NotABully.org is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.
Just like humans have several ways of expressing their love, dogs also have their own love languages and licking can be one of them.
I do want to point out that most dogs will lick their owners, either for attention or to show their appreciation, but there are dog breeds that are overly affectionate and they can spend most of their day trying to give sloppy kisses to their owners, other dogs or pets and anything around them really.
If you’re looking to find which breeds are the ultimate kissing machines, either because you want to avoid them or you simply want to pick the most affectionate pooch for yourself then we have a list with 28 breeds that lick a lot!
We’ll also mention licking as an overall behavior in dogs and whether it’s as harmless as it seems. But if you want to go straight to the 28 breeds, then you can use our table of contents to navigate to this list!
Do All Dogs Lick Their Owners?
Most dogs will lick their owners for various reasons, and we’ve actually talked about this before, and we found 13 reasons to be precise, but there are dogs out there that won’t partake in this type of behavior.
If you own or you’re planning on getting a dog breed that is mentioned on our list then there’s also a chance that instead of being an enthusiastic kisser, they simply won’t lick you at all.
According to Dr. Marty Becker, “your dog may have had a mother who didn’t lick much herself so he never picked up the behavior. He may have been trained as a pup not to lick,” or he adds that “he may simply have other ways he prefers to use to communicate with you or show you affection.”
So, don’t take it personally if your dog doesn’t lick you!
What Dogs Lick The Most?
It’s finally time to check out the 28 dog breeds that lick the most!
1. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are known for their super friendly and enthusiastic personality. The AKC describes this breed by saying that “the ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and nonaggressive towards man or animal.”
Perhaps that’s exactly why Labradors tend to express their love for their owners as well as other humans and dogs by licking them.
Aside from being enthusiastic kissers, the Labrador is overall very energetic and needs a lot of exercises, and they require some obedience training, through which you could tone down their licking behavior if that’s something you would like to do.
2. Golden Retriever
Similarly to Labradors, the Golden Retriever is another dog that is very family oriented and they are incredibly loyal and loving.
So, it comes as no surprise that this Scottish gundog is one of America’s most popular breeds!
For people that are not as comfortable with expressing their feelings Golden Retrievers may seem overly affectionate, but if you are an outgoing, active individual that needs an equally enthusiastic companion then prepare yourself for a lot of slobbering kisses from this breed.
It may help to remember that the Golden Retriever is eager to please so they respond well to training, which can help deal with the licking.
Perhaps because Poodles can rock incredible hairstyles, people often forget that they are one of the smartest dog breeds, and thanks to their intelligence and eagerness to please they are often employed as service dogs, guide dogs, assistance dogs for people with disabilities as well as therapy dogs.
The fact that they are so eager to please the people around them means that they are incredibly affectionate dogs and one of the ways they will showcase their devotion is by licking the people they love.
They are, after all, the national dog of France!
Poodles also come in three different sizes for you to choose from, depending on your house conditions. The toy breed Poodle is no more than 10 inches tall, the miniature is 15 inches or under and the standard-sized poodle is more than 15 inches tall.
4. German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd dogs are very intelligent and together with their strength, they make excellent police and guard dogs as well as search and rescue dogs.
While these dogs can work for first-time owners they require a dedicated human, that will spend time socializing and training them from an early age.
5. American Pit Bull Terrier
Aside from their strength, confidence, and their clownish side Pitbulls are also described by the UKC as a breed that “is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm.”
For me, that’s a sign that this dog loves to have fun and they enjoy being goofy with their owner.
Plus Pitbulls will put on a whole show to prove to you that they love you or that they’ve missed you, from nibbling to literally jumping on you, and when it comes to kisses they will lick your hands, your legs, your face, basically, anything that they can reach.
Despite the bad rep that Rottweilers often get, this is a very affectionate breed and they are very family oriented. If a Rottweiler bonds with you then be prepared for some serious love bombing in the form of kisses.
I’ve often found that Rottweilers will find a million ways to get your hands wet, mostly because they also love nudging their noses into their owner’s hands.
Perhaps the reason why Rottweilers are so comfortable with expressing their love has to do with the fact that they are eager to put in the work to make their human happy, they are also very obedient and trainable.
That being said Rottweilers aren’t suitable for first-time owners because they need extensive and continuous socialization, and they need someone who can dedicate a big chunk of their time to training them.
