Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Ears?

Do you ever wonder why our beloved pets do some of the strange things they do?

If so, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we share the answer to your question “why do dogs lick each others ears?”.

You’ll also get a deeper understanding of just why it is that your furry friends may be drawn to their peers for loving licks.

From communication tools to genuine affection, there are plenty of possibilities when it comes to canine behavior – let’s dive in!

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Ears? – The Reasons

Seeing your dog licking other dog’s ears may seem peculiar to humans, but it’s a common action among dogs.

While some dog owners may find this behavior cute, others may find it concerning or annoying.

Let’s have a deeper look into the reasons dogs doing it.

Show Affection And Submission

Dogs are highly social animals, and licking can be an expression of both submission and affection between them.

When a dog licks the ear of another dog, they are essentially saying that they accept their role in the hierarchy.

This act of submissiveness is also commonly seen when one dog licks the mouth of another, which shows even more reverence. 

On the other hand, licking another dog’s ears can also be a sign of affection or as a way to greet them. It’s as if they’re saying “hello!”

Understanding this behavior and why dogs do it helps us examine how our pet interacts with people and keep furry pals nice.

Sign Of An Underlying Health Condition

Licking is normal, but excessive licking of another dog’s ear may indicate a health issue.

Allergies, itchy skin, anxiety, infections, and injuries are examples.

If your dog is exhibiting excessive licking behavior and it becomes difficult to distract them from their target, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for further investigation and ensure there are no deeper issues at hand.

Grooming Technique For Dogs

Grooming plays an important role in the social lives of dogs.

Dogs licking each other’s ears is just one of their grooming techniques, used to express their affection and build bonds with one another.

It can also serve as a way for more dominant dogs to establish social hierarchy within packs.

This is mainly due to the fact that many sensitive areas of the body are exposed when licked.

By licking each other’s ears, dogs not only show their affection but demonstrate who is in charge in a given group or situation.

Sign Of Respect

Dogs often show their respect and admiration for another dog by licking their ears.

This bonding ritual can be seen between a mother and her pup, or two dogs that want to form an alliance.

Studies have suggested that this behavior is closely linked with social exchange.

From the submitting dog licking the superior one’s ear to seek its favor to the higher-ranking dog licking back to acknowledge the other’s activities.

Licking shows respect and improves canine social relationships.

To Get Attention

Dog licking each other’s ears can be signs of affection and attention-seeking behavior.

Dogs often initiate mutual ear licking with a friend as a way to bond and show appreciation.

Ear licking can also occur when one dog is insecure or trying to get another dog’s attention.

This behavior expresses emotions such as fear, curiosity, or even sympathy. 

Although the exact reasons why do dogs lick each other’s ears remain unknown, it is certain that the act itself signifies some sort of connection between them.

Licking Is Soothing

Licking is among the primary ways that dogs communicate with each other and can express a range of feelings from comfort and joy to anxiety and fear. 

One particular example of this communication is when dogs lick each other’s ears.

Dogs often find ear licking very soothing as it mimics being groomed and kissed by their mothers when they were puppies.

This behavior strengthens the bond between two dogs while offering comfort and reassurance in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.

All part of why doggie licking behaviour should never be discouraged!

Is Ear Licking Safe?

It is not uncommon for dogs to show affection towards each other by licking one another’s ears.

However this type of behavior can sometimes lead to harm.

It’s crucial to remember that when dogs lick one other’s ears, they transfer bacteria and natural oils.

Infections and ear mites might spread.

Hence, while this behavior is harmless for two dogs who live together, it should be avoided with strangers to protect your beloved dog.

See a vet if your dog avoids ear licking or exhibits distress.

How Can I Stop Excessive Licking Behavior?

Excessive licking of ears in dogs can be a sign of an underlying health or behavioral issue.

In some cases, the behavior isn’t serious and can be addressed with some simple steps.

The key is to identify why your dog is engaging in this behavior and then develop a plan to address the root cause.

If this isn’t possible, there are other approaches you can take such as: 

  • providing more stimulation through playtime and interactive toys
  • utilizing positive reinforcement techniques
  • seeking professional guidance from a certified dog trainer 

With a little patience and determination, it is possible to stop excessive licking behavior in dogs.

Should You Be Concerned About Ear Licking?

Dog owners should be aware that too much ear licking can be a sign of an underlying issue.

Infections, allergies, and mites all cause dogs to lick their ears excessively.

Besides infection, recurrent ear licking may indicate an environmental issue such dirt accumulation or other debris hurting the delicate skin of the ear canal.

An observant dog owner can take note of any change in behavior and make sure to keep their pup’s ears clean and dry.

Inspect them regularly for wax buildup and unusual smells, as well as any evidence of discomfort or redness.

In some cases, it may be necessary to visit a veterinarian for further assessment of any potential causes.

In conclusion, it is not always clear why dogs lick each other’s ears.

Dogs may do it to indicate affection, boredom, cooling down, respect or submission, grooming, attention.

Or they do it simply because they like the taste and feel of another dog’s ear.

But, if your dog often licks another dog’s ears, you should consult a veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

Knowing why dogs lick each other’s ears might help you understand their behavior and build better bonds between them.

Before You Go…

Now you know why dogs lick each others ears.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.