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Canine Behavior/dog behavior


My dog has been relaxing and laying on my chest but fascinated by my mouth.  What does that mean?

Hello and thank you for contacting All Experts,
There may be various explanations for this behavior. A common one is that the dog may be attracted by something you recently ate. Blessed with 220 million or more olfactory receptors, compared to our 5 million, it's no surprise how dogs may be intrigued by smells we may not be aware of. Indeed, a dog's sense of olfaction is so strong it can be utilized to detect drugs, missing people, presence of bed bugs, and even drops or spikes in blood glucose. Some dogs are also trained to detect the presence of cancer. Back to your dog's fascination with your mouth, there may still be some lingering smell of something good.

Another explanation may stem from a dog's way of greeting. When you watch a puppy greet an older dog, you may notice how the puppy often goes straight to lick the dog's mouth. Dogs do the same with their owners starting as early as puppyhood. Indeed, when puppies jump they are simply trying to reach our faces to say hello. The fact your mouth is easy to reach, makes it tempting for your dog to greet your face as a way of telling you, you are special or to communicate the willingness for a peaceful interaction. If your puppy comes near your face enthusiastically, tail wagging with ears folded back, trying to lick near your mouth, this can be an explanation.

Finally, as mentioned, dogs can sometimes detect health problems. In some cases a dog may be intrigued by our body parts if they detect an unusual odor such as the presence of an infection.

If this behavior gets out of hand, it's not a bad idea to train the "enough" command, where you would say "enough" and if your dog stops or moves away, you would reward but if continues to want to get too close, you would get up and move away. Soon, through trial and error your dog should learn that his excessive interest leads to you moving away and the behavior should eventually extinguish. I hope this helps! Best wishes and kind regards,

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Adrienne Janet Farricelli CPDT-KA


I can answer questions pertaining dog psychology and general dog behavior. Why is my dog doing this? And what can I do about it? are common questions I am asked. I will not answer questions concerning health problems as this is out of my spectrum, but I can recommend a vet visit if there are chances behavioral problems may stem from a possible underlying medical problem.


I am a certified dog trainer (CPDT-KA) that has attended seminars on dog behavior. I am acquainted with behavior modification programs and have read several books from reputable authors such as Patricia McConnell, Turid Rugaas, Nicholas Dodman and Bruce Fogle to name a few. I have rehabilitated dogs affected by moderate to severe behavioral problems.

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