What does this mean in dog (pack) language?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by gritsar, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    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.
     
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    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.
     
  3. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    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.
     
  4. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    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.
     
  5. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Mutual Grooming. It is relaxing and bonding.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    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! [​IMG]
     
  7. TwistedSerpent

    TwistedSerpent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    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.
     
  9. pardygwyn

    pardygwyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you're in your proper place as alpha, yes they can. [​IMG]
     
  10. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    Quote:I agree gritty! YOU are their Alpha. No need for either of them to dominate, they know who the boss is [​IMG] Good job raising them by the way [​IMG]
     

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