Do dogs understand kisses?
Kissing is a surefire way to show you care about humans, but experts reveal dogs can see things a little differently.
Planting one’s lips on another person is mostly seen as a sign of affection or, in other cultures, simply as a positive gesture.
For many pet owners, kissing and cuddling their puppies is something that comes as second nature, but is it really a good idea?
Do dogs understand kisses?
Dr. Mary R. Burch, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Director of the AKC Family Dog, believes that “dogs don’t understand human kisses the way humans do.”
However, she said Newsweek“From repeated association with petting and affectionate tones in the owner’s voice, dogs can move beyond kissing tolerance to loving everything that surrounds the kissing experience.
“I had a spaniel that would climb on the couch when I left the house. Often when I came home, I would go up to my dog and say, ‘I’m back…give me a kiss.’
“I was kissing him on the head and then scratching his neck. He would roll over and expose his belly to the pets. It happened to where when I came back, as I was crossing the room, my dog was throwing his head up. chin waiting for the kiss. …or so it seemed.
“What he was really expecting was the pets and belly rubs that always followed the kiss.
“Dogs and other animals don’t kiss. Kissing is a human thing, and owners need to watch how their dogs react to a kiss from a human.
“Some dogs and breeds are more stoic and might not appreciate a kiss on the head.”
How do dogs react to kisses?
When you kiss your dog, you may notice signs that suggest he recognizes a kiss as a sign of affection.
However, as puppies, it’s not something they would understand.
But, as dogs age, they may associate kisses and hugs with their owners being happy with them, as petting and treats often follow.
Dogs can also get excited and run around you wagging their tails. Many dogs will look you straight in the eye when you kiss them, and it’s often easy to see how much they trust you when they receive this kind of attention.
Many dog owners talk to their dogs in a cute or sweet way when they kiss them. The dog then learns to associate kisses with a warmer tone, which means they might react accordingly.
So while dogs may not understand what kisses really mean, eventually they can learn to realize that they are positive messages.
Signs your dog may display include tail wagging, looking alert, licking your hand or face, excited behavior and running around. However, if your dog doesn’t react that way, it’s best to find another way to show you care.
Signs your dog loves you
Kim Melotte, of natural pet supplement supplier Buddy and Lola, suggests that there are several other signs dog owners should look out for that indicate their love is going unrewarded.
She said Newsweek“Of course, all dogs react to kisses and cuddles in their own way, but you should be able to tell from your pet’s body language that he likes it.
- They crave physical contact. Melotte said, “It can take the form of a quick nudge, a hug, or the famous lean.”
- They want to sleep near you. She said: “Dogs by nature sleep in packs next to each other.
- They are happy to see you. All dog owners know this scene.”
- They give you puppy eyes. She added: “Eye contact is a big step for dogs, and that’s only for someone they love and trust.”
- They are watching you. Melotte said: “Cooking, watching TV, going to the bathroom – your dog is there through it all.”
- They will lick you. She said: “When your dog licks you it could be for different reasons, but ultimately it’s a loving gesture.”
- They share their toys. She added: “Your dog may sometimes tease you with his toy when he wants to play, but in a genuine show of affection he will present it as a gift.”
- You’re only second place when there’s food involved. She said: “A puppy that loves you will put you first above all but a big bowl of food.”