Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Mouths? (+What to Do!)

If you’ve noticed your dogs licking each other’s mouths or tongues, you might be curious about the reasons behind this behavior. Whether it’s a gentle lick to the mouth or a more enthusiastic tongue interaction, understanding why dogs engage in this behavior can be very interesting.

This article will delve into the reasons why dogs lick each other’s mouths, touching on the differences between submission and affection. We’ll also explore the various scenarios in which dogs may lick each other’s tongues and what these actions signify.

Finally, we’ll go over whether it’s necessary to stop them when dogs lick each other’s mouths and explain how to manage this behavior if needed. Let’s begin!

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Mouths?

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other's Mouths?

Dogs lick each other’s mouths for several reasons, including communication, showing affection, or as a submissive gesture. This behavior originates from their wolf ancestors, where puppies would lick the mouths of adult dogs to stimulate regurgitation of food. In modern dogs, this behavior has evolved to include expressions of friendship, respect, or as a way to solicit attention or food from their human companions or other dogs.

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other in the Mouth?

Dogs lick each other in the mouth as a form of social interaction. It can be a sign of affection, a greeting, or a submissive behavior. This action helps to strengthen the bond between dogs and establish their social hierarchy within a group. It’s a natural behavior that serves various purposes in canine communication.

Dogs Licking Each Other’s Mouths: Submission vs. Affection

To determine whether dogs are licking each other’s mouths out of submission or affection, observe their body language:

  • Submission: A submissive dog may approach another dog with a lowered posture, ears back, and possibly averted eyes. The licking is often quick and directed towards the more dominant dog’s mouth.
  • Affection: When licking is a sign of affection, both dogs usually appear relaxed. Their bodies are loose, tails may wag gently, and the licking is reciprocal rather than one-sided.

Should I Stop Dogs Licking Each Other’s Mouths?

Generally, you should not need to stop dogs from licking each other’s mouths unless it leads to signs of discomfort or aggression from one of the dogs. If intervention is necessary:

  • Distract the dogs with a command, toy, or treat to redirect their attention.
  • Separate the dogs gently if one appears to be stressed or overwhelmed by the licking.

Dogs licking each other’s mouths is a natural behavior with various meanings, including affection and submission.

Watching the dogs’ body language and following these steps will help keep these interactions playful, but it’s important to remember that any underlying behavioral issues (dominance, aggression, etc.) that may be causing any problems in this area will still be present.

And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog taking things too far during play and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about controlling your dogs ever again!

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Tongues?

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other's Tongues?

Dogs lick each other’s tongues as part of their natural social behavior, rooted in their evolutionary history. This action can serve various purposes, from a form of communication and showing affection to establishing social bonds and hierarchies within a pack.

Why Do My Dogs Lick Each Other’s Tongues?

Your dogs lick each other’s tongues as a gesture of affection and camaraderie. It is a way for them to express their comfort and trust in one another, reinforcing their bond. This behavior is often seen in dogs that have a close relationship, indicating a harmonious and friendly interaction.

Learn when you should intervene in the first section.

Why Do Dogs Lick Inside Each Other’s Mouths?

Dogs lick inside each other’s mouths for reasons similar to why they lick each other’s tongues – as a sign of affection, to explore their environment, or as a submissive gesture. This behavior can also be traced back to puppyhood when puppies would lick their mother’s mouth as a way to encourage her to regurgitate food for them.

In adult dogs, it continues as a form of social interaction and bonding.

Puppy Licking Older Dog’s Mouth

A puppy licking an older dog’s mouth is often a sign of respect and a request for guidance. It’s a submissive behavior that acknowledges the older dog’s higher status in the social hierarchy. This action can also be the puppy’s instinctual way of soliciting care, mimicking the behavior that would naturally elicit a feeding response from their mother.

In conclusion, dogs licking each other’s tongues and mouths is a multifaceted behavior with roots in their evolutionary past. Whether as a sign of affection, a submissive gesture, or a social bonding activity, it’s a normal part of canine interaction.

You’re probably ready to get going now that you have all of your questions about your dog licking another dog’s mouth answered, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Mouths? (+What to Do!)”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.