What could be cuter than your puppy giving his doggy pal a smooch on the nose? Nothing, really. But is your dog actually planting a kiss on his buddy? Yes, but that’s only one reason your dog may lick another dog’s muzzle.
What Your Dog Wants
During an introduction, a timid and lower-ranking dog will lower his head, avoid direct eye contact and gently extend his tongue to lick the muzzle of a more dominant, confident and higher-ranking dog. The first dog licks the muzzle of the second dog to simply reconfirm that he comes in peace. Think of this as the doggy equivalent of social kissing. Dogs who are already friends will also trade smooches. Two strongly bonded canine pals will lick and groom each other. They give each other “dog kisses” in displays of affection and friendship. In this scenario, the dogs’ social hierarchy is not an issue. These dogs know and trust each other. They also look out for each other: A dog who excessively licks the muzzle of his canine pal may be doing this because the dog has a tumor, cut or other medical need that requires attention and treatment. Puppies also “kiss” their mothers, but it’s not a gesture of affection. When puppies make the transition from suckling their mother’s teats for milk to eating semisolid food, they vigorously lick their mother’s muzzle in the hope of getting her to regurgitate some semi-digested food for them. If you have a dog nursing a litter of puppies, follow your vet’s guidelines to ensure that the puppies are getting the proper nutrition and that you know when and how to make the switch from their mother’s milk to puppy food.
How to Respond
Help your dog make friends with his peers: Carefully select confident-but-friendly and patient-tempered dogs to play with your shy dog, to help him hone his social skills. Also consider enrolling him in a special training class that focuses on socialization, taught by an instructor who is certified in, and practices, positive training techniques.
Do not interfere when your two dogs play “kissy face” briefly with each other. Sit back and enjoy this display of canine friendship. Then call them over and have them do a command such as “sit” or “shake paws.” Offer them treats simultaneously as a reward for being good to each other. If you foster a dog and have three or more resident dogs, introduce the foster dog to your brood one dog at a time and let muzzle-licking between them happen naturally. Start with your least reactive or most friendly dog. Never force an introduction between the dogs because this can deepen the foster dog’s submissiveness or spark a fight.Read more Vetstreet ‘Why Does My Dog…’ articles.
One of the qualities of dogs is their simplicity. They have very simple minds and maximize the use of their natural senses, like smell and touch. If you own a dog, you must have observed that your dog has certain odd habits. This habit includes but is not limited to the dog licking the privates of other dogs or puppies. You have probably been embarrassed by this act, most especially if your dog does this a lot or is obsessed with this habit. Don’t worry yourself much, there’s probably nothing wrong with your dog.
If you want to know how to stop your dog from licking other dogs privates, give the dog about ten to fifteen seconds while they indulge in the act then you beckon on your dog to come to you. You can distract them with either a treat or any toy they can chew on. Make use of command tones you use on your dog whenever you do not approve of whatever they are doing. Dogs learn and adapt fast, in no distant time they’ll know such an act is not approved and if they must, it should not exceed a few seconds.
Licking is a way for dogs to sense their world and it is normal. But when it becomes too frequent and excessive, you should be concerned. When you make attempts to stop or distract the dog from licking and it’s not effective, it is an indication of excessive licking. They tend to focus on a particular area, like their paw, privates, muzzle, as well as walls, carpets, and rugs.
Licking excessively could signify some health problems, ranging from allergies, irritations, arthritis, even anxiety. In the long run, it could lead to skin infections and other underlying complications that might emanate from the licking.
Is It Normal for Dogs to Lick Each Other’s Privates?
Yes, it is normal for dogs to lick each other’s privates. Every animal has their social dynamics, it’s simply its way of saying hello. Just like humans giving handshakes and hugs, the dogs also adopt licking as their form of exchanging pleasantries. Naturally, dogs are curious and they use their sense of taste like a basic tool for satisfying their curiosity.
There are a couple of reasons why dogs lick each other’s privates.
1. A way of saying hello
When dogs are meeting each other for the first time, it is not uncommon that they get to know each other better. This is prompted by the fact that dogs have sweat glands that release pheromones, and pheromones can say a lot about dogs, from their age to health, gender, sexual sensitivity, and even their mood. These information-carrying pheromones are domiciled around their privates.
