Dogs Grooming Each Other

Cats do it all the time…grooming each other, that is.  But have you ever seen dogs grooming each other?  My two dogs do it occasionally, and I started wondering if this was a normal thing or if they were just weirdos.

I’ve found that it’s not that unusual, and they may do it for a variety of reasons.  For one thing, it can be a social bonding behavior, or a sign of friendship.  It shows that they like and accept one another.  If one dog does it more than the other it may be a sign that the lickee is the one in control, while the licker is saying that he’s okay with that.

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Chuey and Cash have been together for four years now, but it’s only been in the last year or so that they have started doing this more.  Chuey definitely has seniority, and it took him awhile to accept Cash as the newcomer.  While Cash is more energetic and aggressive, he still likes to groom his brother Chuey.  Since Chuey has white fur he often has the dark tear stains under his eyes that white dogs seem to be prone to.  I have tried different solutions from the pet store to try to keep his under eye area white, but none seems to work as well as a good “cleaning” from Cash.

I really doubt that Cash is being submissive, though.  My guess would be that since tears are salty he probably just likes the taste.  Whatever, it does work.

On the other hand, Chuey licks inside Cash’s ears.  Cash is prone to getting ear infections, and Chuey keeping his ears clean seems to help cut down on that.

So whatever their reason, they’re helping each other out and I’m okay with that.  It’s just when they start licking each other’s private parts that I don’t particularly care for.  🙂

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Why Does Your Dog Like to Lick You?

Maybe it’s okay with you when your dog greets you with “kisses” all over your face every time you come home, if so, you’re not alone.  However, there are other people (myself included) who love their dogs with all their hearts but still don’t want dog spit all over their face, especially right on the lips.  In fact, Chuey is the one who wants to lick everybody and everything, but he knows the command, “don’t lick” and will stop it immediately when I tell him to.

There are several reasons dogs want to lick us.

  • They simply like the way you taste, especially if you are all sweaty and salty tasting.
  • To show submission.  This is particularly true if your dog recognizes you as the leader of the pack.
  • Perhaps you’ve unwittingly taught him that.  If every time you come home, your dog has given you wet smooches, and then you give him a treat, then he’s learned to expect a reward after that.
  • Your dog just enjoys your company and he wants to show affection….ah, so sweet.

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Finally, if your dog always wants to lick a certain spot, on you, another dog or himself, this could indicate a health problem.  There have even been instances where dogs have detected cancer or diabetes.  So if this is a persistent issue involving a certain “hot spot,” you might want to get it checked out.  Who knows, your dog could even be saving your life!

How do you feel about getting doggie kisses on the face?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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