Why Does a Dog Lick Its Owner?

Don’t you know why a dog licks its owner either? In fact, there is still no reliable reason for this behavior of our ponytails. Many dog owners are convinced that it is a manifestation of love and loyalty. And some believe that it is a purely biological phenomenon, inherent in nature. 

Let’s talk about the possible reasons why a dog licks its owner’s hands, feet and face.


Natural instincts

Surely many people know about the fact that the mother dog licks her puppies for a long time. In the first months of life, the immune system of babies is not yet formed, and they can easily catch some kind of infection. By licking the puppies, the mother dog keeps its coat clean and hygienic, thereby preventing the possibility of infection. This contributes to the normal growth and development of the babies. Even when the puppies are already grown, the dog still continues to lick them, reinforcing the feelings of kinship. Observing this behavior from their mother, the puppies copy her behavior when they become adults.
When a dog licks its owner, it demonstrates that you are one pack. Puppies, on the other hand, lick their mother’s face to ask for help, in hopes of getting attention, asking to share food.
A dog licks its owner, begging for attention, or if it’s trying to say something. After all, when the dog comes up to the owner and starts to “talk” to him in this way, it certainly causes a smile and tenderness. How can you not pat your favorite four-legged man and go play with him in return?


A way to get to know each other

Probably all the pet owners noticed that when meeting a new person, the dog always sniffs and sometimes even licks people who came to visit you. Thus, the receptors located in the nose and on the tongue of the animal, accumulate and store unique information about the stranger and help recognize him immediately the next time they meet.

There is also speculation that animals like the taste and smell of human (especially a little sweaty) body and skin texture. Many believe that four-legged animals lack some trace elements or salt, which are excreted with sweat. It is not scientifically proven, but it may very well be one of the reasons for the licking of the owner by the dog.

The instinct of ownership

Very often in the presence of strangers, the ponytail defiantly begins to lick its owner. And he is not “kissing”, as many people think. This way the four-legged dog claims ownership of the human. By licking the owner’s palms and face, the animal shows that only he can invade the owner’s privacy and that only he is the closest creature to the owner.

An expression of love and devotion

Some people believe that a dog licks its owner, thus expressing its emotional state, love and devotion. After all, just like us, animals experience different emotions.
And if a dog in an aggressive state can growl and even bite, but in a good state of mind, licking your dog shows how happy and loyal he is to you. By the way, you might be interested to read about how to wean a dog from biting.

If your dog licks you all the time

You can’t completely wean a dog from licking you. This instinct is inherent in our poochies by nature. But if he licks you all the time, it certainly causes some discomfort.

Try to identify the reasons why the animal is doing this. Maybe something is bothering him, or maybe by doing so he shows how devoted he is to you and how afraid he is of becoming unwanted. Or maybe he just lacks your attention and affection.

What should you do if your dog licks the owner all the time? Try to make your four-legged dog not feel lonely. Take care of him and spend more time with him. Play different games with him. How to keep your pet occupied, I tell you about games with your dog.


Well, if the habit of licking the owner has already passed into the status of “harmful”, then try to wean the ponytail from it. Do not allow your pet to do this, do not encourage him. Try to make a harsh sound, clap your hands when your pet starts pestering you. Make this sound every time he tries to do it. By doing so, you will accustom your dog to this sound as a signal to stop such behavior.
And be sure to train your four-legged friend to obey your commands without question. What do you need to do? Read about how to teach your dog commands yourself.


Our Jacky licks us exclusively on the following occasions:

  • When I leave for work, he frantically starts licking Artem, who stays home. Apparently, Dzekushka is afraid to be left alone and thus tries to say: Well, don’t you go away at least!
  • When we have guests over, he starts licking the guests, especially one of them – our friend from Moscow, Sergei. Apparently, he shows him that he accepts him into the pack.
  • When Jack demands to be played with, he tries exclusively to lick my nose or lips. It’s so ticklish and funny that I start laughing, and he regards my laughter as a call to start playing and immediately drags all his favorite balls to me to throw to him.
  • When Jackus is in a relaxed, peaceful mood and I start petting him, he starts licking my hand out of gratitude.