Do Dogs Like Kisses?

by Tom Ken

For many pet parents, it is natural to kiss their pups as a sign of affection. But while you might enjoy and look forward to it, the same is not always the case for your canine friend. Some might not like it, while many others do not understand what you are doing. Therefore, it is vital to know how the pet reacts to kisses and other signs of affection.

Do Dogs Like Kisses?

Do Dogs Like Kisses?
Do Dogs Like Kisses?

The act of kissing dogs is a little strange for them, given they do not naturally interact with each other using kisses. Dogs will not even approach others straight on as humans do when kissing them. Therefore, putting your face directly in the dog's front can be quite assertive, and some can feel threatened.

However, dogs are fast learners, and they quickly catch up on what different human behaviors towards them mean. Therefore, if you like kissing your pup, it eventually learns this is a sign of affection and hence enjoys or even reciprocates the kiss in its own way.

Do Dogs Understand Kisses?

Do Dogs Understand Kisses
Do Dogs Understand Kisses

Dogs do not have any inherent understanding of what kisses mean, so it is something that they find entirely foreign despite having been domesticated thousands of years ago.

While dogs like licking each other for grooming and bonding, this is not the same as humans kissing them. However, as you do it more and more, they catch on and can tolerate it for your sake.

That said, pups have varying personalities, just like human beings, and they also think differently. Therefore, their understanding of kisses varies from one to the other.

Is Kissing Your Dog Safe?

Safety largely depends on your relationship with the pet, whether you are kissing or interacting with it in any other way. If the pet trusts you and there is a good bond between the two of you, it will not feel threatened even if it does not want the kiss.

However, it is still crucial to watch out for the pup's reaction to your intention to kiss it and make a proper judgment on whether to proceed or not.

Signs of Dogs Feeling Kisses

Signs Of Dogs Feeling Kisses
Signs Of Dogs Feeling Kisses

1. Jumping Up and Trying to Lick You: If your pup is feeling the kisses, the chances are that it will start jumping up with excitement and also try to reciprocate it by licking you. The dog can again run around you and wiggle its tail as a sign of affection towards you.

2. Looking Straight Into Your Eyes: Dogs tend to avoid eye contact even with other dogs, but if your canine looks you straight in the eye as you kiss or cuddle it, this often means it feels the kiss and trusts you a lot.

3. Licking your Hand and Face: Although dogs do not know what kisses are, they will often try to reciprocate if they associate them with affection from their loved ones. Canines typically do this by licking your hand and face, the same way a mother dog would lick its pups to comfort them and show affection.

Other Ways That Dogs Show Affection

Dogs might not understand kisses well or reciprocate them, but they still have several other ways of showing affection to the parents and other people they love. One of the most common methods is using simple gestures like grooming which often entails licking your hand or body.

Playing with you is also a way of showing its affection, as dogs do not just play with anyone. If the pup likes cuddling close to you or following you around, these are signs of intense emotional attachment to you.


Kisses are one of the typical ways people use to show affection towards pets. But, while many dogs may not understand or even like kisses, they often learn it is a sign of love as you do it more. Even if your pup does not seem comfortable with kisses, there are many other ways of showing it affection, such as giving it treats, through play, and going for walks.

About Tom Ken

Tom has worked with many veterinary surgeons as a nurse at different veterinary clinics throughout his life.

There, he provides care for sick animals; such as: dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, and sometimes reptiles.

He has good work ethics and gentle hands; hence, the doctors as well the pet owners have come to love his presence alot.

With this site, he aims to help the readers ensure their pets' wellbeing, learn how to care, and proivide medical treatment as needed.

Joshua received Veterinary Technician Degree at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

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