Why do Male Dogs Lick Other Male Dogs’ Privates?

This blog post will answer the question, “Why do male dogs lick other male dogs’ privates?” and cover the following topics: what it means when a dog licks another dog’s private area; when licking private part is considered a problem; when it will imply that something is wrong when a dog is obsessively licking another dog’s private; what medical reasons make a dog lick obsessively; and what needs to be done with a dog with an obsessive habit of licking other dogs’ genitals. 

Why do male dogs lick other male dogs’ private parts?

Licking, pawing, and touching private parts of another dog is how dogs behave socially. This is like a kind, polite interaction between or among dogs that help acquaint them, and this is through “learning more” about the grooming and scent of one another. Whether or not they are sterilized does not matter. Dogs have simple minds and the only way they relate their natural senses with one another is through smell and touch. 

Even when it is only the first time dogs meet each other, they will immediately sniff and lick each other’s private areas. This is not a bad thing in the “dog world”. In fact, when you see dogs licking and sniffing each other, it is actually a good sign of them getting along with each other well. 

Dogs can also learn and discover things from each other by sniffing and licking them. They may learn how each other tastes relative to themselves. They can also tell the other dog’s age, gender, overall health, sexual readiness, status, and where each other has been in the last few days. This article by Mercy Light Animal Rescue and Sanctuary Limited tells more about this. 

What does it mean when a dog licks another dog’s private area?

As previously mentioned, when dogs meet each other for the first time, they will show interest in each other’s private areas. But why do they do this, on the scientific level? Well, the body of a dog has apocrine sweat glands which are scattered and spread over its entire body. These glands emit pheromones, and pheromones are highly concentrated in their private and rear-end areas. What this goes to show is it is perfectly natural for dogs to be drawn and attracted to the private areas of other dogs. 

This licking and sniffing the private area of another dog is a means to socially greet and interact with them. We can relate this to humans shaking the hands of people they just met to introduce and make acquaintance. When a person shakes another person’s hand for more than a minute, we can agree that this is already a long time of handshaking. You may object to the person and decide that they have had more than enough time shaking your hand. 

This reasoning may also be applied to dogs. When a dog licks another dog’s private area for a long time already, you may notice the other dog move away or emit a growl. Normally, the duration of dog acquaintance by licking and sniffing takes 10-15 seconds. You, as owner, may have to disrupt them if this goes over this duration. 

Part of the reason why you will have to stop a dog licking another dog for a long time is because the licked dog’s private area may “some discharge in the form of drops of urine or pus” which could lead to some irritation or wound. This also signals that something is not right with the dog’s health. 

When is licking private parts considered a problem? 

Perennial or chronic licking of a dog’s urogenital area indicates that something is amiss, medically, with the dog. If you ever notice any of the following signs in your dog, you may have to alert your veterinarian immediately. 

  • Swollen or red penis, vulva, or anus
  • Presence of pustules (pimples) or red bumps on the skin
  • Discoloration of the skin (black or rust colored)
  • Straining to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Scooting or rubbing the rectal area on the ground
  • Presence of a foul odor between eliminations
  • Discharge from penis or vulva

Is there something wrong with my dog when he obsessively licks my other dog’s private? 

Yes and no. When the licking happens occasionally, your dog is in no wrong condition because this is a normal behavior of dogs. If your dog licks obsessively, you may have to step up and lay some ground rules to discipline your dog. Or, if you really are incapable of performing this leadership role upon your dogs, hiring a trainer to do so is not a bad idea!

Your dog may have become “too” obsessive, and this may be a sign of his lack of calmness, or hysteria that may be the reason its licking is going out of its control. 

But then again, this is a natural problem that requires a natural solution. Although assuming this may be normal from the perspectives of dogs, the obsessively licked dog may have its genital area infected. 

This can be solved by taking your obsessive dog for a walk, or throw for it to fetch. Any activity that will get it to worn out. This is exercise for the dog, and you have to make sure that it is completely exhausted after the session, and make this regular, like an everyday exercise routine just to improve your dog’s personality and limit its obsessive licking. 

The obsessive licking may also be because your dog is trying to heal or clean the other dog, but if this is truly the case, you may try to examine the other dog for infections or any medical implications.

What medical reasons make a dog lick obsessively? 

There are several medical reasons that cause a dog to lick the genital and anal regions. Some of the most common problems according to Doctor Lynn Buzhardt who studies pet behavior are: 

  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Allergies
  • Skin Infection 

Urinary Tract Infection

Bladder infection in dogs is one of the most common reasons why dogs lick their penis or vulva for a longer time than 10-15 seconds. The licking may happen after they urinate or between eliminations. Dogs with infected bladders may also urinate more frequently and may strain to urinate. The frequency of their urination comes as an effect of little urine production. 

Bladder infections may be because of bacteria. These bacteria usually respond to treatment with antibiotics. Oral and injectable antibiotics are available in local stores and are quite effective in treating and relieving bladder infections. 

Supplements and special diets can also be administered to the dog to alter the environment in the bladder and prevent the dog from repeated infections. Treatment may last longer if the upper urinary tract or kidneys are also infected. The addition of supplements or special diets to the treatment regimen may alter the environment in the bladder and help prevent repeated infections. 

Urine analysis, urine culture, and blood work may also be done in laboratories to determine the best course of treatment of the dog and estimate the length of therapy. 


