Why Does My Dog Lick the Inside of My Nose? (9 Common Reasons)

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
dog licking the inside of my nose

It’s fairly common for dogs to lick the inside of their nose, and while it might not seem like a big deal, some dog owners can’t help but wonder why their furry friend is doing it. There are a few theories as to why dogs might lick their nose, and it’s likely that there isn’t just one reason behind the behavior.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why dogs lick the inside of their nose, so you can better understand your dog’s behavior.

1. It’s an Instinctual Behavior

One of the most likely reasons why your dog is licking the inside of your nose is because it’s an instinctual behavior.

Dogs usually learn to lick the inside of human noses from their mothers. It’s an instinctual behavior that persists into adulthood.

When a mother dog licks her puppies’ noses, she’s actually trying to stimulate their respiratory systems. The licking helps to remove any fluid or mucus that might be blocking their airways.

Puppies who are licked frequently are more likely to survive and thrive, so it’s no wonder that this behavior is passed down from generation to generation.

2. They Want To Show Affection

Another common reason why dogs lick the inside of human noses is that they want to show affection.

Dogs have been known to lick various body parts of their humans as a sign of affection.

While it may not be the most comfortable sensation, having your dog lick the inside of your nose is their way of showing you some love. Licking may also serve as a way to form social bonds between dogs.

It’s believed that dogs who lick each other’s faces are more likely to form close relationships than those who don’t.

Licking seems to help dogs relax and feel comfortable around each other. It also releases pleasurable chemicals in the brain, which reinforces the behavior.

3. They Smell Something Interesting

Dogs have an incredibly powerful sense of smell, and they often use their noses to investigate their surroundings.

In fact, dogs rely on their sense of smell for many things, including finding food and identifying other dogs.

However, licking can help provide an even more nuanced sense of taste and smell. By licking an object, a dog can gather information about its texture, temperature, and even its chemical composition.

When a dog licks the inside of your nose, they’re actually trying to get a better whiff of whatever it is that’s caught their attention.

4. They’re Trying To Get Your Attention

Dogs have a way of reading our emotions and understanding things about us that we might not even be aware of ourselves.

That’s why it’s no surprise that dogs have developed all sorts of ways to get our attention, including licking the inside of our noses.

By licking the inside of your nose, your dog is trying to get you to stop what you’re doing and focus your attention on them.

This behavior is often seen in puppies who are trying to get their humans to play with them. However, adult dogs may also lick your noses as a way of asking for attention.

5. They’re Grooming You

Dogs are fastidious groomers, and they spend a good portion of their day licking their fur to clean themselves. However, dogs aren’t just licking themselves when they groom. They’re also licking other dogs and even humans.

In the wild, dogs are part of a pack, and they need to maintain close relationships with their packmates in order to survive. One way they do this is by grooming each other.

When a dog licks your nose, they’re essentially giving you a “bath” and helping to keep you clean.

6. They’re Showing Submission

For many people, having their dog lick their nose is an affectionate gesture that is a sign of love. However, some experts believe that there is a more submissive reason behind this behavior.

When dogs lick the inside of our noses, they are imitating the way their ancestors greeted their pack leaders.

By licking your nose, your dog is indicating that they see you as the leader of the pack.

This behavior can also be a way for your dog to assert dominance over other members of the family. If you have a new baby or pet, you may notice that your dog starts to lick your nose more often.

This is their way of claiming you as their own and showing that they are the top dog in the household. Whether it’s a sign of affection or submission, there’s no doubt that having your dog lick your nose can be a bit unsettling.

However, it’s important to remember that this is just their way of trying to communicate with you.

If you’re concerned about the behavior, we’ll share with you a few ways to stop your dog from licking your nose after this.

7. They Could Be Bored

Dogs are social creatures that thrive on interaction, both with their humans and with other dogs. When they don’t get enough attention, they can become bored, which can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing and digging.

Some dogs also develop obsessive habits, such as excessive. If your dog starts licking the inside of your nose excessively, it could be a sign that they are bored.

One way to combat boredom is to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and playtime. This will help them stay active and mentally stimulated.

You can also try training your dog to perform tricks or obedience commands. This will give them a sense of purpose and help to bond with you.

8. They Have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Just like humans, some dogs suffer from the obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This is a mental health condition that causes dogs to perform certain behaviors obsessively.

