Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Doggie Lovers,

I have a small Bichon whom I'm starting to grow really really attached to - I daydream about her at work, and I always miss her when I'm away from home.

So lately she's been wearing a cone due to a scab that formed on her neck. Given tha she can't itch her face/head/neck areas, I find myself constantly scratching it for her as I can see her obvious frustration.

When I scratch, sometimes she'll close her eyes and move closer to me, so I know she likes it.

However, sometimes she starts licking fervently at my hand or at the cone as I'm scratching. I wonder, do you think that licking is an appeasement behaviour or a calming behaviour of her trying to get me to stop? Or is it yet another sign that she enjoys what I'm doing?

Here are some things that I read licking may mean and I have no idea if any of this is true:
1. In the morning, when they lick you to wake up, they are kind of saying "Everything is ok, and the same, and the family structure is stable = i.e. you are my leader, etc".
2. Calming signal - when they lick their lips
3. Licking your chin means they want you to give them food/they are hungry
4. Licking your face excitedly means they are showing affection to you.

What do you all think it means when dogs lick you? What other ways do your dogs show you affection?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
Me too! I have heard a lot about how dogs don't always like the same kind of affection as humans, so, I wonder sometimes if my dogs are tolerating or enjoying some of the cuddles they get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,765 Posts
I think if she wanted you to stop, she'd move away and not come to you asking for skritchies :D. I have noticed that some cats will automatically lick/nibble (anything close enough, LOL) when you scratch their backs in a certain spot. Maybe some dogs do it too. Like their kicky spot, but with the tongue instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,391 Posts
Good Question. As Turid Rugaas said, Calming Signals are 'guidelines' and observations, so you should pay attention to what your dog is telling you.

So, yes, in general, I have found that a calm, confident dog may lick you (where a fearful, reactive dog might nip you) to indicate that he doesn't like what you are doing at that moment.

On the other hand, be careful about generalization to All dogs, b/c you never know what has been encouraged or discouraged. My dog will lick for affection, but he is careful about licking noses, b/c he nipped me and I yelped when he was a puppy... So, he'll soak my hair and eyes (I wish I had yelped for that :) ) but carefully avoid my nose.

My dog doesn't lick me to wake me or to get fed... but your descriptions sound plausible for your dog. If my 65 lb dog is in my lap and I am rubbing his belly, he will lean back to reward-lick me. And, if I stop rubbing, he may lick me to remind me that he's still waiting...

Interesting side note, when my dog whines or licks me when I have to perform a painful procedure (pulling a thorn, cleaning infected ears), if I stop and apologize, he will let me resume gently with minimal complaining. No, he doesn't know what an apology is, but after 10 years of rough play and inadvertent injury, he knows when the injury was not aggression/punishment/intentional. He will complain if I hurt him or continue too long...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,495 Posts
Bella will do the lip-licking thing when she is:

A. Hungry - that comes with a look of excitement and impatience
B. When she has to doodoo - then the butt cheek squeeze appearance is obvious
C. When scratches feel ooooooh sooo gooood - then she has the half-closed eyes and relaxed ear position
D. When something I am doing does not feel very good (like cleaning up boo boo's etc) - I think that's the "calming signal" ....

The meaning of the licks need to be combined with the rest of the body posture or situation.

She rarely licks me. I've been trying to teach her "kissies!" - I feel like she doesn't love me.... =(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Bella will do the lip-licking thing when she is:

A. Hungry - that comes with a look of excitement and impatience
B. When she has to doodoo - then the butt cheek squeeze appearance is obvious
C. When scratches feel ooooooh sooo gooood - then she has the half-closed eyes and relaxed ear position
D. When something I am doing does not feel very good (like cleaning up boo boo's etc) - I think that's the "calming signal" ....

The meaning of the licks need to be combined with the rest of the body posture or situation.

She rarely licks me. I've been trying to teach her "kissies!" - I feel like she doesn't love me.... =(

Oohhh interesting!
I dunno one time it was kinda weird cuz Butters was really intensely focused on licking this one area of my skin on my arm, and she was just going at it, with presssure too! It was so bizarre and I have no clue why she does that. Then again, she does that to blankets as well, the ones shes lying on, so I don't get it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,495 Posts
Oohhh interesting!
I dunno one time it was kinda weird cuz Butters was really intensely focused on licking this one area of my skin on my arm, and she was just going at it, with presssure too! It was so bizarre and I have no clue why she does that. Then again, she does that to blankets as well, the ones shes lying on, so I don't get it...
LOL...the only time Bella licks me is if I dribble food on myself. Maybe you had a dab of gravy on your arm or something. :biggrin1:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
LOL...the only time Bella licks me is if I dribble food on myself. Maybe you had a dab of gravy on your arm or something. :biggrin1:
Hhahahha probably - she always wants to lick me when I'm sweaty or when my feet smell cheesy. It's so gross. Dogs are gross hahah I love them.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top