Expert Opinion - Do Dogs Like Kisses?

Expert Opinion - Do Dogs Like Kisses?

Author WDF Staff


One of the clearest ways humans show affection is by kissing. It is no wonder many dog owners ask themselves, “Do dogs like kisses?” The better question would probably be, do they understand it? Humans and dogs show affection in different ways, and something we consider affectionate dogs can think of as being aggressive. Well, here’s what experts say about whether dogs love kisses.

Do dogs enjoy kisses?

All dog owners know how cute it can be to kiss their dogs. We love them with all our hearts, so it is entirely natural we want to give them a little peck on the cheek, right? Well, for us humans, it might be. Dogs might feel completely different about it.

Dogs don’t give kisses, and that type of behavior is completely unnatural to them. When a dog licks your hand, many owners call that “dog kiss.” However, dogs don’t have a concept of kissing, so chances are they don’t understand them. The most accurate answer to the question, “Do dogs like kisses?” would be - No, at least not if they are not used to them. They might think of it as an aggressive gesture, so it would be best to avoid doing it if your dog is not used to kisses.

dog kiss

Can dogs get used to kisses?

The good news for all affectionate dog owners who want to shower their dogs with kisses is that you can teach them to like kisses. It is a process, and you will have to make sure to include kisses in your way of showing your dog affection.

A puppy will undoubtedly feel your kiss, but they will not understand it. After you kiss your dog, you should include praise, cuddles, and even play. That way, your dog will start associating kisses with positive things. Most of us talk to our dogs in a gentle, reassuring tone. If you include that in the “kiss training,” your dog will associate kisses with you showing them affection.

Want to know if your dog likes to be hugged? Check out this article - Do dogs like hugs?

How can I know my dog likes kisses?

Understanding any type of dog behavior will include looking for signs and their body language. It is pretty easy to notice a dog that is not friendly. You can see the hair on their back standing up, stiff tails, erect ears, and overall stiff disposition. Dogs use their whole bodies to communicate, and you can observe them and find out if your dog likes kisses.

dog kissing owner

Dogs show affection differently than we do, and if you know what to look for, you can easily understand if your dog likes to be kissed. Some of the clear affection signs dogs show us are;

If you notice any of these things after you gave your dog a kiss, you can be sure your dog learned to love kisses. Your dog started associating kisses with your gentle tone, affection, and good mood, so they respond in kind. They show you they understand what it means and show affection in their dog way.

How can I teach my dog to love kisses?

Some dogs might never learn to like kisses, and while that might be sad for owners that want to give them, they should know there are different ways you can show affection to your dog. However, if you start teaching your dog to like kisses, chances are they will get used to them.

golden retriever kiss

The best way to do it is to start from the moment the puppy arrives at your home. Start by giving them a small peck and follow that up with praises and treats. You have to create a mental association in your dog. Make them connect kisses with positive things, and in no time, your dog will understand a kiss is something positive. They will expect good things and will not think of it as aggressive behavior.

How can a kiss be aggressive?

To humans, a kiss should never represent something aggressive. However, if you look at it from a dog’s standpoint, you might think of it differently. You should be leaning towards the dog to give them a kiss on the head. Your face will come close to their head and “stand” over them. This is very assertive in the dog world, and dogs rarely approach each other that way. This can be especially dangerous to try to do to a strange dog. Their instinct will tell them to defend themselves.

In conclusion

Kissing is how humans show affection. It is not normal in the dog world, and dogs that are not used to kisses will not enjoy them. However, you can train your dog to like kisses if you start working on mental associations. Make sure your dog understands that kisses are followed by praise and cuddles. The sooner you start getting them used to it, the better the chances of them accepting it.

World Dog Finder team

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