Why Do Dogs’ Mouths Quiver After Licking?

Have you ever noticed your furry friend’s mouth quivering after they’ve finished licking something? It’s a fascinating behavior that many dog owners have observed but may not fully understand. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind why dogs’ mouths quiver after licking and shed some light on this intriguing phenomenon.

What Causes Dogs’ Mouths to Quiver?

There are several reasons why dogs’ mouths may quiver after licking, and it’s important to note that not all dogs exhibit this behavior. However, for those that do, here are some possible explanations:

1. Sensory Overload

One possible reason for dogs’ mouths to quiver after licking is due to sensory overload. When dogs lick something, whether it’s their owner’s face, another dog, or even an inanimate object, their taste buds are stimulated. This stimulation can lead to excitement and a release of endorphins, causing the quivering sensation in their mouths.

2. Muscle Fatigue

Another reason for dogs’ mouths to quiver after licking is muscle fatigue. Licking requires the use of various muscles in the mouth, including the tongue, jaw, and facial muscles. Just like any other muscle in the body, overuse can lead to fatigue and trembling. Therefore, if a dog has been licking excessively or for an extended period, their mouth may quiver as a result.

3. Pleasure Response

It’s also possible that dogs’ mouths quiver after licking as a pleasurable response. Licking is a natural behavior for dogs, and it provides them with a sense of comfort and satisfaction. The quivering may be a physical manifestation of the pleasure they experience while engaging in this activity.

4. Temperature Regulation

Dogs also use their mouths for temperature regulation. When they pant, they are able to cool themselves down by evaporating moisture from their tongues and respiratory system. After licking something, their mouths may quiver as a way to aid in the cooling process and regulate their body temperature.

Is Mouth Quivering After Licking Normal?

Yes, mouth quivering after licking is generally considered normal behavior in dogs. It’s important to note, however, that if your dog’s mouth quivering is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as excessive drooling, difficulty eating or drinking, or signs of pain, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

What Should You Do if Your Dog’s Mouth Quivers After Licking?

If your dog’s mouth quivers after licking and they appear otherwise healthy and happy, there is generally no cause for concern. However, if the behavior becomes excessive or bothersome to your dog, it may be worth redirecting their attention to prevent overstimulation or muscle fatigue. Providing them with appropriate chew toys or engaging them in other activities can help satisfy their need to lick without causing discomfort.

Training Tips to Manage Excessive Licking

If your dog’s licking behavior becomes excessive or problematic, here are some training tips to help manage it:

  • Redirect their attention: When you notice your dog starting to lick excessively, redirect their attention to a more appropriate activity such as playing with a toy or going for a walk.
  • Teach the “leave it” command: Train your dog to respond to the “leave it” command, which can be useful in preventing them from licking objects or people you don’t want them to lick.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog with treats, praise, or playtime when they refrain from excessive licking, reinforcing the desired behavior.
  • Consult a professional: If your dog’s excessive licking persists despite your best efforts, consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for further guidance.


While the exact reason behind why dogs’ mouths quiver after licking may not be fully understood, it is generally considered a normal behavior. Sensory overload, muscle fatigue, pleasure response, and temperature regulation are all possible explanations for this intriguing phenomenon. As responsible dog owners, it’s important to monitor our dogs’ behavior and consult a veterinarian if any concerning symptoms accompany the mouth quivering. By understanding and managing their licking behavior, we can ensure our furry friends are happy and healthy.


Why do dogs lick so much?

Dogs lick for various reasons, including to show affection, seek attention, explore their environment, and communicate. It’s a natural behavior that is ingrained in their instincts.

Can excessive licking be a sign of a medical issue?

Yes, excessive licking can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical issue. If your dog’s licking is accompanied by other symptoms such as hair loss, redness, swelling, or changes in appetite or behavior, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Should I let my dog lick my face?

Allowing your dog to lick your face is a personal choice. While it may be a sign of affection, it’s important to consider your own preferences and health. Dogs’ mouths can harbor bacteria, so if you have a compromised immune system or are concerned about hygiene, it may be best to refrain from face licking.

How can I prevent my dog from licking excessively?

Preventing excessive licking can be achieved through training and redirection. By providing appropriate chew toys, engaging your dog in activities, and teaching them commands such as “leave it,” you can help manage their licking behavior.

Are there any medical conditions that can cause excessive licking in dogs?

Yes, there are several medical conditions that can contribute to excessive licking in dogs, including allergies, skin infections, gastrointestinal issues, and anxiety. If you suspect an underlying medical condition, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can dogs’ mouth quivering be a sign of pain?

Dogs’ mouth quivering after licking is typically not a sign of pain. However, if your dog exhibits other signs of discomfort or pain, such as whimpering, reluctance to eat or drink, or changes in behavior, it’s best to consult a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues.

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