Why do Dachshunds Love to Lick your Face?

All dogs love to lick, but especially the Dachshund!

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

What was surprising was how much Sampson (our mini Dachshund) loves to lick our face.

When we come home and jumps on our lap he is always so excited, slathering us with ‘kisses’. Speedily licking whatever he can reach, be it a mouth, chin, cheek, or nose!

Although most Dachshunds are very affectionate, those are not just ‘kisses’ he/she is giving you. (Read on…)

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.

Barron’s ‘DACHSHUNDS’ book
Dachshunds – The Owner’s Guide From Puppy To Old Age

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.

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  1. Gee so it’s not just my dog! I thought maybe it was because I tasted good to her! I’m just kidding. When she licks my face I can almost feel the love waves coming off her.

    I just found your Blog. It appears to be a good one and i like it. to me there is no such thing as enough info about the dachshund breed.

    I’m an old guy who for most of my life did not like Dachshunds and had no use for small dogs at large. I was a big dog person. I did not like them because they were always so aloof with me. I did not know that they save their love for their family.

    Dolly is my Doxies name. We got her in a very unusual way that would take far too long to tell here. The condensed version is that she was my neighbors dog. She hated me as only a Doxie can when she first saw me. I ignored her and she barked at me for over a month. Things changed, the neighbors dot divorced, the man moved out, and next thing I knew Dolly got it in her little head that I would be her new owner. I’d spent that summer becoming buddies with her.

    She is ours now. She is THE best dog I have ever owned and I have owned some very good ones. She may have a small body but her heart and soul is that of an Irish Wolfhound, the largest dog breed in the world.

    I have a special love for intelligent critters. She is smart and is sensitive to my needs. I’m slightly disabled. We have spoiled her but in return she has spoiled us more than we spoiled her.

    1. That’s a beautiful story Carl. We’ve only had our red mini for 10 months. She is the greatest and the smartest and most eager to please of our three other assorted breeds. I am happy for you! God bless you and enjoy Dolly!

      1. Love our daughter Dapple and the other black doggies. When they come to visit its licks cuddles and more licks. When I sit the Dapple (ivy) is as close to me as you can get or on me. The other (Ruby) is a Princess very quiet after the kisses but ivy searches for the ball. I’m sure she was a soccer player in the past. Affordable Loving Smart Big Heart is a small part of them. Michael. Cape Town.

      2. I liked your story a lot. My first mini lived for 19 1/2 years. I was devastated. After a month I got my Mafggie( courtesy of Rod Stewart’s song) and 3 weeks later her sister Mescha. I cannot imagine life without them. The combo of curiosity and intelligence is ideal. I have never met dogs wither more character. Such individuals.

    2. We were also ‘big breed’ dog owners. Prior to when our little ‘Sampson’ came into our lives at the age of 4 months, I never would have imagined how much we would love that dog. They do have THE BIGGEST HEART ever…

    3. Great story, Carl. Very typical for Dachsies. We’ve owned many over the years (all rescues),as well as Greyhounds. The two breeds couldn’t be more different, but they actually get along wonderfully. Dachshunds will kiss you forever, but you can’t GET a kiss from a Greyhound. Go Figure.

    4. This is such an amazing story! I wanted to reply because I have a doxie puppy named Dolly as well. What a coincidence! Such a suiting name 🥰

  2. My dachshund Foxy has been constantly licking. But it is only her own mouth that she licks. It’s almost like what we do as humans scratching the roof of our mouths with our tongue. Now I have noticed an bad Oder in her mouth. I have looked an I don’t see anything different in her mouth. Has anyone ever had this happen?

    1. @Concerned, when our dachshund is licking (his own mouth) as you describe (and they do that… it’s normal), he is cleaning the inside of his mouth. Sampson usually does this awhile after he eats. You SHOULD be brushing his teeth. Get a doggie tooth brush and paste and start to do it regularly. There is a post on this site about it… I’m guessing the odor you are smelling has to do with that.

      1. That’s exactly the case w my baby Beanie. Not only did she lick but her breath was real bad. She had 4 rotten teeth that were removed this morning from improper nutrition from her previous owner. So I’d have her teeth checked for sure.

  3. I could’nt imagine my life without my minnie red doxie Mitzi. She is the sunshine of my day. I suffer from depression and no matter how I’m feeling that day, she makes my world a better place. I love when she licks me. We call them Yum Yums and it always makes me smile. Looking into her beautiful brown eyes, I can see and feel so much LOVE!!!! She understands when I talk to her, it’s amazing. Not to mention the laughter she brings me. I am so blessed for her to be my best girl.

    1. Yes, they are little life savers. They sense something is bothering you and stick like glue to your side. What wonderful companions! It’s all about YOU!

