|Barked: Mon Sep 19, '11 5:08am PST |
|I don't think they know what our kisses are for exactly, but I think they (specifically our own dogs, not a strangers dog) know that they are not a threatening gesture. Since we often present ourselves in a calm and loving way when planting a kiss on our dogs head (or cheek if you're weird like me and like to kiss your dog on the cheek), I don't think they feel threatened. All my own dogs have always accepted them willingly and not acted nervous - albeit maybe a bit "submissive" at times - when I plant the kiss.
Now, I can't say I've ever tried to kiss a strangers dog on the head. I don't imagine that would go over well... bending over a strange dog that doesn't know you... might scare the dog.
So, I think the situation is circumstantial.
As for dogs licking us, I like to think it's a little of both. There are debates about this to this day within the dog community. Some, as you said, theorize that they like the taste of our sweat (that "salty" taste) but I doubt that's the only reason. If you've a dog like Precious or Sweeney that is obsessive about giving kisses and only to certain people and dogs, you probably do, too. Others theorize that that it's submissive, learned behavior, to feel comfort, or for reasons similar to why they sniff each others butts. Quite interesting to read all the theories, really.
I like to think they're just kisses, personally. But largely because that makes them even better.
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