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Getting licked by our fur babies is all part of being a dog owner! But sometimes, it may seem like your pup doesn’t lick everyone equally and that all of their licking is going to you!
Licking is a normal dog behavior, but you might think, “Why does my dog lick me more than anyone else?”
Your dog might seem to lick you more than anyone else for a variety of different reasons such as wanting to show affection, wanting attention, being anxious, or being bored. It may also be because you taste good to your dog! Unless the licking behavior seems to be because of separation anxiety or medical reasons, it is probably nothing to worry about.
Those are just some of the many reasons your dog could be licking you more than anyone else. Let’s take a closer look into these reasons and some of the other reasons your dog is showing this behavior.
Reason 1: Your Dog Is Showing Affection
There’s no doubt that our dogs love us just as much as we love them! While their love can match that of another person (or more!), dogs have different ways of showing their love compared to humans.
One of the popular ways dogs show their affection is through licking!
By licking you the most, you can assume that your dog may be trying to tell you that you are the one they love the most! You’re the one who gives them all the food, treats, toys, and quality time with them so they want to give back for everything you’ve given.
While licking is like the universal way of showing affection for dogs, interestingly, different breeds have their own ways of showing their love for their owners.
What may be signs of affection for a boxer may not be the same signs of affection for a German shepherd.
Reason 2: Your Dog Is Comforting You
Dogs are amazing creatures! They have a trait that helps them detect when their owners are feeling happy or sad.
In this article from the American Kennel Club, dogs use their senses of seeing and hearing to sense our emotions. They observe us and can tell the difference between when we are laughing and when we are crying. This helps them determine how their owners are feeling.
Dogs thrive on body language and your body language can tell your pup a lot about how you’re feeling. By putting your actions and your treatment towards your dog together can tell them a lot about your emotions.
When you’re feeling a little down or stressed, your dog might lick you to show that they care and that they want to comfort you after a difficult day.
Dogs have other ways to comfort you as well. Some might rub against your legs while others might wrap their paws around you.
Reason 3: Your Dog Is Greeting You
There is nothing better than coming home and having someone greet you at the door!
When you open the door after a long day of work, you might notice your dog wanting to lick you as soon as they realize it’s you. Or you might see that your dog goes straight to licking you even when you come back with a few other people.
Both scenarios may suggest that you dog licks you more than anyone else as a way to greet you before anyone else.
Sometimes your dog may just walk into the room and start licking you as a way to say “hello.” Your dog might just be excited to see you again!
Another way that dogs can greet their owners is by rubbing against the owners’ legs.
Reason 4: Your Dog Wants Attention
We often call our dogs our babies for a reason! They can be so similar to human children in so many different ways. One of the ways is wanting your attention!
Your dog might lick you more than anyone else as a way to get your attention. Since you are most likely their favorite person, they would prefer your attention over anyone else’s.
Your dog might want your attention for different reasons. One reason could be that they feel like you haven’t spent enough time with them recently. We can get really busy so we end up not spending as much time with our dogs as we’d like.
Incorporating ways to include your dog in your daily activities is a great way to spend time together. You could take your dog (and maybe your other one too if your have two) on your daily jogs or find ways to entertain your dog without needing toys.
Reason 5: Your Dog Is Anxious
There are some things that make our dog anxious. Whether it’s loud noises, unknown objects, or other dogs, our dogs have different ways to tell us that something is making them uncomfortable.
Your dog might lick you excessively or more than anyone else because they are feeling anxious. Licking you is a way to let you know that something is bothering them and they find comfort in acknowledging that you are there.
If you notice that your dog is showing signs of being uncomfortable, it is important to try to find the cause and remove your dog from that situation or find ways to help them be more comfortable that thing they are nervous about.
Other signs that may indicate your dog is feeling anxious are slicked back ears and lip licking.
Reason 6: Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety
Similar to being anxious, your dog might lick you more than anyone else or excessively because they have separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is the sense of hopelessness and panic that a dog may feel when their owner isn’t present. They feel like they cannot function properly without their owner.
How do you know if your dog has separation anxiety or is just anxious?
Dogs with separation anxiety with show other signs such as peeing in the house when you’re not home when they normally don’t, being destructive, or staying between your legs.
Your dog might lick you a lot because they don’t want you to leave their side or because they thought you would never come back.
To help your dog be more comfortable being alone, you can try leaving them for small increments of time and then gradually increasing the alone time. This can help them learn that being alone isn’t so bad after all!
Reason 7: Your Dog Could Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Another reason that your dog may be licking you more than anyone else is because they have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD.
Like with humans, dogs with OCD can develop compulsive behaviors like licking. If you notice that your dog licks you or certain objects, like toys, obsessively, there may be a chance that they have OCD.
