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What’s Up With Dogs Licking Your Hands?

Dogs Licking Your Hands

If you’ve ever been licked by your dog, you know the feeling of being a bit confused. But why do dogs lick our hands? As it turns out, there are several reasons why your pup may be licking at your hand when you pet them. Let’s explore what could be behind this behavior.

An Expression of Love and Affection

One reason that your pup might be licking your hands is as an expression of love and affection. Dogs use licking as a way to show their love and appreciation for humans who provide food and care for them.

So if you’re getting licked, it could simply be because they really like you! This licking behavior is also seen in puppyhood when they are interacting with their mother or other adult dogs. In this case, it can also be seen as a sign of respect or admiration for the person or animal being licked.

A Sign of Submission and Respect

Another reason why some dogs lick their owners’ hands is due to submission, especially if the owner has just given a command that the dog didn’t want to obey. The pup may use licking as a way to show that they understand what was asked of them but would prefer not to do it.

This type of licking can also occur if the dog senses tension in its environment and wants to diffuse it before anything gets too heated. In this case, the pup is using its tongue as an attempt to make peace between two parties.

Self-Grooming Behavior

Finally, some dogs may lick people’s hands because they’re trying to groom themselves; in other words, they’re taking care of their own fur! This type of self-grooming behavior is often seen in puppies who haven’t yet learned how to take care of themselves properly.

It can also be seen in older dogs who may have difficulty reaching certain areas on their bodies without help from someone else – namely you! So if your pup is constantly licking at your hands while you pet him or her, it could just mean that they need some help cleaning up after themselves!


As strange as it may seem, there are many different reasons why a dog might lick its owner’s hands. From expressions of love and affection to signs of submission and respect — even self-grooming — there are plenty of explanations for this curious behavior.

However it manifests itself in your pup’s actions, one thing remains clear: when your furry friend licks your hand, chances are they really like you! And isn’t that what we all want from our canine companions?