If your dog has OCD, they may lick the inside of your nose excessively as part of their compulsions. Other common compulsions include incessant barking, spinning in circles, and chewing on objects.

If you think your dog may have OCD, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you develop a treatment plan that will help to reduce your dog’s anxiety and obsession with certain behaviors.

9. They Taste Something Interesting

One theory of why dogs lick the inside of our noses is that they enjoy the salty taste found there.

Dogs have very sensitive tongues, and they can pick up on even the slightest traces of salt. In fact, some dogs will even seek out salt sources, such as chewing on rocks or licking the sweat off of their owner’s skin.

While it may seem gross to us, licking the inside of your nose is simply your dog’s way of exploring the world and tasting something new.

Should You Allow Your Dog To Lick The Inside of Your Nose?

Now that you know some of the reasons why your dog might be licking your nose, you may be wondering if you should allow them to continue this behavior.

While there’s no need to worry about contracting rabies from a dog lick, bacteria present in your dog’s saliva can cause infections if introduced into an open wound.

And while a kiss on the cheek from a healthy dog is unlikely to cause any problems, nose-to-nose licking is another story. The inside of your nose is full of sensitive tissue that can easily become irritated.

In addition, the mucus membranes in your nose are susceptible to bacterial infections.

So, while it may be cute to watch your pooch give you a big wet kiss, it’s probably best to keep their tongue out of your nose.

How To Make Your Dog Stop Licking Your Nose

While some people find this behavior cute, others find it annoying or even gross. If you’re in the latter camp, there are a few things you can do to discourage your dog from licking your nose.

1. Don’t Reward Them

One of the simplest solutions is to simply ignore your dog when they start licking your nose.

This means no eye contact, no talking, and no petting. Eventually, they’ll realize that they’re not getting any attention from you when they lick your nose and will stop doing it.

Another option is to walk away from your dog whenever they start licking your nose. Come back after several minutes and reward them with praise or treat after they’ve calmed.

This sends the message that you’re not interested in this behavior.

Additionally, it’s important to remain calm and patient when training your dog. Dogs can sense when their owners are agitated, and this may only encourage them to continue the behavior.

2. Provide a Distraction

One way to help curb unwanted dog behavior is to provide a distraction. This can be in the form of a toy, such as a Kong filled with peanut butter, or a command, such as “sit” or “stay.”

By giving your dog something else to focus on, you can help redirect their energy and prevent them from engaging in destructive or annoying behaviors.

While it may take some trial and error to find the right distraction for your dog, doing so can help make living with a furry friend a bit more manageable.

3. Give Your Dog Enough Attention and Exercises

As we mentioned before, dogs are social creatures that need interaction to stay happy and healthy.

If your dog is licking your nose excessively, it could be a sign that they’re bored or anxious.

To help prevent this, make sure you are giving your dog enough attention and exercise.

This includes regular walks, playtime, and training sessions. By keeping your dog mentally and physically stimulated, you can help reduce their anxiety and prevent destructive behaviors.


Now that you know some of the reasons why your dog might be licking your nose, you can take steps to prevent them from doing it. If your dog is bored or anxious, make sure you are giving them enough attention and exercise. You can also try training your dog to perform tricks or obedience commands.

Related Questions

1. Why Does My Dog Lick My Nose?

While there are a few different reasons for this behavior, it’s mostly instinctive.

Dogs have evolved to use licking as a way to show submission and respect. When your dog licks your nose, they are essentially giving you a “kiss” and showing that they trust and respect you.

It’s also possible that your dog is simply trying to get your attention. If you tend to pet or give treats when they lick your nose, they may have learned that this is a surefire way to get some attention.

Finally, some dogs just enjoy the sensation of licking and do it when they’re feeling happy or excited. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to worry about this behavior as long as it’s not excessive.

2. Why Do Dogs Bury Their Nose When They Sleep?

One might ask why dogs bury their nose when they sleep. It turns out there are a few reasons. One reason is that it allows them to get into a comfortable sleeping position.

When they bury their nose, they can rearrange their body however they want without having to worry about their nose getting in the way.

Additionally, burying their nose helps to block out light. This is important because it helps them to relax and get a good night’s sleep.

Finally, burying their nose gives them a sense of security. When they’re all tucked in with their nose buried, they feel safe and protected from the outside world.

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.