Other signs of OCD in dogs could be constant scratching, staring, or spinning, but how do you know if your dog has OCD since these behaviors are normal for dogs?
The key is that dogs with OCD will do these actions with no reason or in an unexpected situation. They also don’t have the ability to start and stop these behaviors on their own.
If you suspect that your dog has OCD, a visit to the vet can help you better understand your dog’s needs and strengthen your bond with them!
Reason 8: You Taste Good To Your Dog
Compared to humans, dogs have different preferences when it comes to something tasty! After all, dog food smells weird to us, but to a dog, it can be the most delicious thing ever.
Your dog might like you because you taste good to them! As strange as it seems, your dog might have realized that your sweat tastes pretty good after all!
Sweat has a lot of salt in it and that is what may be appealing to dogs. Dogs’ tongues are different than human tongues. They have less taste buds, making their standards for tasty food to be different than ours as well. That may be why dogs think sweat is good for licking.
Another reason may be that you have a sweet-smelling lotion, body wash, or brand-new hair care. Some smell good enough to eat (quite literally for your dog)!
Reason 9: Your Dog Is Bored
Like people, dogs can do some strange things when they’re bored!
Your dog might lick you more than anyone else because they find it entertaining. It may seem weird, but maybe it’s the reaction you give or just something they feel like doing to keep them busy.
Keeping your dog busy is an important job. If your dog gets bored, they can feel like they have no purpose and might redirect their energy towards being destructive.
Some ways to keep your dog entertained is using a puzzle feeder to keep their brain working or just play simple games to keep them active!
Reason 10: You’re Encouraging The Behavior
Your dog might lick you more than anyone else because of your reaction to it. Without knowing, you could be encouraging the behavior.
Positive reinforcement is a reward for a certain behavior. One of the most common examples of positive reinforcement is giving a dog a treat when training them a trick. Giving a treat is the reward and the trick is the behavior being rewarded.
If your dog licks you and you laugh or pet them, then they might be seeing your actions as a reward for the licking.
If you want to stop this behavior, try to remove the reward whether that’s attention, pets, or laughter.
While it may seem weird not to give a reaction to your dog randomly licking you, not reacting helps your dog to realize that this behavior isn’t really a big deal to you.
Reason 11: Your Dog Is Being Submissive
Our dogs are good at showing how much they love us, but they can also be very respectful to us for taking good care of them.
Your dog could be licking you as a way of being submissive. Submissiveness is not a sign of feeling frightened or nervous. It can be a sign of trust and your dog feels like they can be vulnerable around you.
Every dog has different ways of showing submissiveness. The licking might be followed rolling over and asking for belly rubs.
Other ways include laying with their belly up, holding their ears back, or laying down flat when being approached.
Reason 12: Your Dog Is Grooming You
Licking is a common way for dogs to groom each other.
Your dog might be licking you more than anyone else because they want to groom you. There could be different reasons for your dog to be grooming you.
If your dog is a mother, she might be grooming you like one of her puppies. She may be seeing you as one of her puppies or trying to show how much she cares about you.
Some dogs like to groom others that they may see as members of the pack. Your dog might lick you because they see you as part of their pack or family. It is a way for them to take care of you after all that you do to take care of them.
Check out this video of some dogs grooming:
Reason 13: Your Dog Is Doing It Out Of Habit
Dogs are more similar to people than we think. While people have a few habits that they intend to break, dogs can have habits too.
Dogs thrive when they have routines and habit. Having a set time to eat, walk, and play are a few examples of parts of your dog’s routine.
Your dog could lick you more than anyone else because it has become one of their habits.
Try to see what triggers the behavior. It could be the time or place. Maybe you regularly sit on the couch with them right after they have their dinner. If they’re doing it after the same trigger, chances are that the licking is caused by habit.
Dogs can have strange habits. You can check out this list of other dog habits determine if your dog has any other habits!
Should I Be Worried About The Behavior?
Unless you suspect your dog is licking you the most because of OCD or separation anxiety, this behavior is usually nothing to worry about.
Licking is a normal part about being a dog, but when it becomes something that disrupts their quality of life, it can be concerning.
If you suspect your dog constantly licks you because of OCD, it is best to visit the vet. They can help see if it really is OCD and what you can do to help your dog with this condition.
Separation anxiety is something that many dogs face. If you suspect your dog’s licking is caused by separation anxiety, time, patience, and training can help you and your dog overcome this obstacle. You may also seek help from trainers if you don’t know where to start.
If you ever have any questions or concerns about your pup, it is best to contact your vet. While you think you might have a silly question, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your fur baby. No question is a bad question!
Understanding your dog’s behavior is a step to getting closer to them. Since dogs cannot verbally tell us what they’re feeling, communicating through actions is what can cause a strong bond with them.