Among humans, a kiss is an unmistakable display of affection, but researchers say dogs may have a different perspective.
The act of placing one’s lips on another’s is often seen as a show of love or, in certain cultures, as a simple expression of goodwill.
Giving a dog a kiss and a hug is second nature for many people who own pets, but is it a good idea?
Is it possible that canines grasp the meaning of a passionate peck?
“Dogs don’t perceive human kisses the same way that people do,” Dr. Mary R. Burch, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, and the AKC Family Dog Director has said.
She did, however, reveal the following to Newsweek: “Dogs may come to like the whole kissing experience, from being petted and spoken to in a loving tone, to getting their faces rubbed and having their tongues scratched.
“When I left the home, my spaniel would hop up on the sofa. When I got home, I’d always tell my dog, “I’m back… give me a kiss.”
“I would kiss him on the head, then scratch his neck. He would roll over and expose his belly for pets. It got to where when I returned, as I walked across the room, my dog would lift his chin waiting for the kiss…or so it seemed.
“Actually, he couldn’t wait for the kiss since he knew what came next: plenty of rubbing and petting.
“Animals in general, and dogs specifically, do not engage in romantic lip-locking. Dog owners should keep an eye on how their canine companion reacts when greeted with a kiss from a person since kissing is uniquely human behavior.
However, “certain dogs and breeds are more stoic and may not accept a kiss on the head.”
When Petted or Kissed, How Do Dogs React?
If your dog responds positively to your kisses, it may be because they understand the gesture as a kind of love.
This is not something pups can comprehend.
However, older dogs may learn to equate sloppy kisses and hugs with their owners’ approval, as such displays are usually followed by more attention and a prize.
Dogs may also become enthusiastic and wag their tails as they run circles around you. When a dog receives a kiss, it generally looks directly into your eyes to show you how much it trusts you.
When petting their pets, many people chat softly or sweetly to them. Once the dog learns that the kisses come with a softer voice, they may start to react positively to them.
So although dogs may not first comprehend the significance of a kiss, they may be taught to associate it with only good things.
Your dog may show signs of happiness, such as wagging its tail, appearing alert, licking your hand or face, acting excitedly, or rushing about. If your dog does not behave in this manner, you should find another means to express your love for it.
Signs Your Dog Loves You
Kim Melotte, the owner of Buddy and Lola, a company that sells natural supplements for pets, recommends that dog owners should also be on the lookout for other signals that their dog may not return their affection.
The magazine quoted her as saying, “Of course, all dogs have their unique way of reacting to kisses and hugs, but you should be able to tell from your pet’s body language that they appreciate it.”
- They want to touch and be touched. “This may be a brief nuzzle, a snuggle, or the legendary lean,” Melotte said.
- They plan to cuddle up next to you throughout the night. That’s what she told me, she said “By design, canines are social creatures and like to spend the night curled up close to one another.
- When they see you, they’ll be overjoyed. This is a common experience for anybody who has a dog.”
- They gaze at you with adoration. Dogs only make prolonged eye contact with people they are comfortable with, she said.
- They’re keeping an eye on you. Melotte said, “Your dog is there through all of it: cooking, watching TV, toilet visits.”
- It’s a licking match. She said that there are many possible explanations for why a dog would lick its owner, but that it is always a sign of love.
- They don’t mind lending one another their playthings. To that, she said, “Your dog could occasionally tease you with their toy when they want to play, but in a sincere display of devotion, they’ll deliver it as a gift.”
- When there’s food involved, you’re not even close to first. She remarked, “Except for a large quantity of food, a loving puppy will put you ahead of everything else.”