Why Does My Dog Lick Me in the Morning?

If your dog has been licking you, in the morning, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it. Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been licking you in the morning and what would make each of them more likely.

It would also be more likely to be the cause, if it stops licking you after you give it food and water. Anxiety It could be the case that something has been causing it to be anxious in the morning and the licking is a soothing behavior. This would be more likely if it starts becoming anxious when you are about to go to bed at night and if it sleeps in a different room to you.

If you give your dog things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it licks you then it will likely do it more in order to get more of those rewards. If it started doing it suddenly it could be due to things such as something causing it to be anxious, getting hungry or thirsty in the mornings or learning that the behavior is rewarded. For example, if it does not lick you on mornings after sleeping in the same room as you, it might be the case that it has some separation anxiety.

By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your specific dog and hopefully rule out medical causes. One way to do this would be to get up and turn away from it when it starts licking and to avoid giving it attention until it calms down.

Why does my dog kiss me so much in the morning?

Generally, dog owners believe that when a dog licks you in the morning, it is a way of greeting you. While this may be the case, there is another explanation. Your dog is so lick-happy in the morning because he likes the way you taste! According to scientific studies, your skin secretes sweat and oil during sleep!

Why does my dog randomly come up and lick me?

Many dog owners view dogs’ licking as a sign of affection similar to kissing. Obsessive licking may be a sign of underlying issues, including anxiety, boredom, or fear. Trick training is an effective way to redirect problem licking in a positive way.

What does it mean when a dog's lick you?

“Dogs often lick people to show affection, as a greeting, or to simply get our attention. Of course, if you happen to have a little food, lotion, or salty sweat on your skin, that may play a role as well.” Along with affection, these are some other things your dog actually wants from you.

Should I let my dog lick me all the time?

Simply put, humans are not meant to tolerate some of the bacteria dogs carry in their saliva. “It’s best to avoid them if you can.” You don’t need to stop letting your dog lick you entirely, but you should try to keep your face and any open wounds off-limits.

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This makes it easy for dog packs to form and for there to be a structured social order and microcommunity. This behavior creates harmony within the dog pack and promotes better social interactions.

Because this
hierarchical thinking is such a central part of dog psychology, they
will sometimes lick to show their submissiveness toward you. If this happens and one dog doesnt follow the rules, there are consequences, including temporary exclusion from play. For some people, this can be rather annoying,
but its important to remember that to a dog this is perfectly
normal and natural behavior.

Greeting
you with affection Getting
your undivided attention Tasting
your skin Reacting
to reinforcement behavior It might seem like an odd reason for licking, but dogs live by their sense of smell. They like to smell and taste their world, and your face might be tasty to them because of overnight sweat, perfumes, skin creams, and secreted oils.

It might sound gross, but in reality your dog is just enjoying a salty taste or something else on your skin. They will associate a positive reward with their licking behavior and
youll experience it in the morning and at other times too.

– 13 reasons why your dog licks you so much in the morning (when you wake up)#1: Your dog has your blessing#2: Your dog has a salt radar#3: I need something from you!#4: Attention, attention#5: Because Im happy!#6: Are you with me?#7: Its all about affection#8: Good morning!#9: Natural excitement#10: Anxiety#11: Boredom#12: Pent-up energy#13: Licking stems from puppyhood

Buckle up because youre about to discover the real reasons behind your dogs behavior. The role of puppy licking and why some dogs carry the behavior into adulthood.

What could happen during the night that makes your face attractive to your dog in the morning. Your dog licks you when you wake up due to one or more of the following reasons: theyre excited to see you after waking up, thats their way of showing affection, youre reinforcing the behavior (whether you realize it or not), they want attention, food or to go potty, and it makes them happy. Your dog is affectionate in the morning because theyre excited to see you and start the day.

The dogs were shown smiling and angry faces on a computer twice. Scientists measured how dogs perceived both types of faces. They found out dogs who were under the influence of oxytocin had much more interest in smiling faces.

Without being affected by oxytocin, the dogs focused mostly on the angry faces. Because these images managed to evoke the strongest reaction in canines. Walk on the chest, start licking, and then, shell lean on us.

Or in other words, youll experience a boost in oxytocin levels. A study found out theres a direct correlation between dog-to-human interaction, and vice-versa, and the rising levels of oxytocin. Your dog could be getting close to your face in the morning to check if youre still alive.

And lets not forget that mother dogs lick their puppies faces. When the older ones return from hunting, the puppies will lick the adults snouts. Whenever they see you come back home, they shake their bodies and tails as if its the first time they see you.

