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teach your dog to kiss

How to Teach Your Dog to Kiss

Is your dog a love bug that “naturally”smothers you in wet kisses throughout the day? Or maybe you have always wanted to teach your dog to “kiss”. It’s a super easy trick to train and I’m here to share the simple tips and steps.

teaching your dog to kiss
My previous “soul” dog, Kota – star “kisser”

What you will need

  1. Treats – the higher the value, the better. With “kiss”, though, I do recommend something that easily “spreads”, like natural peanut butter. *make sure it’s all natural ingredients.
  2. Location – When teaching your dog new behaviors, it’s always important to start out in quiet locations without distractions. Your dog will learn faster in this type of environment. Your living is a perfect place to start out!
  3. Marker – no, not a magic marker – we won’t teaching your dog to draw today! Choose how you would like to “mark” the moment that your dog “gets it right.” I always like to say when they “win the prize.” I love clicker training and the fact that a clicker is spot on when marking a behavior. If you prefer a word, by all means, use a word. Please be consistent. Saying “good” or “yes” is perfect!
Memory Dog photo session with a kiss
Ripley kissing mom


When it comes to dog training, there are three ways to teach. Here I am going to focus on two: luring and capturing

Here are some steps to teach a “kiss” by luring:

  1. We want to “lure” your dog to your cheek… or maybe even right to the lips! Take a little bit of peanut butter (or cream cheese is a good option, too) and dab it right in the spot where you would like your dog to kiss.
  2. As your dog moves towards the food reward, slide in that verbal cue you would like to use such as “kiss”, “kisses”, “give kiss”, “smooch”. Again, the word doesn’t matter as long as you choose something you are consistent with.
  3. As soon as your dog’s lips touch you, that is the moment we will mark with either a clicker or word. Their reward is the peanut butter received after the click or word.
teach your dog to smooch
Hank LOVES giving mom kisses


I love capturing behaviors. I feel that they are strongest and the dog is making their own decision and then are rewarded for the “right” decision. If you have a husky, there is lots of capturing involved in training as they are very good at doing things “on their terms”!

1.Keep some treats in your pocket or on you throughout the day and if you are working from home, keep a clicker around your wrist.

2. Any time your dog goes to lick you, add in a verbal like above: “kisses”, “smooch”.

3. Click/say the word and give the treat from your pocket. Soon your dog will be excited and start offering the “kiss”all on their own.

(I’m huge fan of fanny packs and I’m so glad they are back in style! My favorite is by Kari Traa, but they no longer sell it. My next favorite is Cotopaxi)

Kiss Portraits

Yes, since I know do pet photography full time (always a dog trainer!) I want to share how beautiful a portrait of your dog giving you a kiss can be! Wouldn’t you love to walk in your front door and see this on a daily basis?

WOW your pet photographer with this trick! If you are in the northern New England area, let’s do it!!!

frame portrait dog giving a kiss
The Kiss
(New frame option coming in March!)

Around the Circle

This week’s post is part of a pet photographer’s blog circle. Next up Douglas, Wyoming photographer, Erin Schwartzkopf, shares one of her favorite poses for equine sessions. Do you agree? Enjoy your weekend!

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