If you’re looking to teach your dog a fun new trick, you definitely want to learn how to teach your dog to give kisses!
Seriously, is there anything cuter than a pup who smooches on command?
As long as your dog has mastered basics like how to lay down, sit, and shake, they’re ready for this advanced trick!
Read on to find step-by-step methods for teaching your dog to give kisses!
How to Teach Your Dog to Give You Kisses
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Step 1: Finding the Right Motivator
In any form of dog training, you need something to entice your dog. It could be a treat, food, or positive reinforcement. See, your dog’s not just going to learn a trick without some reward.
With this trick, peanut butter or cream cheese are appropriate options. It depends on where you’re willing to put these motivators on your cheek. This phrase might sound weird at the moment, but you’ll understand as we go on in our guide.
In my personal experience, I find peanut butter to be the best option: dogs love it, and it smears easily. And with cream cheese, some dogs don’t find the taste appealing.
Step 2: Place the Motivator On Your Cheek
After choosing your motivator, we’re going to use peanut butter in this example, smear a little across your cheek. If you aren’t comfortable with dog kisses on your face, you can use your hand.
Regardless, either one will get you the desired results. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with and what you want out of this training experience. As with any dog-training element, it’s essential you keep this placement consistent.
But, if you’re worried that a dog kiss on the face is somehow going to get you sick, click this article, which debunks this myth. After reading this article, I think it’s fair to say that there are no health risks involved in this decision.
Step 3: Say the Command
With the peanut butter on your desired location, we’ve reached the most critical stage in this whole process: the introduction of the command. During this step, you must stay consistent with the phrasing.
I found the phrasing, “give me kisses” or “kiss,” works best for my dogs. Once you’ve picked your wording, point to your cheek/hand and say it. At first, it’s probable your dog won’t understand right away.
Don’t panic; this reaction is expected. However, if your dog takes to it right away, there’s no reason you’ll need step four. In this case, your dog’s a rock star and defiles all expectations. Congrats!
But for our regular dogs, step four will be when they finally start to understand what you want from them. Full disclosure, my dogs weren’t rock stars and needed a healthy dose of step four.
Step 4: Lean Forward
Are you saying the phrasing and your dog’s still looking at you confused? In this situation, there’ s a simple solution: leaning forward. Your dog will be too enticed by the peanut butter and will have no choice other than licking your face or hand.
After a while, they’ll gradually start to understand that the phrasing means you want a kiss. Once you got that down, you eventually won’t even need a motivator, and your dog will be kissing you just on a command.
In the end, it’s all about keeping the placement and phrasing consistent. By doing both these things, you’re tapping into your dog’s need of a routine. And with that in mind comes our last step.
Step 5: Practice
One successful run isn’t enough. In fact, your dog needs continually practice for this to ingrain itself inside your their mind. Due to this, it’s essential you do these steps for a few minutes several times a day.
In other words, commit yourself to your dog’s training. I know, it’s easy to become lazy with something as trivial as training your dog tricks. However, dog kisses are adorable and create some of the best photos possible.
Check out this video for a more visual guide:
If the method above isn’t working, there’s another one that’s proven just as effective. With this option, you don’t use a motivator but instead focuses on putting attention on them naturally doing it.
Step 1: Capture the Behavior
At some point, your dog’s going to lick you: it’s in their nature. However, you can use this to your advantage by encouraging the behavior. It’s relatively simple: any time your dog kisses you, say, “give me kisses.”
In other words, point to your face/hand and say the wording. In doing so, you’re tapping into your dog’s need to appease you. You’re essentially cultivating kissing as a good behavior through giving your dog attention.
Step 2: Use a Clicker
You can further convey kissing as a good behavior through the use of a clicker. As the step above, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Every time your dog kisses you, you click the clicker.
Often, I use a clicker in my dog’s training because it “allows me to communicate efficiently to my dog what exactly I liked in their behavior.” In this case, it’s no different. I found a clicker speed up this process considerably in my experiences.
Step 3: Positive Reinforcement
When your dog kisses you, you must reward them in some way. I recommend telling them, “Good boy/girl” and then giving them their favorite treat or toy. In my case, my dogs love the Milk-bones. Honestly, they’re very handy and convenient.
After several instances of you rewarding their kissing, there’s no reason why your dog shouldn’t start kissing the instant you say your chosen phrasing.
In comparison to the method above, it’s a little less direct. But it works just the same and takes a little less effort on your part.
With these two methods, there’s no reason this cute little trick shouldn’t be a part of your dog’s repertoire in the near future!
Did you teach your dog to give you kisses? Share your tips and experiences below!