Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dogs Ears?

Have you ever wondered why does my dog lick my other dogs ears? This is because ear-licking among dogs is actually a social behavior that has deep-rooted communication and bonding purposes.

Our article will delve into the many reasons behind this peculiar canine ritual, giving you insights on what it means when your dog licks another dog’s ears. Ready to decode why does my dog lick my other dogs ears? Let’s dive in!

why does dog lick other dogs ears

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs lick each other’s ears as a form of social grooming to clean and strengthen bonds.
  • Ear licking can also be driven by taste and curiosity, as dogs explore scents and flavors.
  • Excessive ear licking may indicate underlying issues like anxiety or boredom, so it’s important to provide mental and physical stimulation.
  • To discourage excessive ear licking, rule out medical concerns, teach the “leave it” command, and provide alternative licking options.

Reasons Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dogs Ears

Dogs lick other dogs’ ears to engage in grooming behavior, satisfy their taste buds and curiosity, build bonds and companionship, exhibit compulsive or obsessive licking tendencies, or when bored and idle.

Grooming behavior

Dogs use licking to clean each other. Your dog can’t reach its own ears, so another dog helps out by licking them. This is a part of their cleaning routine called social grooming. Dogs also use this behavior to strengthen bonds in the pack.

Licking is a body language that shares friendly messages between dogs too! Sometimes, if your dog’s ears hurt, they may lick another dog’s ears for comfort.

Taste and curiosity

Dogs may also lick another dog’s ears out of taste and curiosity. Just like how we explore things with our mouths, dogs use their tongues to investigate and learn about the world around them.

They have a strong sense of smell, so licking other dogs’ ears helps them gather more information through taste. It’s like they’re trying to understand their furry friend better by getting a closer look at the scents and flavors on their ears.

Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and ear licking is just one way they satisfy that curiosity while bonding with each other in their own unique way.

Moreover, dogs can find different tastes intriguing and might want to explore what other dogs’ ears taste like. It’s similar to how we humans enjoy trying new foods or flavors because it piques our interest.

For dogs, licking another dog’s ears could be an interesting sensory experience that satisfies their curious nature.

Bond building and companionship

Dogs lick each other’s ears to build bonds and show companionship. It’s a way for them to communicate and strengthen their social connections. When dogs lick each other’s ears, it helps them form trust and establish their places within the pack.

Licking another dog’s ears is a sign of affection and care, as they’re showing love towards their furry friends. This behavior also helps dogs feel closer to one another, creating a sense of unity and camaraderie among them.

So, if you see your dog licking another dog’s ears, know that they’re building bonds and expressing companionship in their own special way.

Compulsive or obsessive licking

Sometimes, dogs may lick another dog’s ears excessively or obsessively. This behavior can be a sign of underlying issues, such as anxiety or boredom. Compulsive licking can also be a symptom of certain medical conditions, like allergies or skin irritations.

If your dog is engaging in compulsive or obsessive ear licking, it’s important to rule out any potential health problems first. Once you’ve done that, try to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog to help redirect their behavior.

Giving them interactive toys or engaging in activities together can help keep their mind occupied and prevent excessive licking. Teaching them the “leave it” command can also be useful in redirecting their attention away from ear licking.

Boredom and idle behavior

Dogs may also lick each other’s ears out of boredom or idle behavior. When dogs are not mentally stimulated or have nothing else to do, they may engage in this ear licking behavior as a way to occupy themselves.

This can happen when dogs are left alone for long periods without any toys or activities to keep them entertained. Licking another dog’s ears might give them something to focus on and relieve their boredom.

It’s important for dog owners to provide their pets with plenty of mental and physical stimulation, such as interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and regular exercise, to prevent boredom and discourage excessive ear licking.

why does dog lick other dogs ears

How to Discourage Excessive Ear Licking

To discourage excessive ear licking, rule out any medical concerns and redirect the behavior to more appropriate activities. Teach your dog the “leave it” command and provide alternative licking options such as chew toys or puzzle feeders.

Rule out medical concerns

Before addressing the excessive ear licking behavior in dogs, it is crucial to rule out any underlying medical concerns. Sometimes, dogs may lick other dog’s ears due to discomfort or irritation in their own ears.

Ear infections or allergies can cause itching and pain, leading to excessive licking. If your dog seems uncomfortable or displays signs of why does my dog lick my other dogs ears, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian for a thorough examination.

They can determine if there are any medical issues that require treatment and provide appropriate advice on managing the behavior moving forward. Keeping your dog’s ear health in check is important for their overall well-being and happiness.

Redirect the behavior

To discourage excessive ear licking in dogs, there are a few strategies you can try:

  1. Rule out medical concerns: Make sure there are no underlying health issues causing the excessive licking. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any ear infections or injuries.
  2. Provide alternative licking options: Offer your dog appropriate chew toys or treats that they can lick instead of their companion’s ears. This can redirect their behavior and satisfy their urge to lick.
  3. Teach the “leave it” command: Train your dog to understand and obey the “leave it” command. Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward them when they stop licking the other dog’s ears upon command.
  4. Create distractions: Distract your dog from ear licking by engaging them in activities such as playing fetch or going for a walk. Keeping them mentally and physically stimulated can reduce their idle behavior.

