What Does it Mean When My Dog Licks Me?

what does it mean when my dog licks me

When a dog licks you, it can have several different meanings. Here are a few common interpretations of this behavior:


One of the most common reasons a dog will lick you is because they love you and want to show affection. Licking is a natural way for dogs to show their affection for their humans, and is often seen as a form of grooming.

Attention seeking:

Dogs may also lick as a way to get your attention. If your dog is seeking attention, he may start licking your face or hands in an effort to get you to pay him some mind.


Dogs have an incredibly keen sense of taste and may lick you simply because they enjoy the taste of your skin. This could be because of salt or other residue left on your skin from food, or because they simply enjoy the flavor of your natural skin oils.


In some cases, a dog may lick as a way to show submissiveness. This is often seen in dogs who are nervous or anxious, and may be trying to diffuse a potentially stressful situation by offering a submissive gesture.


Licking can also be a sign of anxiety in dogs. If your dog is licking excessively, it may be a sign that he is feeling stressed or nervous. This behavior can be especially common in dogs who suffer from separation anxiety, and may be more likely to occur when you are about to leave the house.

Health issues:

In rare cases, excessive licking can be a sign of a health issue. If your dog is licking himself excessively or is licking you in a way that seems compulsive or obsessive, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

It is important to note that the meaning of a dog’s licking behavior can vary depending on the individual dog and the situation. For example, a dog who licks you as a way of showing affection may also lick you to seek attention if he is feeling lonely or neglected. By understanding your dog’s body language and behavior, you can get a better sense of why he is licking you, and how best to respond to this behavior.

The Bottom Line:

When a dog licks you, it can have several different meanings, including affection, attention seeking, taste, submissiveness, anxiety, or health issues. By observing your dog’s body language and behavior, and considering the context of the situation, you can get a better sense of why your dog is licking you, and how to respond in a way that reinforces positive behavior and strengthens your bond with your furry companion.