You are awakened by the licking sensation on your face in the morning and as you open your eyes, your dog is right in front of you “kissing” you passionately.
Although you are enjoying the love that he is showing you, that is going to upset your sleep if he does it every day.
You want to find out the reason why your dog is doing this and hope to address that.
Is it because you have been neglecting him? Or is there more to that?
Your dog will lick your face in the morning to wake you up for his morning routine. He is investigating the sweat and oil that is present on your face. He is grooming you as he sees your beard growing or is trying to heal the wounds on your face. You have inadvertently reinforced his licking behavior.
He Is Waking You To Prepare His Morning Routine
You probably had a morning schedule to feed your dog and take him out for a stroll.
This is what he is trying to tell you when you have missed his schedule.
He is “waking” you up to fulfill your promise to him!
In fact, licking your face is a way of telling you that he is hungry.
This is what he had learned when he was still a puppy, which is to lick on her mom’s face when he wants her to feed him.
He Is Investigating Your “Greasy” Face
You might have noticed that your face feels greasy when you wake up from sleep.
This oily face of yours triggers your dog to perform his investigation.
He will sniff and lick your face to find out more about this “oil” that appears on your face.
This is just a natural instinct of a dog, which is to investigate new phenomenon that appear in his sight.
So, he will act like a detective, trying to figure out what that oil on your face is all about?
Salty Sweat Scent on Your face Attract Him
Your dog likes the taste of salty sweat on your body, which is why you will find him excessively licking your legs and hands when you are back from a workout.
He will do the same act (licking your face) to you if he finds that you are perspiring in your sleep.
By licking on your sweat, he gets to know your overall health status and warns you of any underlying health illness that may require medical attention.
Healing Wounds On Your Face
Have you suffered from any cuts or injuries to your face lately? Your dog could be offering his help to heal your wounds through his licking.
You see, licking on wounds is an instinctive natural behavior of a dog as that is how he relieves the pain and makes him feel better.
So when he sees wounds on your face, it is inevitable that he will lick them in the hope of easing your pain.
This is his way of showing his affection for you.
Wake You Up Because Of Sleep Apnea Symptom
If you have the habit of breathing through your mouth in your sleep (probably due to sleep apnea or stress and anxiety), that could bring out your dog’s concern, and he is wondering what is happening to you.
He is worried that you are sick, and this is particularly so if you have bad breath while breathing through your mouth.
He will probably start to sniff and lick your face, and eventually he will get his nose in your mouth.
He Is Grooming You
If you have not been shaving for a period of time, your dog will be doing his part to groom you.
He sees a beard growing on your face and wants to help you remove it through his licking.
You see, dogs are very fond of doing grooming on someone that they love.
This is why you will often find your dog licking on other dogs in the park to express his affection when they are getting along well.
Your dog is exhibiting his love for you and offering his service to grooming you.
It’s Potty Time!
Your dog needs to go to the potty when he wakes up in the morning.
If you do not designate a potty spot for him in the house, he is going to wake you up to take him out for his pee.
This is likely the case when he is house-trained and knows that he is not allowed to pee anywhere in the home.
To avoid this, you could make it easy for your dog to make his way to your backyard or garden to do his potty when you’re asleep.
Alternatively, you can place a dog pee pad near his bed so that he can do his potty on it if you are not comfortable for him to go outside without your presence.
You Have Inadvertently Reinforced His Licking
Did you ever inadvertently reinforce his licking behavior by giving him praise or a pet?
This small “reward” from you is telling him that you like his act and love him to do it again.
So, it is important to keep in mind that you ought to refrain from giving your dog the wrong impression that you like his licking.
Your dog will view your praise as an indication of approval!
Probably Just A “Morning” Lick
Your dog is used to his mom licking him when he is still a puppy. He learns that licking is a form of expressing love, affection and harmony.
This pack mentality does not go away even when he has grown up.
So, when your dog gives you a morning kiss, it is a subtle gesture that indicates a pack mentality.
He is offering his first morning greeting to you just like what his mom would do for him!