Wondering why your dog always licks you on the hand and face? Here we explain how dogs communicate about licking and what you can do if your dog wants to lick your face.
Maybe friends have asked you what it means when the dog licks his hand? Many non-dog owners are concerned primarily with hygiene. Hand licking means as much as I like you and you are the boss.
Licking is a natural behavior of dogs. Dogs use the tongue for grooming, eating and social communication . Dogs love to involve people in this communication and like to lick hands or even the face. It is easy to explain why this is so. You just have to look at dog behavior.
What does it mean if the dog licks the hand?
Communication between us humans is not that easy. Misunderstandings quickly arise because you simply misunderstand. It is easy to imagine that communication between humans and their favorite pet dog is much more complicated.
In fact, the behavior of our four-legged friends is sometimes not so easy to understand. It often happens that the dog shows a well-intentioned gesture and the person simply sees it as a stupid habit. One of these “bad habits” is licking hands or even the face.
Licking promotes relationships
This licking begins after the birth. The puppy sees the light of the world and is immediately lovingly licked by the mother. This not only ensures that the puppy dries up.
Licking stimulates the baby’s circulation and the mother perceives the smell of her newborn very clearly. After meals, the offspring are also licked. This stimulates digestion. At the same time, the mother-child relationship is cultivated .
The puppy submits
If the puppy is already more independent, he learns what the meaning of licking in the pack can have.
Young animals that are not yet hunting themselves lick adult dogs on their snouts. This gesture encourages the adult dog to choke out the digested food so that the puppy can eat it. Licking is important for eating, but it also means submissiveness and affection.
Licking the hand is a positive gesture
Even when we pet the dog, it interprets it as a positive gesture and enjoys it. No wonder that the dog also wants to show this dedication to humans very clearly.
If the dog licks the hands or sometimes the face of its human, this is a very positive gesture. Dogs show that he trusts this person, feels comfortable and accepts the pack leadership by his owner .
If the dog licks your hand, he wants to show you that he likes it. But it can also attract attention in a very lovable way. He would like something. He shows that very carefully. This can mean, for example, that he wants something to eat or wants to be petted.
The fact that pats or feed are requested in this way shows that the dog is aware of its position in the pack and accepts it. A dog who thinks it is a pack leader, or is, would be much more demanding.
Face hygiene is important
Understandably, you are probably now primarily thinking about hygiene and everything that the dog takes in its mouth or eats during the day .
These concerns are also perfectly fine. You should absolutely avoid that your four-legged friend licks your face or that of other family members.
However, you should not completely prohibit him from licking. The dog wants to show you his affection. A ban would completely confuse him.
Offer hands instead of face for licking
If your dog has a “love attack”, just hold your hands out and let it lick as you please. So the face is spared and with a good soap the hands are quickly hygienically clean again. Licking dogs is an expression of trust, affection, submissiveness and the search for care.
If you watch your dog closely, you will know what tactics your four-legged friend is following. The situation is somewhat different when the dog licks an infant. In this case, he expresses that he, too, will take care of the family offspring and would even defend if necessary.
It is therefore very important not to forbid this gesture for dogs, even if it is sometimes difficult. Licking is a very positive behavior .