Banner image Do dogs like kisses?

Do dogs like kisses?

We show affection to each other in many ways and kissing is one such way, however, have you ever wondered if a dog understands kisses.

Dogs don’t fully understand human kisses; however, they do associate kisses with affection and that is only if owners have kissed them from a young age. They will associate kisses as a positive sign especially when we speak to them in a sweet or gentle manner when kissing them. Not all people agree with kissing their dogs so it is an individual choice Dogs who have never experienced human kisses before don’t quite know what it means or what to do.

Dogs communicate through body gestures and facial expressions. These are a few signs that your dog may like to be kissed:

  • Acting excited
  • Jumping up
  • Licking
  • Nuzzling or cuddling up to you
  • Tail wagging
If they have not experienced cuddles and kisses from an early age they generally don’t like to be kissed. If you think about how your dog approaches another dog, rarely does it approach straight on - they rather approach each other from the side. By placing your face close to a dog it is a very assertive behaviour in dog language. If a dog has not learnt what this is all about they might feel threatened and react aggressively so you should never try to kiss a strange dog or one not from your household. Most importantly our children should also be taught to never try and cuddle and kiss a dog they do not know.
 
Dogs can be trained to accept as well as respond positively to a kiss and this can be done by:
 
Starting early – The best way to train your dog to like human kisses is to expose it to the behaviour early on. Cuddle up to the puppy and give it kisses. This will help them to associate a human kiss with positive affection.
 
Start slow with older dogs – if you didn’t have the opportunity to kiss your dog as a puppy they can still be trained to respond positively to a kiss but you have to aware of their body gestures and facial expressions. Do not approach your dog face on as they can associate this with aggression, rather gain their trust by giving them treats and cuddles. Once your dog begins to trust you, you can start by kissing away from its face, such as on its back. As your dog trusts you more and more, you should be able to kiss it more freely.
 
Use a gentle voice – Whether your dog is young or old, make sure to use a gentle voice as you kiss it as it shows that you are trying to express affection.
 
Even though dogs don’t understand a human kiss, we as dog loving owners talk to our pets in a gentle manner when we kiss them. This means that our dog will associate a kiss with a warmer tone, meaning they may learn to associate it with a positive message and affection.

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