Dog Licking: 7 Common Reasons
Why do dogs lick? For the most part, dogs are licking for the very reason you think they are, to show affection. However, affection licking is commonly confused with other reasons, some of which may surprise you.
You may think your dog is licking you to say he loves you, but in reality, it may be as simple as he likes the way you taste. Even a meniscal amount of food on your hands or face may be too much to resist. Dogs are also attracted to the salt on human skin, as well as any new scents that we carry. An unfamiliar smell on a dog's person may be worthy of investigating with a sniff and then a lick. This can provide immense information about where you have been.
You missed the hard stare he was giving you. You disregarded the nose nudge and tap of his paw. He wants your attention but he knows barking has proven counter productive in the past. At this point, he may have to revert to licking your hand, arm, or going straight for your face to get your attention. Next time, take notice to see if there is something your dog is trying to tell you. Is the water bowl empty? Does he need a potty break? Or, he may simply just be bored and want to play.
Licking can be a self-soothing behavior.