Tuesday, August 9, 2022


Why do dogs want to lick your face?

By Chuck Woodbury

My dog, Archie, likes to lick my face. I try to avoid letting him do that knowing where his face has been, specifically his mouth. This morning, for example, he brought me a body part of a dead rabbit. He wasn’t actually bringing it to me, but for himself. Not sure what he would do with it. Because Archie is driven by smell, the dead animal must have had an appealing aroma.

But I digress. Here, from the website Quora.com is the reason (or at least one reason) why dogs like to lick our faces:

“A wild or feral dog, and some house dogs as well, when weaning their pups from milk to solid food, begin by regurgitating chewed up food for them. Hungry puppies will lick their mom’s face to stimulate them to regurgitate. That’s where the face licking instinct begins. Obviously, your dog is not licking your face for the same reason, but that early instinct gets tied up in a love bond and knowing that humans have taken on the mom’s role of loving and caring and providing for them. That lick is their way of expressing that they know that, and love you for it.

“One of my dogs always gives a quick lick of my wrist whenever I pour fresh water in his bowl. It’s his adorable little ‘thank you’.”



Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Dogs also lick each other as a sign of greeting. Started with wolves and dogs still do it.

2 years ago

Chuck, you mentioned your dog bringing home a part of a rabbit. Check out this article in today’s news about a rabbit disease in Colorado & a warning about not letting pets eat dead rabbits.

2 years ago
Reply to  Fred

Now that covid is in cats and dogs, might reconsider letting a dog lick you

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.