Have you just given your pup a big sloppy kiss? Instead of the reaction you were waiting for, which was probably a big, reciprocal lick on your cheek or something similar, did he start crying or whimpering? It can take you quite by surprise when your dog does that, can't it? Were you shocked by the way he reacted to your demonstration of affection? It's quite understandable if you were. All you were thinking of doing was showing your dog you love him and instead you made him cry. That can be quite upsetting, can't it? So why do dogs cry when you kiss them?
The Root of the Behavior
Just because your pup's love for you is completely unconditional, doesn't mean he understands everything you do. Kissing doesn't come naturally to our four-legged friends and it can, and often does, just confuse them when we try to do it to them. Humans and dogs, although we cohabitate really well, have very different ways of expressing our emotions. While kissing and hugging come naturally to us as a form of expressing our love, it can cause your dog to have a panic attack. Kissing can give him serious stress. If your actions, as much as they are well intended, make him feel anxious in any way, then he will start to whine or cry. If you grab your dog in a tight hug then press your face close to his to deliver a big smackeroo on his muzzle, his canine brain is more than likely going to completely misinterpret your actions.
Your dog considers you to be the pack leader. You are the alpha. When you lean in close and bear down on him, you're displaying, to him at least, your dominance. He really doesn't know what's coming next. He may well think he's about to receive some disciplinary action or get bitten rather than be the recipient of love and affection. Also, dogs don't like to be restrained in any way. Yes, they do eventually get accustomed to being on a leash, but that doesn't come easily. When you wrap your arms around your pup, his natural instinct is to want to break free of your grip and put some distance between you. It's a form of self protection. If he'd still been a wild creature, anything that got hold of him would probably have the intention of eating him. He's going to attempt to avoid being another animal's dinner at all cost. Who wouldn't?
Encouraging the Behavior
As human beings, we understand the need to respect each other's personal space. Nobody likes another person to get too close unless they're invited to do so. Animals, including our dogs, are no different. When you kiss your dog, you are basically crossing the limits of the social barrier and invading his personal space. If he's not expecting it, he could react as if he's under attack and rather than return your affection, he could snap or bite you. If you've just acquired a new puppy it's almost impossible to restrain from kissing and hugging him. In fact, it's difficult not to be constantly cuddling him because he really is just too cute and that's understandable.
But sadly, overdoing displaying your affection can make your pup feel threatened which is the complete opposite of your intentions. Puppies take a bit of time to adjust to their new home. It also takes time for them to get to know and understand that their pet owner doesn't mean them any harm. While your puppy is still settling in, it's often better to hold back on kissing him too much. It will be much more comfortable for him if you wait until he comes to you and asks for your attention.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you're not sure of the correct way to show your dog how much you care about him, consider consulting with a qualified dog handler. They'll be able to explain some simple and much better methods, other than kissing, for expressing affection for your dog which he will understand and appreciate. If your new puppy doesn't seem to be settling in or is having difficulty adjusting to you, you might want to think about having a chat with a professional dog trainer. They'll be able to advise you on how to help him adapt to his new situation without causing him too much stress.
Although we just want to show our dogs we love them with a big kiss, a lot of dogs just do not like it. If your pup is really averse to you kissing him, try to remember what you have recently been eating. He just might be crying because he does not like the smell of garlic on your breath.
By a Chihuahua lover Liz Correal
Published: 03/28/2018, edited: 01/30/2020
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