Why Does My Dog Lick His Lips?

At Zara’s Doggy Day Care we’re always studying dog behaviour but more specifically in a group environment.

Every dog is required to be vetted by Zara and her dog Bentley before your dog can join the fun, so we’re going to start blogging same of the behaviours we actually look for during the dogs induction or whilst we’re monitoring our clients dogs at the centre.

 So….. why does my dog lick his lips & other dog’s lips?

As with humans, people often forget mouths are not just for eating, drinking, barking, they can reflect expressions and moods. – Same for dogs too!

A dog may lick his lips when they feel unsure about something, say meeting a group of dogs at a training session or new dogs at the park.

When your dog is licking his lips, near another dog, your dog is actually saying:

 “Just to let you know, I am okay”


Some more anxious dogs may lick their noses repeatedly and glance sideways with raised eyebrows so you can see the white eye areas. This is a more nervous gesture, in human terms, they would be biting their finger nails.

Dogs can sometimes lick their lips of they are thinking, for example, you’re teaching them agility or new training tricks such as roll over. – We, humans, actually do the same whilst we exercise high levels of concentration.

Dogs and more frequently puppies lick lips of senior dogs to show respect whilst adult dogs will lick a more superior dogs lips.

So next time you’re watching your dog, especially when they meet another dog, carefully watch your dog’s lips and tongue – you might be surprised what you find out about your dog.

….And here’s a lovely example of Rufus taken at Zara’s Doggy Day Care:


Rufus - dog licking - one happy dog

Rufus – dog licking – one happy dog!

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