Why Do Pitbulls Lick So Much?

Dogs love to lick things. They experience the world through a complicated combination of sensations, such as smell, sight, sound, as well as taste.

Why Do Pitbulls Lick So Much?

As well as this, they simply also enjoy licking things to communicate.

Pitbulls are dogs that are particularly well known for their affectionate nature, as well as their remarkable ability to communicate with humans through their actions.

However, it can sometimes be difficult to tell exactly what a certain behavior means, and what a pitbull is trying to say. 

One behavior that often ends up confusing owners is licking. While receiving licks from a pitbull can be incredibly cute and enjoyable, sometimes it can seem as if they are trying to tell us something. So why do pitbulls lick so much? 

If you’ve been stuck on this question for some time, then prepare to read on, because we are going to find some definitive answers!

Why Do Pitbulls Lick So Much?

There are actually multiple reasons that a pitbull may be licking excessively, however, it is important to note that the reason why pitbulls lick quite a lot more than other dog breeds is that they are such affectionate dogs.

Pitbulls are very sociable animals, and also very loyal, and they love to be doted on, and they love to layer on affection for those that they love.

When they aren’t spending all of their time licking you, they may also be sitting very close to you, or leaning on you.

Licking is just one of many ways that a pitbull will choose to show its incredible amount of affection to you.

But what are some of the other reasons that your pitbull may be licking more than usual? Let’s take a look!

Emotional Distress

Because of how affectionate pitbulls are, you may find that they begin to lick more when their emotions are strongly affected.

If your dog has not seen you for some time, or they are dealing with separation anxiety, then you may find that it kisses you much more than usual when it does finally see you. 

Pitbulls can also be affected by stress, and this will cause them to lick even more than usual.

For instance, if there is a very significant change in the dog’s usual life, such as the whole family moving home, a new member being added to the family, or someone new moving in, then it will begin to lick more.

It will do this because it is seeking reassurance from you, making the pitbull seem more clingy.

It may even begin licking at areas other than your face, such as your hands or feet, constantly looking to be reassured (Check out Why Do Pitbulls Have Webbed Feet?).


When dogs are allergic to something, they often experience it in a slightly different way than humans. This is also true for pitbulls.

When pitbulls are allergic to something, they can often become incredibly itchy.

Thus, when a pitbull is uncomfortably itchy, you may notice it licking itself more often in certain spots in an attempt to scratch at the affected area.

Pitbulls may also lick at other things when suffering from allergies as a way to alleviate the stress of itchiness from the allergies.

They may lick at your hands as a way to show that they need relief.

If you are seeing signs of allergy in your pitbull, make sure to consult your veterinarian to see what your pitbull may be allergic to. (Find out Are Pitbulls Hypoallergenic?)


Why Do Pitbulls Lick So Much?

Your pitbull may also be licking excessively because it is injured in a certain spot. Pitbulls are quite proud dogs, so they may often be unwilling to make it obvious that they are injured. 

If you find that your dog is licking a specific area of their body excessively, it may be worth checking that area to see if there is any sign of injury, such as bruising or scarring.

Dogs tend to lick at their wounds as a way of promoting blood flow to the area. The act of licking stimulates blood flow to the affected area, which can help it to heal more quickly. 

Dogs may also lick cuts because of the anesthetic effect that is caused when the saliva evaporates on the skin. 

If you notice any bruising or scarring on any areas that a pitbull seems fixated on, make sure to consult your veterinarian.


A pitbull’s sense of taste and smell is crucial to how it experiences the world around it.

When a pitbull is first born, it cannot hear or see for around the first 3 weeks of life, and it depends on its senses of smell and taste.

Thus, whenever a pitbull encounters anything or anyone new, it may begin licking it, to try to get a sense of who or what it is. 

Dogs may also lick at new things as a way of communicating that they are hungry, as they may smell something, and then begin licking it because they decide that it must taste good, and they want to satiate their hunger.

Finishing Thoughts

So, while licking is a totally natural part of pitbull behavior, you may notice that a pitbull begins licking things more often than usual when they are experiencing numerous things.

For instance, if your pitbull is distressed, or they are suffering from physical symptoms of injury or allergy, then you will likely notice them licking certain spots of their body more often.

However, sometimes excessive licking can also just be a sign that a pitbull is curious, as they are very sociable animals!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Loyal Are Pit Bulls To Their Owners?

Pitbulls are incredibly loyal to their owners, and thus are incredibly affectionate as a result.

Why Are Pitbulls So Affectionate?

One of the major reasons why pitbulls are so affectionate is that they are incredibly social animals, and they are incredibly loyal.

If a pitbull builds a bond with a human, then it will express that bond in a number of ways!

Do Pitbulls Like Kisses?

Definitely. Pitbulls love when their owners show them attention, no matter how they do it, so if you were to give your pitbull plenty of kisses, it would soon begin to accept it as a show of affection and react accordingly.

Emily Andrews