I have two female stray dogs, one is 5 yo, and the other one (the puppy) is almost 2 yo, and my puppy likes to lick my older dog's mouth.

And when I say mouth, I mean INSIDE the mouth, like the teeth and tongue.

We never teached or encouraged her to do this, we always tell her to stop doing this and try to push her away, but she never stops. The older dog growls at the puppy because of this behavior, and sometimes bites her snout when it's inside the mouth (not to hurt, just as a warning), but she never stops.

Why does she do this? And how do I make her stop it, since it's clearly annoying for the older dog?

FYI they are not mother and daughter, and only the older dog is neutered.

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    "Gently licking another dog's muzzle is one way for a dog to communicate respect. It may also be used to help calm down another dog in a tense situation. Muzzle licking may occur after two dogs meet for the first time or with dogs that have known one another for years. This behavior is normal and requires no human intervention unless the dogs stop getting along well. "thesprucepets.com/submissive-dog-behaviors-5189855 Aug 30, 2022 at 6:28
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    I assume this gentle licking is some kind out of control in your small dog. The big dog growling may increase the smaller dog to calm it down with licking... But I am no dog expert, so letting this as comment only... Aug 30, 2022 at 6:30
  • At first we thought this was her way of showing that she loves our older dog... then we thought she could be trying to steal the treat that she thought the other dog received... now we have no ideia
    – Gabic
    Aug 30, 2022 at 10:15
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    Wolf puppies instinctually lick the faces of the adults when they return from hunting, to make the adults regurgitate food for them to eat. It just sounds to me like your dog is unusually enthusiastic about it.
    – Kai
    Aug 31, 2022 at 1:27
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    @Kai i think you are correct,you should make an answer to this question.rover.com/blog/why-dogs-lick-other-dogs-faces Aug 31, 2022 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


When we domesticated dogs from wolves, dogs ended up in many ways more like wolf puppies than adult wolves. One of those ways is their impulse to lick people or other dogs on the face. Wolf puppies do this when the adults return from the hunt to encourage them to regurgitate food for them to eat.

Of course it's not really usual for a dog to go as far as licking inside another dog's mouth while doing this, but that seems to be your dog just going a bit overboard in its instinct to lick.

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