When we humans lick the corners of our mouths, it is probably because there is delicious food on the table in front of us. But dogs do that too, it’s just that it sends a completely different signal. You may have already observed this with your four-legged friend and wondered why he or she is doing this. Appetite? Or is your loved one ill? Some dog owners also think their dog can smile or grin, depending on the breed. Many peculiarities of our dogs are known to us and unambiguous: trembling means fear, just like pinching the tail. Crouching means submission and big ears show discomfort. Pricked ears show that the animal is very attentive and maybe “lurking” for something. Baring teeth can also happen in the game, but here too it is important to be able to classify it exactly. So that you can understand your sweetheart well, I have dealt with his signal of licking his lips for you.
When Does the Dog Lick the Corners of Its Mouth?
There are a few different ways your dog will lick its lips. If it is still a small puppy, it will lick its mouth to encourage you to eat. With adult four-legged friends it is often about appeasement. The corners of the mouth are also quickly licked as a greeting. This release of tension can be accompanied by crouching and also the loss of urine. This has to do with the fact that your darling wants to make himself very small, so to speak.
What is He Trying to Tell You About This Behavior?
In general, this rite is more of a declaration of submission. Your dog wants to use this to mitigate conflicts. Therefore, you will notice this behavior in your animal especially when you scold or he is in a sticky situation with fellow dogs that could lead to a scuffle.
Puppies, on the other hand, are more likely to beg for food.
Should You Do Something About It and If So – What?
You should simply perceive licking your dog’s lips as an appeasement gesture. You shouldn’t and couldn’t do anything about it. However, you can do something about situations in which your dog is stressed and insecure – because that is exactly what this behavior means at the same time. Something is uncomfortable for him and you should be able to differentiate whether you can help him now: Your fur child can certainly solve conflicts with other dogs all by himself. There’s always a scramble for space.
By the way, if your dog licks another dog’s lips, it’s like a kiss and has nothing to do with stress.
Even after castration, for example, this behavior can suddenly occur. This could be an irritating moment for you. Your dog’s hormonal balance is now changing and so the previously cheeky, bold dogs that would like to belong to the top of the pack are becoming calmer and relatively submissive animals.