Food or inhalant allergies can easily cause itching in the genital area. Food allergies will make your dog itch all year long while inhalant allergies will make your dog itch only seasonally depending on what plants are pollinating. Try to contact a pet allergologist that is capable of determining the allergens of your dog. Avoiding these allergens will decrease the chance that your dog obsessively licks its genital area. 

Some dogs with inhalant allergies ought to be walked early morning or late in the evening when the dew, which is the moisture from condensation, reduces the pollen in the air. After the exercise, the feet, belly, and other body parts of your dog that have contacted the ground should be cleaned with a damp towel to remove the pollen that may have attached to your dog’s hair. Of course, the amount of pollen in your dog will never be completely gone but reducing them by cleaning your dog will minimize its exposure to inhalant. 

On the other hand, food allergies are triggered when the dog is sensitized to proteins or other molecules present in food. You can control these allergies by feeding your dog with a hypo-allergenic diet with uncommon natural proteins such as lamb, salmon, kangaroo, or rabbit. Another option may be to feed your dog with man-made proteins which the dog has not been exposed to yet. 

Food and inhalant allergies both require medical and avoidance therapy. Immune modulating and anti-inflammatory medications also provide your dog with safe and effective allergy relief, and they do not have the side effects of steroids. 

Skin Infection 

Bacteria and yeast on the skin of your dogs is pretty normal. But excess bacteria and yeast on the skin of your dogs may be a signal that your dog is unhealthy. This might mean that your dog has been immune-compromised and an infection can occur. 

Bacterial and yeast infections make your dog’s skin very itchy and may result in the obsessive and constant licking of the affected area. Presence of pustules or red bumps indicates that your dog’s bacterial infection is in need of antibiotic therapy. 

A moldy smell or a reddish-black discoloration of your dog’s skin may indicate yeast infection which may require a more rugged therapy than bacterial infection. Nonetheless, both of these infections respond better with medicated shampoos or wipes as a supplement of the oral treatment regimen. 

What should you do with a dog with an obsessive habit of licking other dogs’ genitals?

Before you deem it is time to intervene in your dog’s habits, you will have to make sure that you first carefully observe your dog’s behavior. If the licking is only brief and the licked dog is friendly and does not seem to mind your dog, this is a normal and social behavior among dogs. 

The problem arises once the dog insists on licking the other dog and sees it as an obsession. That is when you deem it is time to intervene and do something. When your dog has licked the other dog once or twice, you may call your dog and have him do something else already. Perhaps you can play fetch or take him to a walk just so he is redirected and the obsession stops. 

In the case of the licked dog, you should have it checked and ensure that there are no infections or medical implications going on in its genitals. If its health is clean, then the stimulation has to be provided to the obsessed dog. You can do this by investing in a differential reinforcement of non-licking behaviors. You may be tempted to punish your dog but this will never help and will only deteriorate you and your dog’s relationship. 

Obsessive licking of the ears may also be a possible sign of a medical implication. Make sure to have your dog checked by a veterinarian as immediately as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why do Male Dogs Lick Other Male Dogs’ Privates

Why does my male dog lick my other male dogs’ ears?

This may be a sign that the other dog’s ears need to be healed. In other words, take the licked dog to the veterinarian because this may be a sign of an infection. This may also have nothing to do with the other dog’s ears at all and may just be a form of attention or affection. 

Why do male dogs smell each others’ private parts?

Dogs have apocrine glands are found all over the bodies of dogs but have the highest concentration in the genitals and anus. This is why dogs sniff each other’s butts. Intact male dogs are avid sniffers when searching for a mate since they want to know if a female is ovulating or pregnant. 

Is dog licking a sign of dominance?

For pack members, licking is communication. For puppies, they lick to groom themselves and their pack mates. Licking is also a way of welcoming others back into the pack and increasing the bonds among pack members. For adult dogs, licking is a sign of deference to a dominant pack member. 

Why does a dog lick another dog’s face?

A puppy’s display of licking can signal its desire to be fed. For adult dogs, this is a sign of respect. For wild dog puppies, they lick their mother’s lips when she returns from hunting or when her bully is full of predigested meat. 

How do dogs show affection to humans?

Dogs cuddle to bond with their owners at the chemical level. Dogs also snuggle to grow closer to others. This means that if your pet wants to cuddle, they feel the love from you. 


This blog post answered the question, “Why do male dogs lick other male dogs’ privates?” and covered the following topics: what it means when a dog licks another dog’s private area; when licking private part is considered a problem; when it will imply that something is wrong when a dog is obsessively licking another dog’s private; what medical reasons make a dog lick obsessively; and what needs to be done with a dog with an obsessive habit of licking other dogs’ genitals. 


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  2. Why do dogs lick each other’s private pa. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2020, from https://mercylight.wixsite.com/mercylight/why-do-dogs-lick-each-others-private-pa#:~:text=When you see a dog,they are sterilized or not.&text=They are curious how other dogs taste as compared to themselves.
  3. Farricelli, A. (2015, January 13). Why Is My Dog Obsessively Licking Other Dogs? – PetHelpful – By fellow animal lovers and experts. Retrieved December 29, 2020, from https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Why-Is-My-Dog-Obsessively-Licking-Other-Dogs-Mouth
  4. My dog is obsessively licking my other dog’s private. Is something wrong with my other dog? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/My-dog-is-obsessively-licking-my-other-dogs-private-Is-something-wrong-with-my-other-dog
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  7. Pedigree. (2017, January 05). Are Dog Licks Really Kisses? Retrieved December 29, 2020, from https://www.pedigree.com/dog-care/dog-facts/are-dog-licks-really-kisses

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