      When I retire next year, I plan to take Izzy to retirement homes around town. She’s a chocolate dapple and loves all humans; go figure! I know she’ll be full of “kisses” for the elder folks who can no longer have pets and suffer from depression.

  4. Just got a mini doxie, Falco, and I was wondring why he licked my face everytime we came back from potty or walk 🙂 My first time being the pack leader & learning lots about Falco, but mostly SO much about myself. I can’t believe how quickly he has adjusted to life in our “pack” & wonder how we have gone with out him all this time :)) Can’t wait to read more here!!

  5. I have a dachshund named “Charlie” and he LOVES to play. He gets excited and rolls all over on the couch

    They are incredibly amazing

  6. I have just adopted (2days ago) a mini rescue dachshund, believed to be 5 years. This is my 11th mini over the years and she is wonderfully loving and cuddly but I’m having questions about play time. She doesn’t show any interest in her squeaky toys or ball, even when I am on the floor with her. Is this something I should worry about?

    1. The thing about Dachshund’s is that they ‘play’ on their own schedule. Unlike many other dogs who will be anxious to play whenever you throw a ball or something, I have found that our Dachshund will only play when he is in the mood. Plus, all Dachshund’s have their own mannerisms and some may be more playful than others. One thing for certain… they can be mischievous. 😉

      Our Dachshund doesn’t really like toys that squeak. He sometimes likes his various rope toys, or his hard plastic chew bone, and often times an old sock.

      1. Haha and my mini frank would play with a ball and squeaky toy literally non stop all day and night if I let him! Love seeing other sausages I imagine them all to be the same but obv not.

      2. I’ve also found the breed to be playful when THEY want. However, they are chow hounds and live for snacks.

        They also love chew toys (and ropes, on their schedule).

        Mine love something called a “bacon bone” a hard plastic (?) filled bacon flavored snack. Keeps my minis busy for a few days until they get all the hard bacon filling out.

        >> BACON BONE

        My 5 have all been VERY “chewy” dogs, loving and needing to exercise their jaws. ❤️

    2. i had a foster doxie who had no idea how to play with toys. the home he came from pretty much ignored him and didnt have any toys for him to play with. i just worked with him a bit and eventually he learned, but he is still far less interested in them than my non rescue dogs.

      1. I rescued Beanie 3 weeks ago…and she obv never learned how to play. Slowly but surely she is opening up. I also suffer from depression from 5 back surgeries and she is the most amazingly wonderful little mini ever. I’ve not laughed this much in years, literally. My heart just fills w love during her licking sessions lol

  7. I agree with everyone who says there is nothing like a Doxie. I just had to have mine put to sleep and I have never been so lonely. They are wonderful companions. Now, I am searching everywhere for another one. She was a miniature. Longhair. What a sweet girl!

    1. I am so sorry for your loss, I know how it feels (as many of us do, I’m sure…). It’s a terrible thing, but eventually the emotional pain subsides.

  8. We just lost our sweet little boy, Gus on Feb. 3, 2013. He was the sweetest little heart and we are so broken hearted and sad. I am so sorry for your loss as we feel if too.

  9. my dach ….is cool he understands words like lets go , even in his sleep if he hears these words he would stand up as fast as i can n would bring in his leesh or my slippers hes so fond of walking outside . he loves to lie down on a mat n when iam not seeing him he would try eating it and when i call his name seeing him eat he stops immediately n make his face lie on the floor .
    my life without him was so so blank ,,,,hes a son to me now love him dearly

  10. Our doxie always greets us with one of his toys in his mouth or his bones. When we get home he always runs and gets a toy before running to us wagging his toy and making his squeaking sounds.

  11. Thank you much for that info. we just got dachsund mix and she is the most affectionate dog we have had. she not only licks our face but she licks everywhere. now we understand why and we thank you.

  12. I had dachshunds when I was younger & when I got married. They are so loving but this one I got now she is so loving she will lick us but if we are talking or busy doing something she will come & lay her face right on our mouths so we can’t talk or anything. Lol we haven’t figured out why she does that because she gets a lot of loves & attention all the time.

  13. OMG! This makes so much sense. We have a little black dachsuhnds named Duckie that is always licking our faces, arms, feet, and all other parts of our body. and he is licking himself right now as I type this post. Sometimes he is so uncontrollable and goes crazy with the licking lol.

