Do Dogs Like To Be Kissed? The Answer May Surprise You

A little boy in a red shirt giving a Golden Retriever a kiss on the cheek.

It’s natural to want to show your dog affection, but what you see as an act of love, your dog may see as an act of aggression.

When it comes to kissing and hugging your dog, you should always be cautious and aware of your dog’s reactions to be sure he or she is comfortable with it.

Do dogs like to be kissed? Dogs generally do not like to be kissed. Dogs don’t understand the meaning of a kiss, and some may see it as an act of aggression. Some dogs can be trained to allow kisses, and some do seem to actually comprehend that a kiss shows affection, but others may respond defensively or aggressively.

Of course it can be hard to resist kissing your dog as it is a response that comes so naturally to us as humans.

If you are wondering if your dog really wants to be kissed or enjoys it, be sure to read on to learn more. 

Dogs and Kisses – What To Know

While people use kisses to show affection, this is not how dogs show love.

All dogs react differently to kisses, and understanding your dog’s temperament or behavior can give you some insight into how they will react.

A Kiss May Be Perceived as Threatening Behavior

When you move your mouth close to your dog’s mouth or face for a kiss, the dog may mistake this as threatening behavior.

Dogs typically only get close to the mouths of other dogs if they are trying to establish their dominance, demonstrate their subordination, or as a challenge.

Sometimes, they might lick one another’s face or even your face in an apparent display of affection, but this behavior is different than our kisses.

Dogs Express Emotions Differently Than People

While it’s common for people to kiss to show affection and emotions, dogs do so in a different manner.

They tend to use their facial expressions, ear movements, and body gestures to show emotion. They generally won’t see a kiss as a way to express love.

Some Dogs Don’t Appreciate Kisses at All

Some dogs never accept kisses and never get used to the act. They may react with aggression or fear or just try to get away when you attempt.

You should never force a kiss on a dog who doesn’t seem to tolerate them well. Not only will it make them uncomfortable, but it could also result in a nip or bite.

Some Dogs Tolerate Kisses Well

Some dogs don’t mind kisses. They may have gotten used to them over time, may have been trained to tolerate them, or they may even enjoy them.

Pay close attention to how your dog responds to your kisses so you can decide if you should stop kissing or can continue to do so safely. 

Some Dogs Understand That Kisses Show Love

While people associate kisses with love, it’s not the same for all dogs. Some dogs will learn that kisses are a sign of love and affection, but some will never understand it.

The more you kiss your dog and offer affection, the more likely he will be to learn that kisses are a good thing.

Do Dogs Understand What Kisses Mean?

Dogs do not instinctively understand the purpose of the kiss, but over time they can come to understand that they are a sign of affection and love. 

How To Tell If Your Dog Enjoys Kisses

A woman giving a black-and-white dog a kiss on the cheek in front of a flowering field.

You can determine if your dog likes kisses by observing his reaction when you or someone else attempts to kiss him.

If your dog stiffens up, turns his head, tries to get away, or bares his teeth, he does not like kisses.

If your dog seems to snuggle in closer, turn his head toward you, or doesn’t seem to have a negative reaction, he may like or tolerate kisses.

Is Kissing Your Dog on the Head Good or Bad?

Kissing your dog on the head is okay as long as your dog doesn’t react aggressively when you do it. Many dogs see kissing or even petting on the head as a sign of aggression.

If you catch them by surprise or they don’t expect it, they are more likely to react.

Dog’s communicate with gestures and facial expressions, so they prefer straight-on contact so they can see you coming toward them.

Do Dogs Like Kisses on the Nose?

If your dog has shown that he will tolerate kisses, it may be okay to kiss him on the nose.

Dog’s generally do not like to have people or other animals near their snouts as this is the way dogs show dominance. It also makes it easy for them to bite or nip as a reaction if your kiss surprises them.

Is Dog Licking a Sign of Affection?

Domestic dogs do lick as a sign of affection.

When dogs lick someone or something, it releases endorphins that make them feel happy. Licking can also be a bonding experience as the dog relates their feelings of happiness.

Do Dogs Know We Love Them?

There have been studies on canine cognition that have proven that dogs do know that their owners love them.

When dogs are around their owners, they release a hormone called oxytocin, which is a hormone related to feelings of love.

Best Way To Show Affection to Your Dog

There are a few different ways you can show your dog affection. Keep in mind that your dog’s idea of affection may be different from yours. Here are some of the best ways to show affection to your dog: 

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Related Questions: 

Do Dogs Like When You Talk To Them?

Dogs love to interact with their owners, and they love attention. Dogs learn to understand some words and commands, but they understand the tone of your voice more.

Talking to them in a calm and friendly way will improve your bond.

Do Dogs Like To Be Hugged?

Dogs, in general, do not like to be hugged. Some dogs may tolerate it, but it is better to show you affection for them in other ways that they understand. 

Do Dogs Like Kisses?

Some dogs may tolerate kisses, but most dogs do not like them or understand the reason for them.

It’s better to use a form of affection that dogs understand so they will be less likely to have a negative reaction.

Last update on 2022-09-30 at 03:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API