7. Bearded Collie
The Bearded Collie is a breed from Scotland and its most famous trait is probably the long shaggy coat that almost covers their eyes completely.
If you can handle the grooming needs of their luscious coat that means you can also handle their enthusiastic kisses, and in return, you and your family will get a loyal companion.
This breed is also quite active, so if you are the outdoorsy type then the Bearded Collie won’t disappoint because they have lots of energy to spend. Because they can be stubborn and independent you also need to make sure you spend enough time training them.
8. American Staffordshire Terrier
Also known as the American Staffy, or AmStaffs, these dogs are known to be good-natured, and loyal to their owners. They are also very playful and games are the best method to make an American Staffy do your bidding, otherwise, they will have the upper hand.
According to Hillspet “A good long run or a rollicking game of ball is a great way to bond with an American Staffordshire terrier.”
As you can expect this breed is on our list for a reason, and that reason is that they express their enthusiasm and love towards the people they love by licking them.
9. Great Dane
Great Danes are known for their giant size, but there’s so much more to this breed than just size.
First of all, they are quite easygoing in terms of exercise and they are considerably easy to train since they don’t have a strong prey drive, plus they aren’t known to exhibit extremely aggressive behaviors.
The Great Dane is also a very gentle and loving dog, that chooses a number of different ways to show its love for its people, one of those would be licking. Even if your Great Dane is not an enthusiastic kisser, the times that they will decide to lick you will feel more like a bath, just because of the sheer size of them.
Newfoundland is another large dog on our list that loves to give kisses and when this dog is done with you, depending on their enthusiasm, you may find yourself in need of a shower.
Jokes aside, the Newfoundland dog is a very gentle dog, despite the fact that their calm nature and sweet temper don’t match their rough appearance.
This breed is usually easy to train, and according to AKC the Newfoundland dogs “respond well to gentle guidance but don’t respond well to harsh corrections or training methods.”
11. English Mastiff
You can’t stop an English Mastiff from drooling all over the place and you could say the same thing about their licking. When this large doggy is by your side you will often feel something wet on your hand and it could be them just drooling on you or licking you!
So, if you’re ok with this sloppy side of the English Mastiff then you will be happy to learn that this is a loving and affectionate breed. These dogs are usually very calm, but they can be protective when strangers come knocking on your door.
Despite being this big, most Mastiffs don’t need excessive exercising, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to stay active in order to keep fit.
12. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds are known for their incredible scenting abilities and while they’re in no way large dogs they possess big-dog strength and stamina.
However, you don’t need to worry about walking this dog for hours on end because a daily walk at a moderate pace will keep the Basset Hound happy and fit. They do however require some patience when it comes to training because they can often be quite stubborn.
If you’re planning on having more than one dog then you’ll be happy to hear that the Basset Hound gets along well with other dogs. This sleepy breed also enjoys the company of its family members and it will always have time to give you a few wet kisses in between naps (since they’re one of the breeds that love to sleep), even when you least expect it.
Pugs are one of my top favorite breeds, partly because I grew up watching the movie Men in Black, and partly because I adore goofy-looking dogs.
If you’re like me and you are looking into getting a Pug pup then be prepared for some over-the-top wet kisses because this breed will never miss an opportunity to prove their love to you by licking your face, hands, and feet!
These dogs are great if you want an overall quiet dog that has retained a mischievous side. They can go from snoozing next to you on the sofa all day, to following you around looking for your attention, and licking is definitely one way of getting that!
14. French Bulldog
While French Bulldogs and Pugs share a lot of similarities, Frenchies tend to act a bit wiser as they grow compared to the goofy Pugs, but despite their subtle differences both of these breeds won’t waste an opportunity to lick you.
It’s important to note that Frenchies are quite attached to their owners and can easily experience separation anxiety if left alone for prolonged hours. Perhaps that’s why French Bulldogs will often use licking, a behavior from their puppyhood, to show their owners that they trust them and need them.
Overall this dog is a wonderful companion to have and their size makes them an easygoing breed when it comes to working out, or living in an apartment, plus they usually get along with other humans.
15. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is described by the AKC as the ideal city dog because they are small, sociable, and confident.
These dogs are great companions and they can be very affectionate with children, and more often than not they will express their adoration by showering their family members with kisses.
