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A look into the 'whys' of dog greetings...

"At the very least, these results seem to show that one of the popular explanations for why dogs tend to lick people — specifically, that they seek a salty taste — seems to have no empirical support. So that leaves us with the first two hypotheses: (1) Dogs lick us because in their evolutionary past this was a way for wild canine pups to solicit food from adults, and licking is simply a holdover indicating that the dogs would like a snack; or (2) It is a gesture of affection that is a residual from the affection felt by puppies when their mother groomed them by licking. As yet we have no reason to favor one or the other of these explanations. In any event, if these new data are to be believed, the salt hypothesis is off the table of possible explanations."

Why Do Dogs Lick People?
 

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Hmm. Sweat contains more substances than just salt. I notice my boys sometimes lick things they are sniffing. I suspect touching things with their damp tongues activates interesting smells and helps get the scents up into their nasal cavities. Ritter used to go crazy with licking when I got out of the shower. He seemed utterly fascinated by my clean, soap scented legs.
 

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The science experiment seemed pretty simple, like something we could do on the forums and at home with salt water.

I like to test the dog regurgitation one when I'm cooking food lol. I'll put my face next to Basils to solicit kisses.
 

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It is not something I encourage, but I have noticed that with Freddy it is a puppy self soothing behaviour. He likes to chew something to send himself to sleep; settling down snuggled up to me in bed I was the obvious thing. Over a few days of my fairly strenuous objections he moderated chewing to licking, and I have now largely redirected that to a soft toy. Sophy licks when she is stressed; as a quick "don't stop what you were doing" indicator; or a more intense "please don't", again very much a gentler alternative to mouthing. I do get licking and nuzzling from both the adult dogs when I come home after an absence, in a display of pack solidarity.

So by the time you consider context, training, owner preference, etc, etc it seems a field ripe for investigation!
 

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Mine tries to lick me more than usual after a shower in the spots I apply moisturizing cream to. Usually on my lower legs/ankles and hands. I use Aveeno unscented, and I have to cover up quick with socks and pants as he can get quite annoying.
 

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I don’t like licking on me or the dog doing it as a self-soothing behavior on itself. The latter to me is a possible allergy symptom. That said, if the three of us are tucked in bed, with Buck hogging 3/4 of the middle and I turn my face: slurpee kisses. Ugh!
 
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