Why do dogs lick each other's ears

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears?

Why do dogs lick each other’s ears is a common question many dog owners ask. Dogs are sometimes weird creatures. Some things they do are strange to us.

However, most dog behavior makes sense once you start to understand them.

If you own a dog, you may observe your dog engaging in weird behavior. It’s okay to say that one of the most bizarre behaviors is when it licks the ears of other dogs.

When you notice this behavior, it’s hard not to wonder, “why do dogs lick each other’s ears?”

Dogs thrive on constant communication, just as humans do. They communicate their demands and feelings through their body language and facial expressions.

Ear-licking is another way dogs communicate with their owners and other dogs. It is typically not dangerous. However, it may initially seem strange and unusual to us, but it is considered a sign of warmth and respect.

If you’re curious to know the answer to the question: why do dogs lick each other’s ears? Keep reading this article till the end to find out.


why do dogs lick each other's ears

A dog is a member of the Canis familiaris or Canis lupus familiaris and a domesticated descendant of the wolf. A dog, also known as the domestic dog, is descended from the extinct Pleistocene wolf. Dogs were the first domesticated animals.

Dog breeds differ greatly in terms of size, color, and appearance. They perform various functions for humans, including therapy, companionship, protection, pulling loads, hunting, herding, helping the military and police, and helping the disabled.

This impact on humanity has given them the title of “man’s best friend.” So the question is, why do dogs lick each other’s ears?

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears?

The following are certain reasons why dogs lick each other’s ears:

1. Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears As An Expression of Love

Dogs licking each other ears as a sign of love

One of the most likely explanations for a dog licking another dog’s ear is to express love and friendship. It makes perfect sense that the dog doing the licking is doing so as a greeting to a friend. It signifies a handshake or a hug for humans.

2. Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears As A Sign of Respect

Dogs licking each other ears as a sign of respect

A dog will likely lick another dog’s ears as a sign of respect. Dogs are typically packed animals with innate instincts to communicate between leaders and subordinates.

The dog doing the licking may be showing its submission to the alpha, or the leader may be licking the ear of the subordinate for a job well done.

3. Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears When Grooming

two dogs grooming each other

One dog may be grooming the other. However, cats are typically the only animals to lick themselves clean, but dogs also do it, and one may simply be assisting another dog in reaching a particularly challenging spot.

4. Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears To Get Attention

Dog licking ears to draw attention

Ear-licking might be a strategy used by a dog to attract the other dog’s attention. A dog might gently wake the other by licking its ear while asleep.

If both dogs are awake, one dog might lick the other’s ear to convince them to play.

6. Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears As Sensing Infection

two dog sensing infection

A discharge from an infected ear produces an odor that may attract other dogs. If your dog suddenly starts acting this way, check for infections in the other dog’s ear. If you see something, your dog has assisted you in detecting a health crisis.

7. Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears When Sensing a Medical Condition

a dog sensing medical condition in another

Another dog may lick the ears of a dog afflicted with a medical condition, such as heatstroke, to comfort it and keep it from going unconscious.

It’s a good idea to quickly check the health of both dogs to make sure there are no illnesses that might be serious.

8. Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears As A Compulsive or Obsessive Licking

dog obsessive to licking each other ears

In rare cases, ear-licking could be a compulsive or obsessive behavior. Dogs often lick themselves or things around the house, such as the floor or bedding, but they may also lick their canine roommate.

The ear may be one of their favorite spots to lick because the dog receiving the licking may enjoy it, and we’ve already established that earwax appeals to dogs.

Dogs who lick compulsively may also exhibit other symptoms of obsession, including circling, licking other objects, and even gazing up at things that aren’t there.

However, these disorders are rare, but you should still call your veterinarian if you think your dog may be engaging in compulsive or obsessive licking.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Licking Other Dogs Ears

Here are the best ways to stop your dog from licking other dogs’ ears.

1. Subject Your Dog To Training

With the proper training, you can change most dog behaviors. Your goal is to get your dog to focus on you instead of licking.

You can start with the basics, like sit, stay, and down, before progressing to something more challenging.

Dogs are less likely to engage in compulsive behavior when mentally and physically active.

2. Distract Your Dog’s Attention

Show your dog that there are many more fun things to do. The best sources of distraction are chew toys, interactive toys, long walks, and games with you.

3. Provide Your Dog With Something To Lick.

Some dog breeds like to lick, and it is very little you can do to prevent it. It may be an issue for you if you own a Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, or a Poodle.

These dog breeds are never happier than when they’re licking something. So, give them another thing to lick. Dogs love silicone lick pads with natural yogurt or peanut butter.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Lick Ears?

dog lick ears when sleeping

Ear licking typically doesn’t raise any serious safety issues. It’s harmless enough, and most dogs don’t care if there’s a good connection between them.

However, issues can occur in some cases. One is that they can quickly start to exhibit OCD-like behaviors, leading to constant licking.

Another issue to be concerned about is an Infection in the dog being licked. The dog’s ear might become damp due to the saliva.

It may take some time for the saliva to clear if the dog’s ears are covered with a lot of hair, creating the perfect environment for bacteria and may result in a painful infection.

How Can Ear-licking Behavior Be Stopped Or Minimized In Dogs

If your dog’s ear-licking habit becomes excessive, you can reduce it by using dog treats to distract his attention.
If the behavior persists, you can visit your local pet shop to purchase some bitter-tasting sprays and spray on your dog’s ears to stop them from licking each other’s ears.

Why do dogs groom each other?

Dogs groom each other by licking their fur to limit parasites, show affection, or comfort each other.
They also use grooming to indicate submission and calm down another dog when it gets over-excited.
Dogs groom each other as a sign of social bonds. It could also be for hygiene or an act of appeasement.

Why do dogs lick humans?

Dogs lick humans because it’s enjoyable. The act of licking gives the dog a physical sensation on its tongue, but it may also be a source of comfort and a means for them to communicate with you. Also, they lick humans to get food,  just like puppies lick their mothers.

Final Thought

Why do dogs lick each other’s ears? They act this way because it is natural for them to do so.

One of the first good experiences a dog will have is licking, which is typically a sign of familiarity and connection.

Of course, there’s nothing special about the ear when it comes to bonding, but some dogs may choose to create the bond while also enjoying the smell and taste of the ear canal.

So, you don’t need to be worried anytime you notice your dogs licking each other because It’s a dog thing. Although if it seems excessive or affects the other dogs, you should take your dog to a veterinarian.

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