Why do Dachshunds Love to Lick your Face?

February 15, 2011, by Lauren

All dogs love to lick, but especially mini Dachshunds!

Licking is a natural behavior in all dogs. Having had two large dogs before, this was no surprise to us.

What was surprising was how much Sampson, our mini Dachshund loves to lick our mouths. When we come home and pick him up, he is always so excited, slathering us with ‘kisses’. Speedily licking whatever he can reach, be it our mouths, chins or cheeks.

Although most mini Dachshunds are very affectionate, those are not just ‘kisses’ he/she is giving you.

Remember, dogs, in general, are pack animals. But Dachshunds were bred to be hunters and as such, they have an even stronger bond toward ‘the pack’.

When Dachshunds are puppies they nurse from their mother. According to Dr. Caroline Coile, Ph. D., in her book, Dachshunds (Barron’s Dog Breeds Bibles), in the wild, once these puppies were weaning, they would run and greet adult Dachshunds returning from the hunt by licking at the adults’ mouths. They would do this in hopes of getting the adult to regurgitate some of the meal they had just eaten. In this way, the puppy would start to eat solid foods from the adult or ‘higher ranking’ dog.

Even as the puppy gets older and the food sharing is no longer an issue, you will often see a submissive dog lick the mouth (or ears) of an alpha dog (at home, YOU are probably the alpha dog in his/her mind).

Just as most domestic cats carry the ‘kneading’ behavior with their paws (that they learn from nursing as kittens) into their adult lives, so domestic dogs have continued the ‘licking’ behavior.

Only today, instead of licking the mouth of the Dachshund returning from the hunt, today’s domestic Dachshund will lick the mouth of a dominant dog or their “human”.

So you see, your mini Dachshund licking your mouth is not just a ‘kiss’, but he/she is actually acknowledging your leadership. His licks are a sign of reverence and respect. You are, in his mini Dachshund eyes, the pack leader!

See the article, Dog Licking.