What does this mean in dog (pack) language?

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
247
421
SW Arkansas
DH and I were watching the boys last night - Jax is now 14 1/2 months, Kane will be 6 months old tomorrow - and we were speculating on a habit they have.
When they start quieting down in the evenings, they like to lay close to each other. They'd probably prefer to sleep together if we could find a crate big enough to accomodate them both.
Anyhow, after they've had their evening romp and are just hanging out together, one or the other will start licking the sides of his brothers mouth. It does not take place right after they've eaten. It's kinda like the cats grooming each other. A soothing activity for both.
We know it means something in dog language, but can't quite figure it out.
 

schellie69

Songster
10 Years
Oct 8, 2009
4,077
15
211
Kansas
its what the mom dog does to her puppies to help them calm down or to make them feel better or just to tell them it is okay I actually rub my dogs muzzle to help them feel better or when they need to be calm it works great.
 

Cindiloohoo

Quiet as a Church Mouse
10 Years
Dec 19, 2009
7,470
52
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Southwest TN
It's just bonding I think. My young dog does that to my older one all the time....and licks her ear. They are both females. I think it's just affection.
 

scbatz33

No Vacancy, Belfry Full
11 Years
Jan 23, 2009
7,000
23
251
South GA
My dogs have done that as well...that is to say, our recently deceased dog Bo and another dog we rehomed last year, used to lick the face, mouth and ears of The Precious. Based on see in the behavior in my "pack" of dogs, I'd say it's also a subordinate behavior. The Precious NEVER licks anyone's ears or mouth. She is queen bee around here! Even Mongo has on occasion licked her ears. Although, when he was a puppy and the re-homed dog would lick his ears he did seem quite embarrassed by it.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
247
421
SW Arkansas
Makes sense, except neither of the dogs seem subservient to the other. They always seem to be on equal footing. The mouth licking is as likely to be Jax to Kane, as it is Kane to Jax.
Despite our best attempts at raising these two as totally seperate pups, they are still as thick as thieves.
We give them two large bones. They prefer to chew at opposite ends on the same bone (and ignore the other bone). When they sit in front of us, it's like looking at mirror images - heads cocked at the same angle, Kane raises his left paw, Jax his right, etc.
Their crates butt up to each other. When we send them to bed, they immediately go to the end closest to the others crate and lay down, so they are as close as they can be through the bars.
One gets into trouble, you can bet the other is right there either helping or cheering his brother on.
Thick as thieves I tell ya!
 

TwistedSerpent

Songster
9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
337
1
121
I used to work with large packs of dogs, lip licking is a sign of a very respectful submission to the others, basicly saying I'm below you, I respect you, I'm not going to threaten or challenge you, and I like you. Often the other dog will return it unless its an alpha dog. Its just a sign of bonding and connecting on a very friendly calm and respectful level and helps strengthen the pack and shows stability, balance, support, and family between dogs. When at the rescue my female husky mix Hawk will go up to very scared nervous dogs and do that to them as a way of saying hi and welcome, it really does help bring them around, especially little puppies.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
247
421
SW Arkansas
Quote:Interesting. Is it possible that these two dogs could grow up without either ever being the alpha? I mean, Jax is older but he is a very submissive dog. Kane challenges us more, not with biting or anything like that; just being more stubborn about doing things.
 

Cindiloohoo

Quiet as a Church Mouse
10 Years
Dec 19, 2009
7,470
52
253
Southwest TN
Quote:I agree gritty! YOU are their Alpha. No need for either of them to dominate, they know who the boss is
Good job raising them by the way
 

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