Many people show love to their dogs through hugs and especially kisses. Some dogs react in a way that seems reciprocal, with licks to the faces of their human companions, while others can growl and even score. In situations like these, it is worth asking … Do dogs like kisses?
If you want to know the answer and other important curiosities about this show of affection towards dogs, then you cannot miss the following article. Keep reading!
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- Why do we kiss dogs?
- Do dogs understand kissing?
- How does your dog feel when you kiss him?
- Why is your dog licking you?
- Is it wrong to kiss dogs?
Why do we kiss dogs?
For human beings, showing affection is extremely important. Kisses, caresses and hugs are just some of the ways we have to do it, but also through actions such as caring for others and ensuring their well-being.
These behaviors can manifest themselves to other humans, such as friends and family, but also to beloved pets. However, many times we do not understand that dogs are a different species and, therefore, have different codes and ways of expressing themselves than ours.
That is why, before kisses, dogs can react differently . Some dogs respond with licks and energetic tail movements, and even approach their human companions to give them these licks on a voluntary basis. Others, on the contrary, remain still when they receive kisses, while some third parties can react violently, with grunts and even marking.
What is this about? Here we explain if dogs like kisses or not.
Do dogs understand kissing?
In the body language of dogs, kissing is something that doesn’t exist. You may think that the licks between them are the equivalent, but the truth is that it is a completely different expression, and they recognize this difference.
In principle, if you have just adopted a dog and kissed it as a show of affection, they will not understand what your purpose is with this behavior and it is very likely that they will try to get away or feel intimidated. Faced with this intimidation, the dog may respond by standing very still, which is known as “inhibition,” and even growling a little or even marking if it is ignored.
This means that, naturally, the dog will reject the fact that you kiss him, because for him it is an incomprehensible behavior . Over time, however, he will be able to associate that this is one of your ways of showing affection, especially since kisses are accompanied by caresses, expressions of joy or you give them when he does something good.
Only when the dog has managed to get to know you and learn other of your behaviors and routines will it be able to associate what you try to transmit when you kiss it and will be comfortable with it. Despite this, some dogs prefer not to receive these displays of affection and you must respect that decision; It’s not that he’s less affectionate, he’s just not comfortable with this, so you just need to find other ways to show your love for him.
How does your dog feel when you kiss him?
As we have already explained, if it is a newly adopted dog, it is most common for it to experience confusion and even rejection . They don’t want to have your face close to their snout and they may try to get away. At this point, it is your decision whether to teach the dog to understand what kissing means, as a reward for positive behaviors, or to decant your love towards behaviors that are more comfortable and predictable.
When the dog has understood what it means, it may recognize your intentions and try to find your kisses for affection and even reciprocate by licking. If, on the contrary, you notice that even as an adult you do not show an enthusiastic attitude towards kisses, it is best to give up.
Why is your dog licking you?
Licking itself is a habitual behavior in dogs that is also instinctive and that they perform since they are puppies. Now what does it mean? Several reasons motivate him.
From puppies, dogs lick their parents to receive heat from them, but also waiting for them to regurgitate some food. Although it is obvious that your dog does not expect you to feed it that way, since it already recognizes your ways of feeding it, by licking your face it can know what you have eaten and even where you have been, since it detects dozens of smells that for us they are imperceptible.
In the case of adult dogs that have associated kissing as one of your forms of affection, licks represent a response to displays of affection . That is why it is common that, when you get home, the dog receives you trying to lick your face, or it can have the same behavior with your friends when they caress it. In other words, it is a way of greeting and also giving affection.
A curious case occurs in babies. Your dog may love your baby and recognize him as a fun friend, but many times small humans are annoying to him, especially if you allow them to pull his tail or ears, which, by the way, you should never allow.
When this occurs, the dog may respond by licking the child’s face. Contrary to what you will surely believe, this is not a show of affection, but the dog has already learned that, by licking the baby, it is very likely that you will take it away from him.
Is it wrong to kiss dogs?
There is a very controversial discussion about whether it is good or bad to kiss a dog . While there are those who affirm that dogs can transmit dangerous bacteria to humans through saliva, there are those who maintain that they only enrich the bacterial flora of their own and strengthen the immune system.
The truth is that both positions are correct. Neilanjan Nandi, professor at the Drexel University School of Medicine (Philadelphia), assures that the body of dogs contains a large amount of viruses and bacteria that humans are unable to fight, but not only because they are a species different from ours, but also because the dogs tend to bite all kinds of things during their walks and even consume the feces of other dogs .
Many of these bacteria are zoonotic , that is, they can be passed from people to dogs and vice versa. However, Leni Kaplan, from Cornell University, also notes that the negative effect of these bacteria can be reduced and even nullified in healthy people with a strong immune system.
In conclusion, it is best to prevent your dog from licking your mouth . Also, don’t forget to keep your vaccinations up-to-date, deworming on a regular basis and avoiding waste during your walks.