You just arrive home after a long day at work and your Pug greets you at the door. You bend down to give her a hug and she starts slobbering you with some doggie kisses. She seems to do this on a regular basis it’s not unusual to wonder “why does my Pug lick me and is it normal?”
Why Does My Pug Lick Me So Much?
Unlike humans, dogs can’t talk, so they have to use body language to communicate with their owners. Just like barking, Licking is a common canine tool that your dog will use to communicate with you.
The Pug behavior differs from some dogs, but every dog regardless of the breed will give their owner canine kisses.
Those “doggie kisses” may have several meanings behind them, so let’s take a closer look at what they can mean.
Many dog lovers call it a “doggie kiss,” because they believe their dog is trying to tell them they love them. Licking is a common way canines express their affection.
They get excited when you get home and they’ll lick your face the moment they get a chance. It’s the same reason that they bond with you and follow you around the house.
If you let them, they will sit on your lap while you’re watching TV and lick your arms, fingers, and face until you tell them to stop.
You’re their person and they want to show you how much they really care. The Pug licking process also releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin and serotonin that makes your pooch feel warm and fuzzy.
Remember that warm fuzzy feeling you got when you kissed your first boyfriend or girlfriend? Well, those are the same feelings your dog gets when she’s around you.
2. I Need Attention
Pugs don’t want to be ignored and if they are craving attention, they may greet you with a tongue kiss because they know it will get our attention.
Remember that first time your puppy kissed you and you were so happy, you rewarded her with belly rubs, hugs, and tons of petting?
Well, your dog realized that when she licks you, she gets attention. Even if you really didn’t want the kiss, you still acknowledged her by pushing her away.
She doesn’t understand whether your response is negative or positive, all she knows is that when she licks your hands, feet, face or hands, you’ll give her attention. They’ve learned the behavior because you’ve given them attention whenever they kissed you.
3. You Taste Yummy
If your Pug suddenly starts licking you when you get home, it could be because you taste nice! When you leave the house, you expose yourself to several different smells.
For instance, you go to lunch with some girlfriends, at a restaurant. You’re surrounded by several different smells from the food that is cooking in the back, and those smells linger on your skin.
When you get home, your pooch starts licking you and won’t stop because your skin tastes yummy to them. It’s also one of the reasons dogs will sniff you after you’ve been outside all day, they can smell all kinds of smells on you.
Just like your dog licks their bowl food bowl after every meal, and the floor where you gave them the treat, they love the salty taste of your skin.
4. Sensory Tool
Unlike humans, dogs can’t examine things with their paws. Therefore, they use their tongs to explore. According to Psychology Today, Canines have millions of sensory cells on their tongues, which is why they have much better taste buds than humans.
Some dogs will engage in excessive licking behavior when they are rough playing with people. If you engage in rough playing with your Pug, they will most likely substitute their tongue instead of their teeth, so they don’t accidentally bite you.
Related: Why Do Pugs Lick So Much?
#6 Survival Instinct
Puppies lick their mothers, as a way to communicate that they were hungry. As long as the mother was feeling good, she would then allow the pup to eat.
Lower pack members in the wild will lick their superiors as a way to get an invitation to dine on prey. Canines lick their superiors to show them respect and submission.
While your Pug is not a wild animal, that behavior is inbred in domesticated canines. After all, she sees you as the pack leader and knows that you provide the food, water, and overall care.
Is It Safe For Dogs To Lick You?
For the most part, it is safe to get an occasional doggie kiss. However, there was a recent report in Milwaukee, where the bacteria of dog saliva linked to the death of a woman. (source)
That was an unusual case, but it is true that dogs’ saliva does have bacteria, so don’t believe that the “old myth” that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.
It’s not true, a dog’s mouth contains a lot of bacteria, which is why dog bites are so dangerous and require medical attention. Most people will be fine when your Pug licks you, as long as they are not licking an open wound.
The only thing that you’ll experience is tons of doggie slobber, which can be gross if it happens all the time.
How To Get Your Pug To Stop Licking You?
While your four-legged friend is just trying to show you some affection, I realize that it can be irritating and you don’t want to be constantly wiping the saliva from your face. Here are some things you can try to stop your dog from licking you so much.
Change Your Scent
This may sound funny, but your Pug may love the lotion you use on your body. Mindy my black Pug used to lick my legs, and arms whenever I would put coconut lotion on.
In fact, she would start licking me as soon as she saw me slathering it on my body.
If your dog loves the taste of your lotion, body wash, cologne, perfume or etc. It’s time to change the type you use so your dog won’t be tempted to lick you.
Ignore Your Pooch
As I mentioned above, dogs generally lick because they know it gets them attention. They walk up to you and give you a kiss, in return, you pet them. (or like I used to do, kiss them back)
Secretly, you’re rewarding and encouraging the behavior. Therefore your pooch just continues doing it.
If you’re ready to stop this behavior, then it’s time to start ignoring them. Instead of giving them attention when they kiss you, don’t give them any attention.
Eventually, your Pug will realize that you don’t respond to their doggie smooches, so they’ll stop.
Say No And Walk Away
If ignoring them doesn’t seem to be working, then start saying “No!” in a firm voice and walk away. The more often you do this will make your pooch realize that that behavior is considered bad.
Once your dog realizes you don’t enjoy the behavior, they won’t kiss you anymore. So if you do enjoy the occasional kiss, you may want to consider teaching them a new command.
Teach Them A New Command
I realize that ignoring your pet can be insensitive, so you can train your dog by attaching a word or phrase such as “kiss me” or “gimme some love” to the behavior.
Just like a dog can learn common commands, it’s not impossible to teach them to give you a kiss whenever you want one.
The best part is that you can teach them to kiss you on your hand, cheek, or chin. It’s up to you to tell your Pug where they are allowed to kiss you.
Just know that it’s going to take some time and patience to train them to kiss you on command. So be sure and stick with the training, and if you’re a new dog owner, you may want to consider hiring a dog trainer to help you out.
Final Word On Pug Licking
Some Pugs will lick you out of affection or because they like the taste of your salty skin. Either way, it’s safe to cherish those doggie kisses.
I know you don’t always want to deal with doggie slobber, but it’s just a common canine behavior. Some Pugs will take it to the extreme, and lick everything.
If you notice your Pug licking everything in your home, including you all the time, you may want to contact your veterinarian to make sure there are no hidden health problems going on.
References And Further Reading
Science Direct – T King, P.H. Hemsworth, G.J Coleman – Fear Of Novel And Startling Stimuli In Domestic Dogs