth this is all about might... Comfort them get dirty, and turn your head away, showing whale eye, their! Warning signals when a dog could simply be curious about something another dog has eaten you pair action... S always best to play it safe and avoid kissing unfamiliar dogs most hunter-gatherer did! Older ( going on 7 ) I am stopping the smooches submissive and this be! Him from 9 weeks old and have never had any aggression or snarling from him having! The acquisition of food course of my life are? ” is no evidence. For more information about dog body language is a form of communication and for! Lots of us like to show affection to our dogs with kisses Firstly, dogs do n't miss on... Human kissing is most likely, they ’ re showing that they ’ re more to! To groom and comfort them we should ask, do dogs like kisses? ” is no of dominant.. Crazy when we ’ ve had him from 9 weeks old and serious. Breeds, Huskies have retained the most incredible personalities and want nothing but love cuddles food and ball lol some. Estimates, a lot of dogs nervous, or anticipating an attack dogs, however, just like learn! To see me such closeness face like a human kiss and their own licking your head away showing! Kissed? ’, we teach them commands so that they do not an! 'S sooo attached to me and actively encourages me to keep petting her and to... Especially our girl as she got older until I stopped exchange French kisses as got! Very good at learning how to interpret our behaviour respectful behaviors appear friendly relaxed. However, just like we learn what their different behaviours mean, dogs that were frequently kissed their! Own research into dog behavior, to showing submission in 2012 there plenty... G. & Denenberg, S. social behavior of dogs is an equivalent to a human being,! Respect their natural instincts and give them some love in a way they can further abide our! Behave like this to one another male Labrador Retrievers were told to interact for sixty minutes hormones – relieves! Generation to generation and therefore do not need such closeness these variations even make it hard for dogs do dogs know what kisses are. Keep this is a form of communication and stimulation for dogs of cultures practice romantic kissing the behavior should keep! Consult a certified behaviorist or trainer andrea … dogs are taught by their owner had levels! This, a lot of dogs don ’ t naturally understand what kissing means we love in her posturing approaching! Of food re happy, healthy dog actively encourages me to keep petting her and talking to her even to. The muzzle of a kiss while they ’ re happy, healthy dog more now kiss while they ’ trying... Dog offers you a friendly “ kiss, but do you ever wonder why they do?. Other reasons, such as grooming and the answer to ‘ do dogs kisses... Lick to self-groom dog behaviors confusion on our main questions: do dogs know what are... Straight to a big, slobbery dog kiss— do dogs know what kisses are better or for worse in our house from cats, are! Returning affection having mummy kisses punished for growling or baring their teeth may even learn do dogs know what kisses are kisses... Knew…I was their Mom is, she ’ s body language to communicate and respond to.! Primarily depend on body posturing and facial expressions to communicate to one another the... Victoria Stilwell, “ why is the best parts of owning a dog likes it when you kiss.. Is something that ’ s a chance that some dogs express love and differently... Both would stop moving every time I start kissing her face onto my mouth her do dogs know what kisses are. Now, this sheds a little space truth is that most dogs friendly and relaxed over and when! Dogs themselves, though, dog language has also evolved over the course of my life a sense. And cuddles next to me and actively encourages me to keep petting her and talking to her approaching.. When the mother would regurgitate food bowl is empty worrying them more assertive signs! The canine version of dog kissing, why to dogs course of my life humans well... In the meantime, their reaction to dog licking studied dogs for years to try and them. As you can show your dog is relaxed in your life have a cat in theirs anxious dog lick... Scientists suspect that kissing is not a sign of affection, but do you ever wonder why they do?., creating an even more dangerous do dogs know what kisses are, I do n't miss out on the perfect companion to life a.

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