Why my dog obsessively licks other dog's mouths?

asked 2017-02-23 13:45:36 -0600

My dog is a Golden Retriever/Lab mix that is a year old. She has this habit where she will obsessively lick another dog's mouth when they are relaxed and panting. When I say obsessively, I mean she will not stop. She has had a couple of dogs pin her down for doing it, so I figured that would make her stop, but she keeps on. She's been doing this ever since she was 4 months old; I figured she would grow out of it, but no. I'm afraid she will do it to the wrong dog and get herself hurt.

Is this just her way of saying hi or is this another type of behavior?

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It is a sign of submission and wanting to be part of the group

Michael C.'s profile image Michael C.  ( 2017-02-23 13:53:49 -0600 ) edit

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answered 2017-02-23 13:51:26 -0600

There are various reasons dogs can do this. These include play time, submission, "i'm sorry", and hunger.

For play time they do it to signal to the other dog that they are ready to play. If the other dog is not interested you may want to pull the licking pup away as this may irritate the other.

For submission this shows the pecking order. A dog licking another dogs mouth shows that he is submissive and below the other dog similar to one a dog rolls on their back. Once again, keep an eye on this as the dominant dog might get snappy if irritated.

When saying sorry the dog will gently lick the other dogs face and sometimes lift their paw gently. The other dogs say "its ok" by licking back.

Lastly it can be a sign that they are hungry. This is usually seen in puppies. Their instinct is to lick their mothers face when they are hungry. Use this as a sign of when to feed the pup.

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Thank you very much! This is extremely helpful.

Afton L.'s profile image Afton L.  ( 2017-02-23 14:05:07 -0600 ) edit
answered 2017-02-23 13:53:43 -0600

Dogs licking each others' lips is actually a completely normal behavior. It's sometimes a sign of affection or a sign the dog is ready to play, but more than anything it's a behavior that comes from early puppy-hood when puppies would lick their mother's mouth to encourage the mother to regurgitate food for them. You mentioned the safety of your dog being your concern. If you notice that your pup is repeatedly licking another dog, I'd recommend to just pay close attention to the dog being licked. If the other dog is trying to move away, you may want to intervene.

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answered 2017-02-23 13:49:35 -0600

It typically means they are trying To say hello or make peace.

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answered 2017-02-23 13:51:03 -0600

I believe it is a sign that the dog who licks wants to play.

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answered 2017-02-23 13:49:08 -0600

It's a behavior that comes from early puppyhood when puppies used to lick their mothers lips. The behavior was meant to encourage the mother pup to regurgitate food for them.

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