Teach the “leave it” command

To discourage excessive ear licking in your dogs, you can teach them the “leave it” command. This command helps them understand that they should not engage in the behavior of licking each other’s ears excessively. Here are some steps you can follow to teach this command:

  1. Start by holding a treat or a toy in your closed hand.
  2. Show your dog the closed hand and say “leave it” in a firm but calm voice.
  3. Wait for your dog to stop trying to get the treat or toy from your hand.
  4. Once they have stopped and have moved away from your hand, praise them with words like “good job” or give them a small treat as a reward.
  5. Practice this command repeatedly, gradually increasing the difficulty by placing the treat or toy on the ground or within their reach.
  6. Whenever your dog listens and obeys the command, be sure to reward them with praise and treats.

Provide alternative licking options

If you want to discourage your dog from excessively licking another dog’s ears, here are some alternative options you can try:

  1. Give them a chew toy or bone to lick instead.
  2. Offer them a frozen treat or a puzzle toy that they can lick and engage with.
  3. Provide interactive toys that dispense treats when licked.
  4. Use a food – dispensing toy or puzzle feeder that encourages licking as part of the play.
  5. Create a “licking station” by smearing peanut butter or plain yogurt on a designated surface for them to enjoy.
why does dog lick other dogs ears

Concerns and Considerations

Medical conditions, such as ear infections, can cause excessive licking and should be ruled out. It’s also important to consider gender differences and know when to seek professional help.

Discover more about these concerns and considerations in this informative blog post!

Medical conditions

Some dogs may lick another dog’s ears if they have a medical condition. Ear infections, allergies, or other ear issues can cause discomfort and itching in dogs. They might try to alleviate these symptoms by licking the ears of another dog.

If your dog is constantly licking another dog’s ears and showing signs of irritation or infection in their own ears, it’s important to have them checked by a veterinarian. The vet can provide appropriate treatment to address the underlying medical condition and relieve your dog’s discomfort.

Additionally, dogs with certain health conditions may display excessive ear licking behavior as a result of compulsive or obsessive tendencies. These behaviors can be indicators of an underlying psychological issue such as anxiety or stress.

It is essential to consult with a professional behavioral specialist who can assess your dog’s behavior and suggest effective strategies for managing any potential medical causes or psychological factors contributing to the excessive ear licking behavior.

Gender differences

Male and female dogs may have different tendencies when it comes to ear licking. In some cases, male dogs are more likely to engage in ear licking behavior as a way of establishing dominance or asserting their social status.

This is often seen during interactions with other male dogs. On the other hand, female dogs may lick each other’s ears more frequently as a sign of nurturing and care, especially when they are mothering puppies or forming close bonds within a pack.

Understanding these gender differences can help you better interpret your dog’s behavior and ensure that they feel comfortable and respected during social interactions with other dogs.

When to seek professional help

If your dog’s ear licking behavior becomes excessive or obsessive, it may be a sign of an underlying issue. One important consideration is if your dog is experiencing any discomfort or pain in their ears.

If you notice signs of irritation, redness, swelling, discharge, or a foul odor coming from the ears, it could indicate an ear infection or other medical condition. In such cases, it is best to seek professional help from a veterinarian who can diagnose and treat the problem.

Another reason to seek professional help is if your dog’s ear licking behavior escalates and becomes aggressive towards other dogs. This could be a sign of dominance issues or social hierarchy problems within your dog’s pack.

A professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide guidance and training techniques to address these behavioral issues.

why does dog lick other dogs ears


In conclusion, dogs lick each other’s ears for various reasons, such as grooming, curiosity, and to strengthen their bond. It is a normal behavior among dogs and serves as a way to communicate and show affection.

However, if the ear licking becomes excessive or bothersome, it is important to address any underlying medical concerns and redirect the behavior. With proper understanding and care, you can ensure your furry friends have happy and healthy interactions.


1. Why does my dog lick my other dogs ears?

Your dog may lick the other dog’s ears as a form of canine communication and bonding, demonstrating their submissive behavior in the pack integration.

2. Does ear licking show social hierarchy in dogs?

Yes, ear licking can depict a dog’s position in the social hierarchy; it showcases submissive behavior and canine instincts towards pack dynamics.

3. Can ear licking lead to issues such as Dog ear infections?

Yes, excessive ear licking could cause issues like bacteria build-up leading to dog ear infections; this makes regular check on your Dog’s ear health important for overall hygiene.

4. Is there a link between this habit and how well my dogs get along?

Doggy Whispers: When one pup licks another’s ears it often shows they have good interspecies interaction with proper bonding between them due to effective Dog socialization.

5. Is dog dominance relevant to why one pet might groom another’s’ ears?

In some cases yes! Dominant dogs will display signs of control over others by grooming or cleaning their peers’ body parts following instinctive canine communication patterns within the pack.

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