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Your dog kisses you and it seems natural that you kiss it back. It is wrong to assume that your dog will automatically appreciate your kiss. The reality is a majority of dogs find it uncomfortable when humans kiss them. Many canines find kissing intimidating. Others have simply found ways to accept this behavior.
Dogs and humans communicate differently
Your dog may not understand the reason behind your kiss. This is as dogs communicate differently than humans. We rely on sign or verbal language when expressing emotions and ideas. Dogs depend primarily on the posture of the body of the other dog when communicating with others. Like humans, the language of dogs has evolved over a passage of time.
Among all dogs, Huskies continue to show the language closest to their ancestor wolves. German Shepherds can barely communicate with wolves. The most evolved language among the dog breeds is found among the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. These differences mean even dogs find it hard to communicate with each other. Since it is not possible for us to comprehend dog language, a few things get lost in translation, especially kissing and hugging. The act of kissing is unique to humans. Other animals, especially dogs, do not kiss. A dog does not understand what kisses are. A few dogs, however, link the action of a kiss with affection.
Granted, your dogs kiss you regularly. This action comprises licking your face. Dogs lick each others' faces to show affection. To a human, dog licking equals kisses but to your dog, the same action may mean something else really. To give an example, a puppy may lick its mother's face to ask the latter to regurgitate food. This is common among puppies before they grow out of this habit.
For man dogs, licking equals submissive behavior. A weaker dog may lick a stronger dog's muzzle to avoid any retribution. On the other hand, the dog could only be curious about the food consumption of the other dog.
There could be a number of reasons as to why your dog licks you. Canines are observant. If you react positively to a lick, your dog will possibly repeat the action. This in time may become attention seeking behavior. Your dog licks you to get your attention. Things may take another turn if the dog is stressed out or injured. Licking means being submissive at that time. The dog is pleading that you should not hurt it. As far as human kissing goes, putting faces close together means assertion in dog language. If it turns away, then it is barely tolerating your kiss. To be safe, you should not kiss dogs on their heads. Most dogs, at best, tolerate humans kissing them.