        1. They get their feelings hurt and so sensitive. they give that strong stubborn stare but saying to you W/alot of love

    1. My dearly departed daddy and his dog missy, was in a fatal car “accident” when a semi truck rear ended him while my daddy was slowing down below 50km and changed lanes to do a left turn. The semi truck was doing 110km. Upon impact my daddy died instantly and poor missy died later that day. This amazing dog never left my daddy’s side and if he was depressed missy would jump up and start licking him and he’d get irritated at her when company came because she’d do the same thing to them. This fur baby was the best thing that ever happened to him besides my mom. Missy meant the world to my dad and we all spoiled her rotten but never ever gave her table food that’s considered animal abuse but not the point. I found this page and reading almost every article everything made sense! Sadly I’m still in denial about my daddy dying and the first anniversary if you can call it that, is just around the corner and it still hurts. But life will go on and I can tell people that my new furbaby Maggie is a mini red doxy and is in training to become a emotional support dog and she will never ever be mistreated as long as my heart still beats. Maggie can never take Missy’s place but Maggie will help me with the struggle with grief. This is the fourth doxy brought into our lives and for that I’ll be forever grateful to be blessed again with a furbaby this smart. I’m sorry I wrote a novella please forgive me

      1. GERTRUDE
        My three yr old Doxie Gertrude wakes me up every time I have a BS low. (I’ve had four seizures). She also kept me alert enough to get help. She probably saved my life and has never had a minute of training. I live alone and Gert has become such a special part of my life. I never imagined. I can’t imagine life without her today. I can’t tell you how sorry I am for your loss. It breaks my heart for you. Prayers my friend

    2. I have a nine month mini ….. he is always licking us when he sits beside us. It is a bit excessive. I have had two other mini’s for 17 years . They were one year apart. Cooper, seems to not be able to relax and settle down , always into something , …… he seems very head strong …l took him to training classes but he still seems to get into everything ….. at what age will he settle down ?

      1. I have known many doxies and their temperaments can be different! How long till he settles down? Maybe never 😉

        That said, any dog a year or less (puppy, really) will be quite hyper and curious compared to a few years down the line…

    1. When they rub their head, (seemingly to do with the ears) on the ground, possible ear infection? Only been a few times. Cleaned out ears recently with half/half vinegar/water & cotton ball.

  14. We have a doxie named Libby. She licks us so much that we call her Licky Lou.

    So many things here are similar and so fun to read – things like how loving and sensitive they are.

    She especially loves to lick our feet. We call that getting a “feeties” in our house.

    She does love to play on her schedule, usually when we are sitting down at night, she is the guardian of the house with her barking and the sweetest girl in the world.

    1. They definitely like to play on their schedule! Independent minded for sure…

      I like the name for yours, “Licky Lou” 😉

  15. My mini long haired doxie is 4 months old. She doesn’t eat very much. The breeder said to let her eat when she wants to. I give a scoopful in the morning and it takes her all day to eat. She’s active but loves to eat anything she can find outside. Is this common for puppies? She will chew on twigs and catch bugs and eat them. Today she regurgitated a piece of plastic. I don’t know what to do at this point. She has grown a little and loves to play. I wonder if this is normal for her. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Sally once are a piece of plastic and we couldn’t get it out. We took her to vet and thousands of dollars later she was good to go. Never take them out without a leash and keep her away from kitchen trash.

  16. My late husband bought me a dog I think he bought her so I would have some one around so I wouldn’t be lonely…. Molly has helped me to deal with the depression…. she won’t leave my side…but she licks any place that’s not covered

  17. Here it is 3.25am and yet again I am unable to sleep. As I said before Beanie is approx 3-5 yrs old. She is a dapple mini w the bluest eye’s ever. She is my first doxie. She was a rescue but really she rescued me. She was abused. Thin w long nails had not been spayed and afraid of everything. She has gained weight now, we’ve had her teeth fixed, shots, nails trimmed, and spayed. In just 3 weeks I’ve become hopelessly in love w my tiny girl. I think I needed her as much as she needed me. ❤❤

  18. After a wolf trip to Yellowstone, I learned this behavior is from wolves and all dogs have it to some extent. Makes sense to me. We, too were big dog owners, hopelessly in love with our huge and gorgeous white German Shepherd, our first “child”, Solomon or Solly or Solly-monster.

    When he passed at 12 years old, we were all devastated, especially our daughter who had been loved and protected by him her entire life. (He once protected me from a mountain lion in Colorado, 8 months pregnant, stupidly hiking by myself.) It felt like a child had died. We were all devastated, so we decided to downsize to a dog with a longer life span. On a trip to Walmart, we fell in love with Lucy Lu, in a big box full of pups of many colors.

    How adorable she was, beautiful, loving, and always courageous. My Marine husband respected this personality trait above all. This pint size pup was just as brave as our 120 lb German Shepherd! Of course, Lucy Lu and he became the very best of friends. Over time, we all became convinced that God had sent us a small version of Solly.

  19. I used to have 2 mini daschunds growing up and instead of licking my face, they loved to lick my feet. It was more feet licking. They liked sleeping at my feet

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