Why Does My Dog Lick Me?

You don’t know me, but if you did you would know that I tend to over-think things. I mention this because I spent more time deciding what to write for this post than I did actually writing it. Who knew that too many ideas could be so paralyzing? The thing is, I have a few stories that I’m dying to write about, but then I realized you dont know the pack that well yet. If we are being honest, we’re definitely still in the courting stage of this whole blogging thing… you probably haven’t even bookmarked us yet! So rather than be that overeager person that wants to go house hunting on the second date, I decided to slow down and let you get to know the pack more before diving into the really furry stuff.

Earlier this year, I was looking at an article about the most Googled questions and naturally looked to see what was being asked about dogs. See the result,”Why does my dog lick me?” listed in the top 10 surprised me. So naturally, I checked. Sure enough, it was the first thing that came up as a suggestion when searching,”why does my dog.” I don’t have a very long attention span so I have no idea what results come up when you complete the search or what the varying articles will say about why your dog licks you. My guess would be that there are many contradicting articles because this is the internet we’re talking about.

As a self-proclaimed Queen of Questions, I am not sure I understand this one… but let’s go with it! I don’t know what qualifications need to be met to be considered an expert in this field, but I have 4 dogs so I think I have the life experience to make up for any of the qualifications I may lack. In this post I will analyze why each of the dogs in the pack might lick me, or you!  This list is organized from Most Licky to Least Licky… no favoritism was considered in the making of this list.

Licking motivation… why each dog in the pack licks!


Nala should come with her own warning label, “Beware: Cannot Handle Her Licker.” After owning her for almost a year, I posted the photo pictured here to let people know why they rarely see any selfies with Nala. Another 3 years has gone by and the only thing that has changed is my hair color. Where most dogs experience the world through their nose, I like to say Nala experiences the world through her mouth. If you are just meeting Nala, you need to know that her main goal is to lick you in the mouth. She will lay down on her back and let you rub her belly, but beware of bending over because before you know it she is jumping up for an impromptu make out session you definitely weren’t prepared for. This is an example of Nala licking due to excitement and exploration. She also enjoys licking our feet and legs, this may sound repulsive to you (and I was not sure about it at first either) but honestly, it is like a doggy massage. I joke that I wish I could teach her to lick my back (but I’d never actually try.) She will lick you until her tongue starts to stick, and often she’ll go get some water and come back for more. This type of licking is a stress relief for her and she tends to do it obsessively and will often switch to licking herself if we aren’t willing to sit still for leg licks. Nala struggles with separation anxiety and as much as she has improved, she still tends to lick the stress away when we return home to her. Lastly, Nala licks for love! Like her bio mentions, she has two speeds. When she isn’t being a total maniac, she is completely calm and cuddly. My favorite licks from Nala come when cuddling on the couch and she gives me a soft tentative lick. Love licks are easily recognizable as they are pure affection, there is no obsession or anxiety in this gentle kisses.


If licking were a sport, Nala would play in the Major League of Lickers; whereas, the rest of our dogs would be in the minor leagues. Oso is the next lickiest dog of the bunch, but he is much more selective and strategic about his licks. Licks from are true kisses of affection, he doesn’t just kiss anyone. The ladies love Oso and he sure does love them, if he gets to know you well enough you might get a lick when you least expect it. Oso usually catches me off guard while rising from the couch after a cuddle session or when I’m groggily petting him first thing in the morning.


Hammy is a stingy kisser, her kisses are as rare as unicorn tears but worth a whole lot more! You should consider yourself luck if Hammy decides to kiss you. Two kisses and we might have to kick you out because we aren’t going to stand by and let you steal our dog! I joke with Paul that I have stolen Hammy from him because I get more kisses… but the truth is, Hammy does not like beards! Although Hammy tends to prefer men, she is not a fan of kissing a hairy beard. The fact that Paul gets any kisses shows just how much she loves him! Although Hammy is stingy with her human kisses, her and Oso have full on make out sessions pretty regularly. She has even started to exchange the occasional kiss with Nala! The kisses that Hammy extends, to those of  us that walk on two legs, are inspired by a mix of affection and gratitude and should not be taken for granted. 


Tucker is the dog that only got into the Minor League of Lickers because of his good looks and charm. He is the stingiest of kissers but will oblige on occasion, when begged. More often, he will lick his own nose in an effort to make you feel as though he intended to kiss you, but missed. Obligation or manipulation tend to be the two motivations behind Tucker’s kisses. He is either giving in because he knows he is suppose to listen and wants to make you happy or he wants something from you and is trying to ply you with affection to get it.

My Conclusion

As you can see, they all have their own personality that feeds the reasons for their licking. I don’t need to ask Google, because I know no two dogs are the same and the bottom line is that we should cherish each and every lick they choose to share with us! Feel free to leave a comment or story here about your dog’s reason for licking or share a picture of your dog with us on Facebook or Instagram!

Posted on: September 28, 2017, by :

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