Researchers say this behavior is linked to the animals’ perception of negative emotions, which, according to them, came from domestication. The study goes on to say, dogs only had a mouth lick reaction when they saw an angry human face and did not respond similarly to canine faces. Professor Daniel Mills of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln and co-author of the study said that the research results indicate dogs may be using mouth licking to facilitate communication between dogs and humans.
Studies like this one help us have a better understanding of our dogs’ emotions. As they get to know us, we definitely get to know them very well too.
So next time you’re angry at the pizza guy for getting your order wrong, take a peep over at your pup! He might not be licking his chops because he wants a slice. He just might be as upset about the anchovies instead of pepperoni as you are!