Kisses amongst humans have always been a sign of affection. We kiss our partners, our family members, and our children to signify our love for them.
Of course, in some countries, it is seen as a greeting but it is still a positive gesture. For animal lovers, giving their pets such as cats and dogs a kiss and cuddle is something that comes as second nature. But do dogs feel and understand when you kiss them?
Signs of Dogs Feeling Kisses
When you kiss your dog, you may notice signs that indicate they know that the kiss is a gesture of affection. As puppies, this is not something that dogs would recognize, although they would feel you doing it. However, as they get older they associate the kisses and cuddles with you being happy with them. They then realize that the kiss is a good sign.
When you kiss your dog, you may notice that they jump up and try to lick you, which is your pooch’s sign of affection. they may also become excited and run around you with their tail wagging.
Many dogs will look straight into your eyes when you kiss and cuddle them, and it is often easy to see just how much they trust you when receiving this type of attention. Many dog owners talk to their dogs in a cutesy or gentle tone when they are kissing them, and the dog learns to associate the kisses with the gentle tone. They will, therefore, respond accordingly, and once they get used to kisses and cuddles, will often show signs of affection back in their own doggy way.
The body language that your dog uses when you kiss them will be an indicator that they know it is a sign of affection. Of course, dogs don’t know what kisses actually are, but they learn to realize that they are good. Some of the signs your pooch may display include wagging their tail, looking alert, licking your hand or face, acting excited, and running around. Of course, all dogs have their own way of responding to kisses and cuddles, but you should be able to tell from your pet’s body language that they like it.
When you kiss a young puppy, you may not notice any signs of recognition at all because they haven’t yet learned to associate the kisses with affection. However, as they get older, dogs tend to return these signs of affection using methods such as licking and jumping up. Some may even nuzzle up to you rather than get excitable – it varies based on the personality of the dog.
The History of Dogs and Kisses
Throughout history, kisses have always been associated with pleasant gestures such as love, affection, and greetings. However, this is only among humans when they kiss one another. There may have been a time when owners didn’t kiss and cuddle their pets because they weren’t really considered part of the family.
However, these days, dogs are very much a part of the family and therefore they receive the same affection and love from owners. Most owners will kiss and cuddle their dogs regularly to show them love and affection.
Research carried out over the years has helped experts to learn how dogs respond to certain gestures from humans. Doggy communication methods are very different from human ones, but they are able to figure out our communication through development over the centuries. We now know that dogs respond to tone when it comes to communication with their owners, and if your kisses are accompanied with a pleasant and gentle tone, they will start associating that particular gesture with that happiness.
The Science of Dogs and Kisses
When dogs lick one another – or even themselves – this results in the release of endorphins, so for them, licking is the dog version of kissing. Of course, they don’t realize that because they don’t know what a kiss is. However, they are used to being licked by their mother from birth and then maybe by other dogs that they are friendly with or by siblings as they grow older. While kissing them is not the same as their mother licking them, it is the closest a human can come to replicating this.
Training Dogs to Kiss
It is always a good idea to start kissing and cuddling your dog as a puppy if you are able to. This not only helps your pooch to get used to kisses but also gets them used to being handled, which is important! It can even help with bonding when started at a young age.
As your dog gets older, they will then already have learned to associate kisses with affection. Of course, this is something that you may not be able to do. For instance, if you take on a dog at an older age, you will need to start showing affection later in their life. This may prove difficult if you have taken on a rescue dog or abused dog, as they will already have trust issues. However, you need to persevere and take your time in order to gain their trust, and gradual kisses and cuddles are a great way to do this.
If you want to teach your dog how to kiss you, this can be done relatively easily. You can hold a treat in your hand and encourage your pooch to lick the hand with the treat. Once they have started doing this, begin using the word ‘kisses’ or a similar word so that they form a link between that word and licking your hand.
You can also teach your dog to kiss or bump your nose by holding a treat close to your nose and doing the same thing. Once your pooch gets used to this, you won’t even need to hold the treats – you can just say the word ‘kisses’ and they will know exactly what is expected. This is a simple and effective way to train your dog to kiss you.
By Darlene Stott
Published: 03/05/2018, edited: 05/21/2021