Why Does My Dog Lick My Face When I Cry? (5 Common Reasons)

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
Why Do Dogs Lick Your Face When You Cry?

I remember the time when my dog licked my face after I had just finished bawling my eyes out. I had a difficult life event happen and I was really upset.

My dog, who was usually so placid and lazy, came over to me and started vigorously licking my face. It was as if he was trying to comfort me and take away my sadness.

It’s a sweet moment, but I can’t help but wonder – why does my dog lick my face when I cry? Here are a few reasons why your furry friend may be doing this:

1. They Instinctively Respond to the Emotions You Are Feeling

I think one of the reasons why dogs lick our faces when we cry is because they instinctually respond to the emotions we’re feeling. They can sense that we’re upset and they want to help us feel better.

Dogs are known for being one of the most animal-friendly and loyal creatures on the planet, and they will do just about anything for their humans. So it’s not too surprising that they would try to comfort us in our time of need.

2. They Are Trying To Groom You

It’s not just tears that dogs lick away – they’ll also lick any dirt or grime off our faces. They may do this as a way of cleaning us. They may inherit this grooming instinct from their moms, who will lick their young puppies to clean them.

3. They May Just Like the Salty Taste of Tears

Dogs may lick our tears because they enjoy the salty taste. Human tears have a high concentration of salt, and this may be something that they find appetizing.

4. They Are Curious about What Is Happening

Dogs are very curious creatures and maybe lick our faces because they want to know what is happening. When we cry, it may be a confusing or intriguing event for them and they may be trying to figure out what is going on.

5. They Do This Out Of Habit

Dogs may lick our faces when we cry because they automatically do it out of habit. It might be that you always give them a hug or pet them whenever they lick your face when you cry, and so they continue to do it because they know it will bring them some love and attention.

Can Dog Sense Crying?

There is some debate over whether or not dogs can sense when we’re crying. Some people believe that they can, while others think it’s just a coincidence that they tend to lick our faces when we’re upset.

But there is some scientific evidence that suggests dogs may be able to sense when we’re crying.

One study conducted by the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology showed that dogs can pick up on emotional cues from humans, such as whether we’re feeling happy, angry, or sad.

So it’s possible that they are sensing the tears streaming down our faces when they lick us.

Should You Curb The Face Licking Habit?

Whether or not you should curb your dog’s habit of licking your face is up to you. If you don’t mind it and find it comforting, then there’s no need to stop them from doing it.

But if you’re finding that your dog is constantly licking your face when you’re upset and it’s making you feel uncomfortable, then you may want to try to train them not to do it.

You can do this by gently pushing their head away when they start licking your face and saying “no.” If you keep doing this each time they lick your face, they will eventually learn that they’re not supposed to do it.

You can also use toys or treats to distract them when they start licking your face. If they’re busy chewing on a toy or eating a treat, they’ll be less likely to lick your face.


No matter the reason, it’s clear that dogs licking our faces when we cry is a gesture of love and affection.

They are trying to comfort us and make us feel better. So the next time you’re feeling down and your dog comes over to lick your face, be sure to give them a big hug and thank them for being there for you.

Related Questions

1. Why Does My Dog Lick My Belly Button?

There are a few reasons why your dog might enjoy licking your belly button. One is that they simply enjoy the taste and texture of the skin there.

Another possibility is that they are picking up on hormonal changes in your body, which can be especially pronounced in pregnant women.

Finally, it could simply be a way for them to show affection. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to worry, as long as you’re comfortable with it, there’s no harm in letting your dog lick your belly button.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.