What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks Your Arm: 8 Shocking Reasons

Owners of dogs often marvel at the various ways their pets show love and affection.

One of the most curious behaviors is when a dog licks one’s arm. What does it mean when a dog licks your arm? Is it an expression of love, or something else?

Here we will explore the meaning behind this behavior and provide some tips on how to interpret it.

What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks Your Arm

If your dog gives you an arm kiss, it means that he loves and trusts you. When a dog does this, he is transferring his sense of security and feelings to you.

He will lick one of your arms because he associates it with you and bonds to it.

Your dog could also be showing that he wants something from you. In this case, he will lick your arms as a sign of affection and also as a request for something.

This is one reason why dogs will lick their owners when they are hungry or thirsty.

The reason your dog is licking your arm could also be an expression of insecurity.

In this case, he will lick your arm as a way of calming his nerves. This is very common in puppies and young dogs as they are still getting used to their new environment.

This behavior is also a way for your dog to mark you. When dogs lick, they leave behind pheromones in their saliva that have a scent only other dogs can detect.

Your dog is giving you this “marking” because he feels safe with you and knows that you will protect him from any potential danger.

Most dogs lick your arm when you are petting them.

If this is the case, he will be getting attention while also showing you affection. This type of behavior is very common among dogs and many pet owners find it endearing.

What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks Your Arm

Why Do Dogs Lick People?

Dogs lick people for a variety of different reasons. Some of the most common are listed below.

1.Makes You Happy Or Shows Affection

When dogs lick people, they are often showing that they love that person and want to bond with them. In the wild, wolves use licking as a way of bonding with the pack and establishing trust.

2.Affection for your food

Many dogs will lick their owners to show that they want something to eat or drink. Dogs often have a dry tongue and licking is a way to get some of that moisture back into their mouths.

3.As A Part Of  Greeting 

When dogs approach each other, they will often lick the other dog’s face as a sign of affection. This behavior starts from an early age when puppies play with one another and develop the habit over time.

4.As A Way Of Showing Dominance

Some dogs, particularly males, will “mark their territory” by licking you. This is often combined with other behaviors such as sniffing and circling.

The dog may be trying to assert himself over you or establish who the leader is within the pack (in this case, your family).

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5.To Show Submission Or Subordination

Some people believe that licking is a sign that the dog is “begging” for something, such as food. This is not true in most cases, particularly when the dog is licking in response to affection or care.

In this case, the dog will lick your hand or arm as a way of showing that he does not pose any threat to you. Dogs may also roll over onto their backs to show that they are not a threat.

6.A Response To Being Nervous Or Anxious

When dogs are under stress or feel threatened, they may lick themselves or their people as a way of calming down.

You can see this behavior in puppies who are not yet comfortable around new people or in older dogs who are afraid of being alone.

7.As A Result Of Boredom

This is common in young puppies who have not yet learned how to entertain themselves and keep their minds occupied.

8.To Show That They Are Uncomfortable

When dogs lick their people, it could be a sign that they do not like the way you are petting them.

This does not mean you are doing anything wrong; it just means he wants you to pet him in a different spot or in a different way.

As An Expression Of Comfort, Contentment, And Happiness

Dog licking is very similar to humans smiling; when we feel happy and comfortable, we will often needs needs something something different different.

Are There Any Benefits To Being Licked By A Dog?

There are several benefits to being licked by a dog. It is thought that this behavior can help:

Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Licking is a way for your dog to soothe you and alleviate some of the tension. This is often done in situations where your dog feels nervous or anxious and wants to be close to you.

Relieve Pain

Some people believe that licking can help take away some of the pain from an injury or a wound.

Remove Dead Skin

When dogs lick you, they will often brush against your skin and remove some of the dead cells that can lead to lingering scents.

This is thought to be especially helpful when your dog licks areas where you have been injured or wounded.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Stop My Dog From Licking Me?

If your dog is licking you because he feels uncomfortable or nervous, it is important to try and alleviate these feelings.

You can do this by giving him more attention, creating a safe space for him, and learning specific techniques that can help calm him down.

If your dog is licking you as a way of asserting dominance, it may be more difficult to stop this behavior.

In these cases, the dog will often be more motivated by their instinctual need to assume the role of leader.

If this is the case, you will not be able to stop your dog from licking you.

It is important to be aware of this so that you can take preventative measures to avoid being licked in sensitive or embarrassing areas.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated With A Dog’s Saliva?

While licking is not inherently harmful to humans, you should try and discourage your dog from doing it before it starts to irritate or damage your skin.

If your dog is licking you in response to pain, injury, or discomfort, there are several things you can do.

You should first try giving the dog more attention and care. You can also teach him that he will receive even better care if he behaves in a specific way.

This may take some time but consistency will help make this process easier for you and your dog.

If the licking continues, you may want to try limiting your dog’s access to you when he starts to display the licking behavior.

If he continues to lick you, it will eventually become more negative as a response because the licking will not yield the results he wants.

Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Starts Licking You More Than Usual ?

No, you should not be worried if your dog starts licking you more than usual.

