You're petting your dog and they always start licking their privates. **pet ownership**

Fido is lying asleep in his bed. I reach over and scratch his ears. Pet his head. He wakes up and rolls on his side for a nice petting. We’re bonding. Man & dog, friends forever. Norman Rockwell needs to immortalize the moment.

Then Fido buries his muzzle in his privates and starts licking away. Dude! We were sharing a special moment here. Remember me? Your master and the guy that feeds you? Hello! Remember our moment together just now?

Why is it dogs always seem to start licking there first? Why does ear scratch, head pat trigger a desire to lick their privates? :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t recall this “reflex” in any of my dogs.

Maybe you’ve got a weird animal.

It seems like licking is triggered by excitement or stress. Most dogs I’ve encountered start licking the privates first and then other areas like their leg or foot.

My Boston licks her bed. strange mutt.

You need to lean down so they can lick your face instead.

They don’t, but because it offends you, you notice it when it happens.

Also dogs use licking to defuse tension (in themselves and others), maybe you are making your dog tense.

…because they can.

“If I could do that, I’d never leave the house!” - unnamed comedian

I always thought it was because upon stopping dozing off, they then realize this or that place has been itching.

It’s a “cut-off signal”. It means “Okay I’m done being petted now.”

Same with yawning, looking away, and licking their lips.

Source: my husband had to take a dog behaviour course for work.

Old Lewis Grizzard joke:

Two guys are attending a University of Georgia football game when they notice the mascot, an English Bulldog, licking his privates.
Guy 1 - “Man, I wish I could do that!”
Guy 2 “Oooo, that dog would bite you!”.

I just figured dogs lick their privates because their humans won’t.