You being awake means your dogs one step closer to getting at least some excitement. In this case, licking is your dogs way to cope with the fact that theyre not getting enough physical and mental stimulation. According to Dr. Emily Blackwell, licking your face is something dogs will do for humans.

She elaborates that when we take care of dogs we become the primary caretaker. This is what makes it possible to see prolonged puppy behavior even in adult dogs. It would be uncomfortable for your dog if theyre thirsty but dont have access to water.

To ensure that your dog is well-hydrated, put a water bowl in the sleeping room. Or just dont close the door to the room in which the water bowl is. But bear in mind that some dogs wont stop eating until their food bowl is empty.

What you can do to avoid your dog starving or overeating, is to put their food in a slow-feeding bowl. This will allow your dog to eat slower and feel full faster. If your dog is sleeping in your room, one of the most natural things they can do in the morning is to lick you.

But if youre not a fan of these slobbery kisses, you can teach your dog to sleep somewhere else. It will smell of them, be their dedicated place they dont have to share with anyone. Remember: any type of reaction to your dogs licking is a reward for them.

Next time your dog licks you, try saying NO with a firm tone of voice. This will make your dog understand that licking is not your cup of tea. Bear in mind that your dog perceives petting, ear scratches, cuddles or even laughing as a reward.

Or, ask your dog to perform a simple command such as sit or lie down. This way, your dog will focus on another engaging activity and will forget about licking. Your dog will pick up on your energy and the training sessions will be more effective.

Fear in dogs as in humans is meant to protect the species.

Hunger or dehydration

The cause might be that it is hungry or thirsty. This would be more likely if it starts licking other things as well such as areas where there has been food and if it starts licking its lips a lot. If you think that this is the cause then give it a bowl of water and some food. If it drinks the water quickly then it probably was the reason. It would also be more likely to be the cause, if it stops licking you after you give it food and water.

Anxiety

It could be the case that something has been causing it to be anxious in the morning and the licking is a soothing behavior. The reason why it might be anxious could be that it has some separation anxiety and it licks. This would be more likely if it starts becoming anxious when you are about to go to bed at night and if it sleeps in a different room to you. It would also be more likely if it licks your skin excessively in the morning.

Attention seeking

The reason why it licks you might be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you give it extra attention when it does it and if it tends to get excited and tries to lick your face when it does it.In this case, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, exercising it and training it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with extra attention when it licks you.

Encouraging the behavior

It could be the case that you have encouraged it to lick you more by giving it things that it wants when it does it. If you give your dog things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it licks you then it will likely do it more in order to get more of those rewards.Instead, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to avoid rewarding it when it licks you.

Affection

The reason why it does it could be that it is showing that it loves you. Dogs are social animals and a part of the way they communicate with each other is by licking. This would be more likely if it does it in response to you being affectionate towards it such as when you are petting it. When it’s licking you it’s letting you know that it trusts you and that you are a part of its tribe.

It likes how you taste

Another possible reason why your dog licks you might be that it likes the way you taste. This would be more likely if your dog licks you more before you have showered when you might be more sweaty or if it licks where you have been sleeping because it likes the salty taste.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

Get help

If it has been licking you excessively, in the mornings, it would help to take it to a vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your specific dog and hopefully rule out medical causes.

Avoid encouraging it

One option would be to avoid rewarding it when it does it. By doing so you should be able to teach your dog that licking you does not result in it getting things that it wants. One way to do this would be to get up and turn away from it when it starts licking and to avoid giving it attention until it calms down.

Ensure that it has access to water

As mentioned above, it might be the case that it does it because it is thirsty or hungry in the mornings. It would help to make sure that it gets access to water in the mornings incase it has been doing it due to being thirsty.

Reward it for not licking

It would also help to reward it when it does not lick but it normally would. By doing so you should be able to teach it that not licking results in it getting rewards. If it does start to lick, you would stop rewarding it until it stops licking.You can watch the video below to see how to do it.This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

Where Does the Licking Come From?

To understand the licking behavior, it’s important to understand where it comes from. Your dog, and indeed every dog, communicates in very specific ways. They don’t have hands like us and they don’t talk like us. To communicate with each other, they will often lick.When dogs are puppies, their mother licks them clean. It’s one of the first things that she does after they are born, and so the behavior is set in motion.Licking puppies vigorously after birth also stimulates them to breathe their first breath. In this context, licking behavior is centrally important in a dog’s psyche.There are also other reasons for licking behavior in dog packs and in human and dog pack families:

1 – Communication and Bonding

Like us, dogs are very social creatures. This is one reason that we have bonded with them so closely over thousands of years of evolution.We think of dogs as part of our families because they integrate so closely and are so social with us. This is also because dogs think of their human families as their social pack.For a dog, the pack is everything. It provides them with social opportunities, play, and security. Because dogs are so social, they also need to communicate, just like we do.Licking another dog is a big part of this communication, and they can also communicate with us in the same way.

