Why Is My Male Dog Licking My Female Dog’s Nipples?

Dogs display a number of unusual behaviors and as a dog owner you have probably experienced some at one point. One of these behaviors is a male dog licking a female dog’s nipples.

If your male dog is licking your female dogs nipples, we outline the reasons why and what to do.

Why is my male dog licking my female dog's nipples?

A male dog licking a female dog’s nipples is normal dog behavior that occurs due to mating behavior, grooming instincts, social bonding, and sensing a scent of a medical problem on the female.

why is my male dog licking my female dogs nipples

Reasons male dogs lick female dog’s nipples

Mating behavior

A male dog may lick a female 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. 

Male dogs possess an extraordinary sense of smell and can detect the pheromones. Their licking behavior is an instinctive response to the female dog’s scent, indicating their readiness for mating.



A male dog may also lick a female dog’s nipples as part of their natural grooming instinct. Licking helps to clean the fur and remove dirt, debris, or any unpleasant odors.

Grooming behavior in dogs is often reciprocated, meaning that the female dog may also groom the male dog in return.

This mutual grooming can reinforce social bonding and trust between dogs, and help them establish and maintain their hierarchy and roles within a pack.

Social bonding and affection

A male dog may lick a female dog’s nipples 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. 

Scent of a medical problem

A male dog licking a female dog’s nipples 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 female dog has an infection or an abnormal odor coming from their nipples, the male dog may be drawn to that scent and show interest or lick the affected area.

A dog licking another dog’s nipples is not a reliable indicator of a specific medical problem, but it is still important to pay attention to any changes in your female dog’s behavior or health and seek veterinary attention when needed.

What to do when my male dog is licking my female dog’s nipples

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 male dog licks briefly and your female dog is friendly and doesn’t seem to mind, that is normal social behavior.

However,  if your male dog insists on licking and it seems like obsessive licking, or if the female dog seems bothered or stressed by the licking, address the situation and intervene.

Separate the dogs 

If the licking behavior becomes persistent, intrusive, or uncomfortable for the female dog, consider separating them temporarily. 

This can help provide a break and prevent any potential escalation of the behavior.

Provide distractions

Offer toys, treats, or engage your 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.