Dog owners frequently witness their canine companions licking one another, but why is this behavior observed?
Why do some dogs lick each other?
Dogs lick each other as a kind of social interaction that helps them form and maintain relationships, express emotion, and share information. Dogs use it as a means of communicating their feelings and establishing their place in the pack.
But some pet owners get worried due to the excessive licking. To properly care for your furry buddy and maintain peace at home, it’s important to have a firm grasp of this behavior.
In this post, we’ll talk about why dogs lick one other, what good it may do, and when it can be a problem.
So, let’s dig in and find out more about this interesting canine trait!
Reasons Why Dogs Lick Each Other
Multiple factors, including social bonding and grooming, may prompt canines to lick one another. Let’s take a look at the other main reasons why dogs lick one other’s faces.
When dogs interact playfully, it is not uncommon for them to lick one another. Licking may be a lot of fun when dogs play together. It’s a great technique to get people excited about playing together and keep them playing for longer. For instance, puppies will lick other puppies or dogs to invite them to play or participate in other social activities.
Submission And Respect
In dog social interactions, licking may be a gesture of submission and respect. Licking a dog in a higher position is a sign of respect and submission shown by a lower-ranking canine. This conduct prevents disruptions in the pack’s established order and helps keep the peace. Dogs have a built-in appreciation for these dynamics, and they express their comprehension of them through the act of licking.
It is common for nursing moms to lick their puppies to encourage them to urinate and defecate. The nursing mother is reabsorbing the nutrients from her milk when she licks or ingests her puppy’s feces and urine motions, so there’s no need to worry. Her puppies are getting nothing but the greatest nourishment possible, and the byproduct of that is pure breast milk in their feces.
This is a holdover from a dog’s days in the wild. A mother’s gut was a more convenient food storage option than hauling her kill back to the cave. To get their mother to regurgitate food for them, ancient wolf pups licked her face.
Bonding And Socialization
licking is an essential aspect of a dog’s early development. Licking is a form of communication and bonding among dogs in packs. It’s a nonverbal way of saying you trust, respect, and love someone. Dogs bond and improve their social ties through mutual licking.
Licking has a dual purpose as a grooming habit in canines. They groom themselves by licking their fur to remove debris like dirt and parasites. Similarly, dogs may sometimes lick one other to help clean their backs, faces, and other hard-to-reach regions. It’s a nice sign of friendship and teamwork, plus it keeps everyone clean.
For What Reason Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Privates?
Dogs’ ability to detect pheromones comes from an organ on the roof of their mouth called Jacobson’s organ. It explains why they like to smell and lick one other in private areas. Canines can tell a lot about one another just by licking these areas.
The anal sacs, located in the canine posterior, are another major source of valuable olfactory information. Dogs learn a lot about each other’s health and fertility by licking their genitalia and collecting pheromones around Jacobson’s organs. So, it’s only polite for dogs to greet each other with sniffs and licks.
When a female dog is in heat, she may lick her private parts more frequently, and female dogs may lick each other as well.
When To Be Concerned About Excessive Licking?
The prevailing consensus is that a dog’s lack of aggression is communicated through licking. Licking is a sign of affection, admiration, or enthusiasm for play, as you can see from the examples given above. But there are times when it’s important to discourage dogs from licking one other’s faces.
If the dog getting licked does not like it and reacts angrily by growling or exposing his fangs, this might be a red flag. The licking dog’s conduct has to be corrected if it causes frequent disruption to the other dog or even chases after the other dog if it escapes.
After a dog has had the opportunity to let out its feelings and expend its surplus energy, it will often settle down. You may need to take action if your dog’s episodes of this behavior are getting longer and longer and he or she isn’t calming down quickly.
It is not safe for dogs to lick one other’s wounds, especially if the wound is open. This might introduce bacteria to the site or wash away any therapies that have been put on it. A dog shouldn’t be allowed to lick any medications off another dog’s face or body since it might wind up in the dog’s stomach.
Your dog may have developed an obsession if you see that his or her licking behavior is becoming more and more intense and frequent. In extreme cases, excessive licking might cause permanent harm to the treated skin. Both other canines and the dog’s own body may become targets of the obsessive licking behavior. Both scenarios enhance the risk of injury due to the increased sensitivity of the affected regions.
Do not try to get your dog to quit by using force or shouting at it. This won’t solve the issue, and it may make things even worse. Instead of using punishment to control behavior, you may utilize rewards like snacks and toys. Call your dog’s name softly and give him or her an easy command like “sit” to try to divert his or her focus. So, immediately give them a prize.
A dog may require a cone if he or she keeps licking himself or herself. Any behavioral concerns should be trained away with consistent reinforcement being our recommendation. There are times, however, when more drastic action is required, such as when there is an open wound.
Take A Way
Dog owners need to grasp the logic behind their pets’ habit of licking each other. Among them include strengthening social ties, exchanging information, and keeping oneself neat and presentable. Licking is a common and healthy action, but excessive licking might point to a problem that needs to be addressed.
By keeping this in mind, pet owners can provide better care for their animals and make sure everyone in the household is healthy and content.