Thanks to this friendly nature, the Bichon Frise is a great choice for first-time owners. Of course like any other dog they will require training, and that training can be used to curb their licking if that’s something that you don’t particularly like.
Beagles are another adorable breed on our list that loves giving kisses to their human companions and they are excellent family dogs that are happy to extend their love to the whole family, children included.
Because they easily make friends with strangers Beagles are poor guard dogs, but because they do have a tendency to bark they can instead be good watchdogs.
In this loving breed you will find an inseparable companion, so make sure you have the time to spoil your Beagle with attention because they can easily suffer from separation anxiety.
17. Yorkshire Terrier
If you’re looking for an affectionate toy breed then the Yorkshire Terrier is a great option.
These dogs love attention, perhaps because they know that they are quite fabulous looking. They are not afraid to be active, even though their small size means that they will tire easily.
Additionally, the Yorkshire Terrier is easy to train, that’s why they are great for first-time owners and their overall needs, as well as their hypoallergenic coat make them the ideal pet for older adults.
This is a small dog with a large personality and it can be a great addition to your family, whether you have kids or not. And once you bond with the Yorkshire Terrier you will get all of their kisses!
18. Bedlington Terrier
Despite their lamb-like appearance, the Bedlington Terrier is another self-assured dog on our list, they ooze confidence and independence, and as you can imagine they enjoy being the center of attention.
I need to warn you however that the Bedlington Terrier is an active dog. While they are an “irresistibly cuddly TV-time companion” according to AKC and I’m sure they’ll shower you with kisses of appreciation, at the same time they are not an easy dog to own.
19. Italian Greyhound
To have an Italian Greyhound is to have a mini greyhound in your hands not only for their ability to bolt after whatever prey they’ve seen run from them but because these are also very affectionate dogs.
Perhaps because of their size, the Italian greyhounds are even sweeter and gentler and they will show you their love by licking you whenever they can.
Another thing you need to know about the Italian greyhound is that they don’t take it well when you don’t pay attention to them. This is a stubborn breed and it can be challenging at times. They also don’t like the cold, so that’s also something to keep in mind.
20. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
You shouldn’t get intimidated by the fact that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an aristocratic breed because these doggies are sweet, gentle, and loyal family companions.
This breed can melt your heart with just their gaze, and if that’s not enough then they will lick you until they know you’ve warmed up to them.
The thing that surprises me the most is that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel manages to combine two different personalities, one is that of an energetic dog that loves to be active and the other one is that of a couch potato.
21. Brussels Griffon
If you’re looking for an affectionate dog of a small stature that looks like the hairier version of a Pug then the Brussels Griffon is all of those things.
I do need to mention that this is not a dog for a busy person, and while all dogs require our attention and time the Brussels Griffon “has a low threshold for loneliness and will stick close to their special human, providing years of love and laughter,” as AKC states.
In this dog, you will discover a loving companion that is emotionally sensitive and the Brussels Griffon will find multiple ways to show you that they love you and one of them is giving you enthusiastic kisses.
22. Skye Terrier
There are certain breeds and dogs that can be affectionate to a number of people, but if you want to have a dog that is completely devoted to you then the Skye Terrier is the right companion to have.
The Skye Terrier is always eager to please their family and one way to do it is to find opportunities to lick their hands and faces.
Because Skye Terriers are usually suspicious of strangers it’s important to socialize them as early as possible and expose this breed to other people, dogs, different places, and situations as much as possible.
23. Tibetan Spaniel
The Tibetan Spaniel was bred by Tibetan Monks and they were often called “little lions.” Despite their small size they were used as guard dogs, to alert their owners when someone was approaching.
So, it’s natural to say that the Tibetan Spaniel is a loyal breed and they are very affectionate towards their owners. Licking is one way this dog will express their love, but you will often find them perched in high places so they can keep an eye on things.
One important thing to remember is that in order to keep the Tibetan Spaniel happy and affectionate you need to make training fun!
Also known as the “hot dog” because of the Dachshund’s long silhouette, this German breed is very playful and very friendly, and it can tick out so many boxes for so many people.
First of all, these dogs can live happily in an apartment, they love to spend their time indoors with their owners and they can be great for first-time owners, but you can expect a few challenges since all dogs require some dose of patience when training them.
The Dachshund also loves to give and receive affection and one way they can shower their owners with love is by licking them, and being a curious hunting dog you will also find them using their nose and tongue to explore the scent and taste you might be carrying with you.