2 – Submissive Behavior

Dogs are also hierarchical. That is, their whole psychology is based around followers and leaders. In any dog pack, there will be an alpha dog, which can be male or female.The other dogs will generally be submissive types by nature who will follow an alpha. This makes it easy for dog packs to form and for there to be a structured social order and microcommunity.Submissive dogs will also use licking to show submissive behavior toward a dog that is higher in the social order. This behavior creates harmony within the dog pack and promotes better social interactions.In this context, it’s expected that submissive dogs will show their leaders submissive behavior to reinforce the pack hierarchy.Your dog will also behave like this in their human pack. Because this hierarchical thinking is such a central part of dog psychology, they will sometimes lick to show their submissiveness toward you. This can happen at any time.

3 – Reconciliation

Though we still don’t know everything there is to know about dogs and their behavior, recent studies conclude that dogs definitely enforce a type of moral code in their own dog packs. This can be witnessed during playful interactions.There are certain rules to dog play, including no biting or hurting. If this happens and one dog doesn’t follow the rules, there are consequences, including temporary exclusion from play.One way that a dog shows that they are sorry is to lick. They reconcile social relationships by licking other dogs.When it comes to dogs and humans, we will often interpret this as the dog saying that they are sorry for a certain behavior. We might shout at a dog, and the dog may try to reconcile with us by performing licking behaviors.

Does Your Skin Taste Good to Dogs?

While dog licking can happen at any time, and there are evolutionary reasons behind this behavior, what about excessive licking in the morning?Lots of dog owners find that their dog likes to lick them a lot on the face in the morning. For some people, this can be rather annoying, but it’s important to remember that to a dog this is perfectly normal and natural behavior. They are just doing what their own canine nature tells them to do.There are a few different reasons why your dog might enjoy licking your face in the morning, including:

Reinforcing Their Behavior

One of the biggest reasons your dog is licking your face is because they get a reaction from you. If you enjoy their licking each morning and give them affection when they do it, your dog will keep on doing it. They will associate a positive reward with their licking behavior and you’ll experience it in the morning and at other times too.Even if you react negatively, you might still be encouraging your dog to lick your face in the morning. After all, they’re getting your attention, so they’ll keep on doing it just to make you interact with them.

#1: Your dog has your blessing

Dogs are smart creatures. They’ll pick up on your ques. So whether you’re dissatisfied with their slobbery kisses or not, they’ll know.But maybe you’re the person who saysAfter all, isn’t licking the equivalent of kisses?Not necessarily but that’s how a lot of people perceive them.So a lot of dog parents will allow dog licking. And by doing so, they’ll condition their dog to continue. As a result, their dog will gladly do it in the future.But let’s look at the connection between you smiling and your dog licking you.What’s more, according to science, dogs are drawn to people who smile. Researchers tested the reactions of 43 dogs.The dogs were shown smiling and angry faces on a computer twice. The first time affected by oxytocin, and the second not.

#2: Your dog has a salt radar

Some nights are hotter than others. So we turn and we twist, and we… sweat. The latter makes our skin salty.And your dog is a sucker for salt.So as soon as your dog senses the salt, they’ll be all over you. Trying to lick it all off.Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Your dog loves how you taste.

#3:

Your dog will lick you to get you out of bed. Because they just can’t wait to go outside and relieve themselves.Or they’re up since some time. And are starting to feel hunger. After all, they’re dependent on you for breakfast.

#4: Attention, attention

Your dog knows what they want. And they want it now.It’s your attention they’re after.Maybe they’ve woken up several hours before you. And they want to play.I mean, they can’t do tug of war without you. Your role is important.Or they want your cuddles. So the licks are your dog’s way of sayingMy dog Lissa is exactly like that in the morning.She sleeps in our bed so when she wakes up, she’d climb on one of us. Walk on the chest, start licking, and then, she’ll lean on us. Expecting belly scratches and cuddles.

#5:

I’ve already mentioned the happiness hormone. A.k.a. oxytocin.Well, dogs get it when they look you in the eye. And also when they lick you.So, why should they stay away from an activity that makes them happy? Especially if you don’t mind and welcome it.Your dog will not only feel happy. Their stress levels will also reduce.And the best part?Your bond will become stronger. Because you too will feel the happiness. Or in other words, you’ll experience a boost in oxytocin levels.A study found out there’s a direct correlation between dog-to-human interaction, and vice-versa, and the rising levels of oxytocin.

