Reprinted from WOOFipedia by the American Kennel Club
As you might have noticed, dogs just love to lick humans! Why all this licking? Well, the behavior is deeply ingrained in a dog. It’s visible early on, when puppies will lick each other as a way of interacting and of grooming each other. They sometimes lick their moms as a way of asking for some milk. When dogs are in packs, they will lick a dominant dog to ask for permission to eat communal food. So sometimes your dog wants something when he licks you. But there are other reasons for this slobbery behavior. Sometimes your dog just wants your attention. At other times, he might lick you as a way of playing with you (instead of biting you, which is how he plays with other dogs). Some researchers say that licking is just another way that dogs explore their environments. One thing’s for sure: The more you respond positively to your dog’s licks, the more likely he is to lick you. It sure is one way of getting your attention!