A common thread between dog breeds that lick a lot is that they are always eager to please their owners, and sometimes strangers. The Havanese is no exception because this is a truly affectionate dog that has the capacity to befriend anyone, whether that’s other humans, dogs, or pets!
Because the Havanese love everyone they actually need a large amount of interaction with people, so it’s best not to leave them alone for too long.
They do well in apartments, and they require a moderate amount of exercise, like frequent walks or games of fetch, not because they’re not energetic but because they are small.
I’ll admit that the tongue of the smallest breed out there might not seem intimidating, but after a few good licks, you will realize that a Chihuahua’s favorite way of saying I love you is by showering you with kisses.
But licking aside, these are great dogs to have, not only because they are quite chill when it comes to exercising, but because you can literally carry them with you at all times.
However, they do need a good amount of training not only because they are highly intelligent and can easily get their way, but also because they can be overprotective of their owners and that can turn into aggression towards strangers and other dogs.
27. Chinese Crested
If you’re looking for a lovable dog companion that’s also hypoallergenic then both the hairless and the fully coated versions of the Chinese Crested can truly meet your needs as an owner.
That being said even the hairless Chinese Crested requires regular grooming and frequent bathing. You will also have to protect this breed from extreme temperatures and exposure to direct sunlight.
While it may feel like a lot, I truly believe the Chinese Crested can be a wonderful companion to someone who enjoys being extra caring and giving in the dog-human relationship and at the end of the day, you will be rewarded with their kisses!
28. Your Dog!
All dogs have the capacity to slobber you with kisses, but the one dog that will do their best to lick every possible surface on your body is your own dog.
You can read about dog breeds that lick the most all you want, but you’re not going to escape your dog’s drooly muzzle, and even if the thought of that doesn’t sound appealing, once you receive that first kiss from your pup there’s simply no going back.
So, enjoy your dog’s love language in all its forms!
Why Your Dog Licks You?
Dogs are complex animals and so they have more than one reason explaining why they lick the people around them, whether that’s their owner or strangers.
For the most part, licking is a sign of affection and it’s a behavior that many dogs retain from their puppyhood. Puppies will lick their mother and in return, they will be licked by the mother. So, naturally, for many dogs, licking can also have a calming effect.
In some cases, this could also be a sign of respect, or it could be an attention-seeking behavior whether we’re talking about food or playtime.
Additionally, your dog can use licking as a simple greeting. Plus when dogs lick you they also get the chance to explore all the different tastes and smells you’re carrying.
Licking is a learned behavior, and while it’s passed down from their mother, owners will often reinforce this behavior, which means that dogs will start licking their owners even more.
Should I Worry If My Dog Licks A Lot?
In most cases, licking is a normal canine behavior, and if your dog was mentioned on our list then you might be up against their kisses more often than the average owner. That being said, sudden changes in this behavior can be a sign that something is bothering your pooch.
A 2012 study found that gastrointestinal disorders in dogs can be linked to excessive licking of objects and surfaces. Compulsive licking, biting, and scratching could also be caused by allergies, a skin infection, parasites, pain, as well as stress, and boredom.
If you’re worried that your dog spends too much time licking you, his body, or other objects then it could also be caused by separation anxiety or OCD.
No matter what the case might be for your pooch, sudden excessive licking or compulsive licking shouldn’t be ignored and it’s best to take your canine friend to the vet for a check-up.
I also want to mention that it’s also possible that as the owner you might be the source of this excessive behavior. Most consider dog kisses adorable, so by constantly reinforcing this behavior, owners end up getting even more of those wet kisses! In this case, getting back to basics with training can help you curb your dog’s licking.
If you didn’t find your dog on this list don’t worry, because licking mainly comes down to personality and not breed.
Of course, there are breeds that are more prone to showering their owners with constant kisses, but it’s also possible to get a golden retriever or a Labrador that doesn’t practice this sort of behavior.
Some of you will find this behavior acceptable, or you might try to stay away from breeds that lick a lot, but before you reject your future canine companion based on the possibility of getting licked, remember that any behavior can be curbed with positive reinforcement, and you can always help your pooch find other ways to show their appreciation.
Did you enjoy this breed list? Then check out another one with 6 breeds that start with Z including some that you might not realize you’re already familiar with!