Why Do Poodles Lick People?

Did you ever wonder Why Do Poodles Lick People?  I had a cocker spaniel who would give me a lick or two, but my miniature poodle, Lucy, just licks and slurps me like crazy and won’t stop until I get up.

Some say it’s because your poodle or dog is expressing love and affection.  I know that Lucy is so happy to see me every day that I get a wet sloppy greeting from her on my face.  I think it’s part affection and part respect.  In a way, I think she is letting me know I am in charge.  In the wild, the more subordinate dogs will lick the pack leaders.   Sometimes Lucy will lick me when someone comes into the house she does not know.  This sort of lets the person know that I am important to them.

poodle licking

Lucy our poodle loves to lick my face

For one thing, the licking process is learned early on in dogs from the mother.  The mother will lick it’s newborn pups to stimulate them and get them to begin breathing, as well as getting them cleaned up a bit.  The licking process is an instinctive one and it goes back to when they were born.

Poodles like to lick their human friends because we taste good.  In actuality, our skin is slightly salty and our glands are constantly emitting our scent along with salt.  Dogs get information from their nose and we are unconsciously giving information to our poodles all of the time.

Why Do Poodles Lick People?

Taken from petplace.com, the following excerpt offers a perspective on the question of why poodles like to lick people.

I don’t believe dogs express their sometimes quite profound feelings for their owners by licking or “kissing.” In fact, I don’t believe dogs really “kiss” at all. Perhaps some dogs are so awed by their owners that they feel the need to signal their ongoing deference by face licking. Call it love, if you will.

One other thing we should always bear in mind is that any behavior can be enhanced learning. Psychologist BF Skinner immortalized the concept that reward increases the likelihood of a response. So it is with licking. If a dog licks his owner’s face – perhaps as a vestige of maternal lip licking, perhaps out of anxiety, or just because his owner’s face tastes salty – and his behavior is greeted with attention, hugs and (human) kisses, he will likely repeat the behavior in future. In such cases the dog learns just how to push he owners buttons and the owner becomes analogous to a vending machine.

So while face licking may not represent true romantic love, it nevertheless can sometimes be interpreted as some token of a dog’s affection or respect … and that’s nothing to sniff at.

Original story may be found here

Be it instinct, or be it a way of your dog feeling comfort or showing it’s respect, it is a part of being a poodle or a dog.  There may be many different reasons as to the question of Why Do Poodles Lick People.  For me, it is a part of my daily life with Lucy, the poodle, and I feel somehow more connected with her when she is giving me her kisses and licks.  It’s funny though, that once she starts, it’s hard to get her to stop licking me

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