Whenever you see your dog sniffing and even licking another dog’s privates, this is simply his way of knowing the other dog. Dogs communicate non-verbally through their bodies, just as they can signal body language.
The pheromones attract the dogs to another dog’s genitals, and licking them gives a different feeling than smelling them. Certainly, more advanced than a friendly hello a human would give, this conduct is biologically based so we let the dogs be.
2. To satisfy curiosity
It is like dogs to be curious. They make a stop, snort, and sometimes eat everything, even when it’s not ideal for them. They are not so keen on self-preservation, however, they are greatly loved. So when your dog sniffs another dog’s privates, they are only being curious.
In a similar manner they touch and eat things, in a bid to learn and see how things, including the genitals of other dogs, taste about themselves. Sniffing and licking another dog’s genitals is a natural way to express how curious they are.
3. Health problems
Although they sniff each other, dogs are amazingly intelligent and instinctive animals. This is why they are trained to render services. Dogs possess the ability to tell if something is wrong even if they can’t always tell what it is.
If your dog is forcibly licking another dog’s genitals, it could be an indication that there’s something wrong with the other dog. This is not a safe method, dogs are not doctors, but if you notice your dog forcibly licking another dog’s genitals, there may be a problem with the health of the other dog.
4. Personal hygiene
Licking can also be a demonstration of help and affection from the other caregiver. While it’s less common around a dog’s genitals, it does happen, especially in dogs with close relationships. The dog helps the other dog with cleaning and this is a sign of care and affection.
Think of it as a mom who takes care of her puppies. She will lick her puppies to keep them clean and make sure they are cared for, it is the same type of behavior that results when dogs lick other dogs’ genitals.
Licking is quite normal for dogs, however, if it is something you do not approve of your dog engaging in, then you could adopt ways to stop it.
Why Do Male Dogs Lick Other Male Dogs’ Privates?
Although it may seem “awkward” to you, gender is not a challenge for dogs while exhibiting this behavior. Always note that dogs licking the genitals of other dogs are perfectly normal social behaviors.
It is a means for dogs to learn things about each other through their senses, including taste. They learn things about other dogs by their senses and may want to compare the differences in taste between them and the new dog.
Why Do Female Dogs Lick Other Female Dogs?
A female dog licking another dog could be for different reasons. They do this to identify if a dog is male or female, to tell the mood also – happy or sad – and the state of their health. Smelling and licking are done to figure out more information about the other dog.
How to Stop Your Dog From Licking Other Dogs’ Privates?
At the instance you observe your dog licking other dog’s privates, there is a need for you to take close attention, and you must identify the body part where the licking is directed.
Carefully monitor your dog’s social interactions and behavior. If your dog licks for a short while and the other dog is friendly and doesn’t seem to care, this is normal social behavior. But if your dog persistently insists on licking the other dog and it seems like an obsession, it’s time to step in. After he has licked once or twice, go inside and call your dog and redirect him to another activity. You could have the licked dog examined by a veterinarian to make sure no health challenges are developing.
If the licked dog is perfectly healthy, you will make the instigator more likely to distract his thoughts from licking. Stop your dog from repeating the behavior over and over again by using a positive switch, then invest in reinforcing non-licking behavior. Punishment may seem like the best solution, but keep in mind that punishment tends to fall off later and will only help your dog lick your other dog when you are not around. Also, keep in mind that continually licking the other dog’s genitals, such as licking their ears, can make them prone to uncomfortable local irritation and infection.
Licking is a normal behavioral trait of dogs, however, when it is done in excess, it could be signs that there are certain underlying challenges needing attention. There are chances that your dog is only obsessed with licking and trying to distract it has proven abortive. It is normal for dogs to get obsessed with these behaviors. All you need to do is to seek professional help.
A normal licking should not exceed a few seconds. Fifteen seconds is just right for a dog to lick another dog’s privates. The act improves their social interaction and helps them get to know each other. As a dog owner, you must be very observant to ensure it doesn’t go beyond normal. Once it starts taking long, you should immediately call your dog over and give it something chewy or a form of a treat to distract it. There are occasions where you might have to pull your dog away gently.
Conclusively, you must note that it is normal for dogs to lick the privates of other dogs. It is gross, however, it is a social behavior that’s in line with humans having handshakes, hugs, or kissing. Dogs are very curious animals and it is in their biology to lick.