It is natural to be curious about our dog’s behaviors, such as a female dog licking a male dog. What does it mean? And is it normal?
So, why is your female dog licking your male dog?
Let’s look at the reasons behind a female dog licking a male dog and what you can do about it.
Why is my female dog licking my male dog?
A female dog licking a male dog is normal dog behavior that occurs due to mating behavior, grooming instincts, social bonding, display of dominance and sensing a scent of a medical problem on the male.
Reasons female dogs lick male dogs
A female dog may lick a male dog as part of her mating behavior. During the reproductive cycle, female dogs release pheromones that can attract male dogs to her in order to mate.
Licking the male dog is also a way for the female to signal her readiness for mating and encourage the male to respond.
Female dogs may also lick male dogs as a part of their natural grooming instinct. Licking helps to clean the fur and remove dirt, debris, or any unpleasant odors.
It is not uncommon for female dogs to take on the role of grooming their male counterparts, similar to how they would groom their own puppies.
Social bonding and affection
A female dog may lick a male dog to establish and strengthen social bonds. Just like humans hug or kiss to show affection, dogs use licking as their equivalent gesture.
Licking is a common form of communication and a way for dogs to express their affection and care for one another.
Display of dominance
Licking behavior can also be an expression of dominance. In some cases, a female dog may lick a male dog as a way to assert her authority or establish her position in the hierarchy.
This behavior is more likely to occur if the female dog is dominant or has a strong personality.
Scent of a medical problem
A dog licking another dog would not be to specifically target a medical problem, however, dogs use their sense of smell to gather information about other dogs.
They may pick up on changes in scent or behavior that could indicate an underlying health issue.
For example, if a male dog has an infection or an abnormal odor coming from the anal gland, the female dog may be drawn to that scent and show interest or lick the affected area.
A dog licking another dog is not a reliable indicator of a specific medical problem, but it is still important to pay attention to any changes in your male dog’s behavior or health and seek veterinary attention when needed.
What to do when my female dog is licking my male dog
Monitor the behavior
Carefully observe your dogs’ behavior and interaction. Observe their body language, overall behavior, and any signs of discomfort or distress.
If your female dog licks briefly and your male dog is friendly and doesn’t seem to mind, that is normal, social behavior.
However, if your female dog insists on licking and starts looking like an obsessive licking, or if the male dog seems bothered or stressed by the licking, address the situation.
Separate the dogs
If the licking behavior becomes persistent, intrusive, or uncomfortable for the male dog, consider separating them temporarily.
This can help provide a break and prevent any potential escalation of the behavior.
Offer toys, treats, or engage the dogs in a different activity to redirect their attention away from the licking behavior.
Consult your veterinarian
Talk to your veterinarian or a certified dog behaviorist for guidance. They can evaluate the specific behavior and provide recommendations based on their expertise.
They may want to observe your dogs’ interactions directly or ask you for more details to better understand the situation.
If the licking behavior is linked to underlying issues, they will help you develop a plan to address those concerns.
This might involve training, behavior modification techniques, or medical interventions if necessary.