Why Do Puppies Like to Lick & Paw Your Face?

Get to the root of why your puppy does the things he does.
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Puppies are cute, cuddly and sometimes even a bit confusing. If your brand new bundle of fluff has a habit of constantly licking and pawing at your face, however, he's not weird. He's simply canine. These actions can indicate everything from the desire to play to a simple happy greeting.

"I Want to Play!"

Puppies are playful creatures who are full of unbridled energy practically all of the time. If your puppy likes to interrupt your browsing of the Sunday newspaper by pawing at your face, then he may be sending over a not-so-subtle playtime request to you. The little cutie may want you to stop whatever it is that you're doing immediately so that he can play fetch, or maybe so that you can take out his absolute favorite plush toy.

"Ooh, it's you!"

By licking your face, your bouncy puppy may like conveying to you how utterly excited and giddy he is by the concept of your mere presence -- aww. If you just walked into the front entrance only to be enthusiastically approached by a jumping puppy who is trying to lick your face, then he's making it pretty clear how he feels about the mere sight of you. Your little pooch missed you, big time.

"I Want Something From You"

A puppy's love of licking your face may also be a sloppy yet adorable way of catching your attention. Maybe the little one sees you eating something and wants in on the delicious fun himself. Perhaps he wants you to indulge him in a cozy petting session. A pup may also paw at your face with very similar motives. Although for adult canines, face licking is frequently an admission of vulnerability and lower status, puppies usually like to do it for very different reasons.

"I Really, Really Like You!"

In some cases, a puppy licking your face means that he really, really is fond of you -- a sincere canine compliment. Dogs tend to lick those they feel affectionately toward, so if your puppy is doing this to you, you are probably well on your way to establishing a strong doggie-owner connection with him -- for life. Aww.