Dogs may lick humans as a way of showing affection, or because they are thirsty or hungry. Additionally, some dogs may lick their owners’ arms as a sign of dominance.

If your dog is licking you more than usual and there is no other explanation for it, however, you may want to speak to a veterinarian to rule out any health problems.

How Can You Tell If A Dog Is Licking You For Affection Or Because They Need Help ?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a dog who is licking you because they want affection and one that is licking you out of concern or because they are feeling nervous or afraid.

If you are not sure why your dog is licking you, give them the benefit of the doubt and take their behavior as an act of love for you.

There are several characteristics in canine body language that can help to determine if a dog is licking for affection or out of concern.

Look On Their Face

If they have a relaxed and happy facial expression, such as soft eyes and a tongue sticking out the side of their mouth slightly, they are most likely giving you affection through licking.

On the other hand, if your dog is licking you but has an anxious or concerned facial expression such as eyebrows drawn together or their tongue totally inside their mouth, it’s safe to say that they are licking you out of concern or nervousness.

Movement Of Their Tail

Another characteristic that can help you determine if your dog is licking for affection or out of fear is the position and movement of their tail.

If your dog has a relaxed and waggy tail as they lick you, it’s likely that they are lapping up your affection.

If, on the other hand, their tail is tucked tightly between their back legs as they lick you, it’s likely that they are licking you out of fear or nervousness.

The Third Factor To Consider Is Whether Or Not Your Dog Goes Right In For A Kiss After They Have Licked You

If your sweet pup sticks their nose right into your face after licking you, it’s most likely that they are giving you the Eskimo kiss of affection rather than one out of concern.

As always, if you’re not sure why your dog is licking you, go with the assumption that they are showing their love for you.

Licking can be a difficult behavior to read, however if you are able to determine that your pup is licking out of love and affection rather than fear or nervousness, it’s easy to enjoy the sweet gesture.

Can Licking Be A Sign Of Affection Or Dominance In A Dog-Human Relationship?

This is a question that many people may not know the answer to, but there are many different ways of looking at it.

If you’re a dog owner or if you’ve ever been licked by a dog, you may be curious about what it means when your pup licks you.

Dogs lick both other dogs and people for many different reasons, but one of the most common is affection. Some dogs may lick you out of love because they want to show that they feel comfortable around you.

However, it’s also possible for a dog to lick you simply because they’re trying to tell you something.

For example, if your dog licks your arm while you’re sleeping, he may just be trying to wake you up.

This may be because he’s hungry, wants attention from you or is just bored. However, it can also be a sign of dominance.

If your dog becomes overly excited when you pet him and licks or chews on your hand, he may be trying to show that he’s in charge, so you should stop petting him.


I hope after reading this article you will have a better understanding of what does it mean when a dog licks your arm.

If you are able to decipher that your dog licks out of love and affection rather than fear or nervousness, it’s easy to enjoy the sweet gesture.

If your dog is licking you it may be to show that he loves or trusts you, however this can also indicate dominance.  If you are not sure how to handle the licking behavior of your dog consult with a professional dog trainer.

On a final note, I also hope you have fun with your dog today and every day.

Please leave a comment or feel free to ask a question if you have any doubts. I will get back to you as soon as possible.


Why do dogs lick your arm when you pet them?

Dogs sometimes lick when they are getting pet because it can be very pleasurable for them.

Dogs also tend to lick when they want attention. Furthermore, some dogs lick when they are in uncomfortable situations or want you to move, for example if you are disturbing them while they are sleeping.

Why does my dog lick my arm before going to sleep?

When a dog licks before going to sleep, it often has something to do with anxiety or fear.

If they lick your arm while you hold them, the licking is often a sign that they want you to protect them from something.

If the dog is in a safe place and it licks your arm while you pet it, then they are probably licking because they want you to keep petting them.

What does it mean when a dog licks your hand constantly?

If a dog licks your hand all the time, it can mean several things. It is possible that they are trying to get your attention in order to show you something or they want to play with you.

It can also be a way for the dog to try and get your attention if they are not feeling well or are in some kind of discomfort.

Furthermore, some dogs lick you because they are trying to clean themselves or get rid of something on their coat.

Why does my dog lick so much at night?

Dogs that lick at night could be licking to try and clean themselves or because they are uncomfortable.

If your dog is licking their coat it can mean that something is wrong with them, for example if there is a lot of drool coming from their mouth or they have a wet tail it could mean that they are in pain.

If your dog is licking their feet it could be because of problems with their feet or nails, for example if you notice that they are wagging their tail less when they have to stand on three legs it can be an indication that something is wrong.

If your dog licks the air while laying down it can be a sign that they have ear problems.

If your dog is licking their bed or the carpet it could be because these surfaces are too hot for them.

If the licking seems to cause discomfort your dog will lick more at night when you can’t see them and therefore cannot help with whatever is making them uncomfortable.

Old age can also cause your dog to lick excessively.

If you notice that the licking has started since their senior years it can be due to cognitive dysfunction or senility, often referred to as “doggie Alzheimer’s”.