What Your Dog Wants To Say Through Licks
If you have a dog, he probably has licked you like a lollipop before. What do those licks mean, really? Is it a greeting or a love expression? By “love”, does your dog mean “like”, “love”, or “Remember to give me treats later?”. We may never know the real answer, but psychology will lead us closer to the truth.
Like the bark, licking is a multipurpose tool that plays a lot of roles in canine behavior, and therefore, leads to many interpretations. It is a natural instinct. You can see that when puppies live with their mother, the mom sometimes licks the pups, and the pups lick each other. They do so for grooming purpose, as well as a mean of social interactions. That’s what we have observed, and from psychology, we can come to the conclusion that as your pooch receives kisses as affection when he was really young, he will also lick you, and other meanings of a lick also come from this basis.
1. To communicate
In a pack of dogs, the member licks each other to welcome them back to the group. This action can enhance the bonds between the doggies. Therefore, a lick from your dog when you come home from the outside means “Welcome home darling”. Sweet, isn’t it?
2. To taste
The salty sweat can be quite intriguing to dogs, therefore they like to lick them to feel the scent. This is the same reason why they like to carry our socks and clothes.
3. For rewards
Every time a dog gently licks a human, the most common reaction is to bend down and pet him. Most people will reward the pup with pats, scratches, food, verbal and physical affection of all kinds. These are positive reinforcement that encourages the habit of licking. When a dog receives rewards, he feels the endorphin releases from the brain that makes him feel good.
According to veterinarians, wild dogs lick their mother to beg for the food that she has hunted, as well as demonstrating submission. In the same way, our domesticated dogs do this by instinct to communicate to whom they feel inferior to
5. To make you clean
Okay, your dog is in no position to judge your hygiene when he himself likes to lick his rear all day. Nonetheless, the mutts still can smell something different from you, leftover foods or the salt from the chip bags, who knows. They are offering you a cleaning session by licking.
When a dog shows excessive licking or licks the same area over and over, that can be a sign of nervousness. They can be worried or scared of something. If the behavior does not cease, you should seek medical help. Licking can be a mean of stress relieving, however, obsessive licking can reinforce anxiety and make things worse.
7. Or your dog just really likes you