#6:

Your dog could be getting close to your face in the morning to check if you’re still alive. Wild dogs have a history of checking each other’s breath.That’s how they know whether other pack members are still alive and well.So, this could be your dog’s method of asking

#7: It’s all about affection

Your dog would say so many things to you… if they could speak. But although they can’t, they’re masters of showing affection.They aren’t able to sayYour dog will jump on you, lick you, look at you and wag their tail. Some of the more vocal canines will even emit a bark.And let’s not forget that mother dogs lick their puppies’ faces. Both as a way to clean the pups and show them affection. So here’s where your dog learned that.

#8:

It’s a greeting.Wild dogs hang out in packs. When the older ones return from hunting, the puppies will lick the adults’ snouts.The cubs do this to greet the older ones. And to also show respect. It’s how they get accepted in the pack.

#9: Natural excitement

Your dog hasn’t seen you all night. Or, interacted with you, if you’d prefer.So as soon as they wake up, they’re ready to dive in a new adventure. With their favorite human buddy.And you know dogs. They’re so genuine and pure. Whenever they see you come back home, they shake their bodies and tails as if it’s the first time they see you.And pretty much the same thing happens once you wake up. See, dogs live in the moment. And they appreciate each and every one of these moments.

#10: Anxiety

Your dog licking you in the morning is not always a good sign. Sometimes this behavior indicates an underlying health issue. Like anxiety.When your dog is anxious, they will look for ways to calm themselves down. Some coping behaviors include obsessive-compulsive actions. Like excessive licking.You can look at this as the equivalent of human nail-biting.While licking is a healthy coping mechanism, obsessive licking signals danger.

#11: Boredom

Your dog has been up for hours. With no one to play with, nothing to eat, and nowhere to go.You’re their ticket to the outside world and socializing with other canines.So you sleeping equals boredom. You being awake means your dog’s one step closer to getting at least some excitement.Dogs are creatures of play. If there are no chew or dental toys in the room, your dog will just have to do something. Like interacting with you.

#12: Pent-up energy

Dogs are active animals. They need exercise and play. And if they lack either of the two, your dog is going to accumulate pent-up energy.Why is this bad?When your dog has too much energy and too little to spend it on, you’ll start witnessing undesirable behaviors.Apart from chewing cables, furniture or scratching at the wall, your dog might start licking you obsessively.In this case, licking is your dog’s way to cope with the fact that they’re not getting enough physical and mental stimulation.

#13: Licking stems from puppyhood

According to Dr. Emily Blackwell, licking your face is something dogs will do for humans. But not for other dogs.She elaborates that when we take care of dogs we become the primary caretaker. And in the role of such, we encourage puppy-like behavior.This is what makes it possible to see prolonged puppy behavior even in adult dogs.

#1: Ensure your dog has the essentials

It would be uncomfortable for your dog if they’re thirsty but don’t have access to water. This can make your dog lick you enthusiastically in the morning.After all, licking could be caused by a lot of reasons. But what you can do is rule out the chance of your dog being thirsty.To ensure that your dog is well-hydrated, put a water bowl in the sleeping room. Or just don’t close the door to the room in which the water bowl is.You could also leave food for your dog. But bear in mind that some dogs won’t stop eating until their food bowl is empty. Which could cause them to overeat.What you can do to avoid your dog starving or overeating, is to put their food in a slow-feeding bowl. This will allow your dog to eat slower and feel full faster.

#3: Don’t reinforce the behavior

Remember: any type of reaction to your dog’s licking is a reward for them. Regardless if you get irritated and scold them for doing it.Instead, do this:Next time your dog licks you, try saying “NO” with a firm tone of voice. Then, stand up and walk away.And while you do that, do not engage with your dog. Don’t look at them, talk to them or touch them. Simply ignore your dog.This will make your dog understand that licking is not your cup of tea. Plus, that it drives their favorite play buddy away. And that’s how your dog will eventually stop doing it.Bear in mind that your dog perceives petting, ear scratches, cuddles or even laughing as a reward. So if you don’t want licks, don’t engage in these behaviors.

#5: Keep calm and… train on

Positive reinforcement training can do wonders for your dog. But if they’re used to licking you in the morning, it will take some time before they grow out of it.Do not raise your tone of voice or yell at your dog. Instead, try to remain cool and collected. Your dog will pick up on your energy and the training sessions will be more effective.