Why Do Dogs Lick You When You Pet Them?

Whenever you enter your home, the first thing you see is your dog jumping up to you happily. And when you pet him, you notice he starts licking your face. Now this may make you wonder, why do dogs lick you when you pet them? Why is that? Especially when you are giving them a gentle stroke. 

To give you a better understanding, I have written this guide for you to contain all the information. Let’s dive down to understand!

Why do dogs lick you when you pet them?

Dogs will lick you when you pet them to show their approval and affection for what you are doing. This is their way of saying, please continue, I am loving what you are doing. They also lick you to absorb your scent and clean you. Licking can also be an appeasement behavior and a means of communicating that they are not completely satisfied. 

Dogs will lick you to show affection

Licking is a very natural behavior in dogs. They lick each other, lick our hands, and faces, or lick us when we pet them. Licking us releases endorphins in dogs, which makes them feel good.

Dogs lick you to take in your scent

Ooh yes, your dog licking you while you pet them might be them taking in your scent. Dogs use their tongues to pick up particles that are unique to you. This goes into Jacobson’s organ, which is located between their nose and mouth and requires physical particles to detect the scent. Dogs also sneeze while doing this to clear the pathways for fresh scents. 

Dogs lick you to groom you

If your dog is licking you when you pet them, it might be because they are washing you. Yes, dogs constantly groom one another by licking, so perhaps you have stuck on your face or dirt. These things may not be visible to you but your loyal dog can see them and he’s taking care of you.

Dogs lick as an appeasement gesture

In some rare cases, your dog licking your face while you pet them can be a sign that they are uncomfortable. This can be a way for them to request you to stop. You may also see some biting, mouthing, or some other signs like panting or sneezing indicating they are uncomfortable. 

Should I stop my dog from licking me when I pet them?

It depends on your dog if they like it or not. If your dog loves being pet, let them enjoy as you continue to pet. There’s also nothing with your dog licking you as it could double for a lovely bonding experience for you both. 

It is, however, worth keeping in mind that saliva can be a bit stinky if your puppy is going through teething phase or has other dental problems. If you often have such questions then you are not alone as we have all the answers to your problems.

4 ways to stop my dog from licking me when I pet them

Simply use these suggestions to help stop your dog from licking you when you pet them.

1. Offer them something else to chew on.

To get their tongue off of you and onto something else, you can give them a toy to hold in their mouth or a blanket or pillow to lick. By doing this, you can pet your dog without worrying about them licking you.

2. Stop petting them if they start licking you

Removing your hands will teach your dog that licking you ceases being pleasant if they lick you when you get them.

3. Check to see whether they lick you more in particular areas of their body.

Avoid petting your dog in areas where they only lick you when you touch them! Sure, it sounds simple.  See whether your dog is licking you because they don’t want you to touch their more delicate spots, such as their paws and nails, which some dogs find difficult to handle and maintain.

4. Ask your dog to leave it

If you want your puppy to quit licking you when you pet them, you can train them to the “leave it” command. If they stop licking, you can reward them with vocal praise and more petting. You can take your hands off if they don’t. It is important to use gentle techniques while teaching the leave-it command to your dogs from the start. We don’t want them to fear our affection or believe that us rewarding them for what they consider to be a typical behavior would result in a reprimand.


So, why do dogs lick you when you pet them? We hope this helps clarify. They do it mostly out of love and enjoyment, but they may also be trying to let you know they’re uncomfortable or are simply enjoying your scent. Usually, there is nothing to worry about, and you can choose to stop them from licking you if you so choose. If you choose to stop your dog from licking you when you pet them, train them to stop by being patient, consistent, and rewarding.

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