Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dogs Ears: Understanding Canine Behavior


Dogs lick each other’s ears to show affection and to groom. This behavior is part of their social bonding and communication.

It can also indicate a sign of dominance or submission within a canine pack hierarchy. When one dog licks the ears of another, it can be a way of showing affection, as licking is a natural grooming behavior for dogs.

It can also signal a submissive gesture, where the licking dog is acknowledging the other dog’s higher status within the pack. In some cases, it may also be a way to assert dominance over the other dog. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help dog owners ensure a harmonious relationship between their pets. It’s important to monitor the interaction between dogs and ensure that it remains positive and non-threatening.

The Science Behind Canine Licking

Dogs licking each other’s ears has been a common behavior that raises questions about canine social behavior. One of the reasons for this behavior lies in social grooming, which plays a vital role in the animal kingdom. Moreover, understanding the endorphin release in dogs further sheds light on why one dog may lick another’s ears. This release plays a significant role in reinforcing positive social behaviors. Additionally, licking can be interpreted as a submissive gesture in canine language, indicating a lower social ranking or a sign of respect. Hence, when one dog licks another’s ears, it can be seen as a display of affection, trust, and submissiveness within the social dynamics of a canine pack.

Canine Ear Licking: Affection Or More?

Have you ever wondered why your dog licks the ears of your other dogs? Ear licking among dogs is a behavior that holds significant meaning in their social interactions. It is considered a display of trust and companionship, reflecting the strong bond between the animals. This behavior is deeply rooted in the concept of dog hierarchy and grooming behavior, where one dog acknowledges the other’s status and takes on the role of caretaker. Understanding the significance of ear licking in dog-to-dog interaction can provide valuable insights into their social dynamics and the depth of their relationships.

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By recognizing the underlying meanings behind this behavior, dog owners can gain a deeper understanding of their pets’ communication and social structures, enhancing their ability to nurture and support their dogs’ emotional well-being.


Health Implications Of Ear Licking

Identifying the line between grooming and health risk: When a dog licks another dog’s ears, it can be a natural behavior for grooming, but excessive licking can lead to health implications. It’s important for pet owners to observe the frequency and intensity of ear licking to determine if it’s becoming excessive.

Potential problems from excessive ear licking: Excessive ear licking can lead to irritation, inflammation, and even infections in the ears of the licked dog. Additionally, it may also indicate an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.

When to intervene in your dogs’ ear-licking habit: It’s crucial to intervene when one dog excessively licks another’s ears, as it can lead to negative health implications. If you notice frequent or intense ear licking, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian to rule out any potential health concerns and ensure the well-being of your pets.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dogs Ears: Understanding Canine Behavior

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Communication And Bonding Through Licking

Ear licking as a form of canine communication

Dogs use licking as a means to communicate their feelings and intentions to other dogs. It is a natural behavior that signifies affection, respect, and submission. By licking one another’s ears, dogs are able to establish and reinforce their social bonds.

Licking plays a crucial role in strengthening the social structure within a group of dogs. It helps in creating a sense of unity and cooperation, enhancing the overall cohesion and stability among the dogs. This behavior also fosters a sense of trust and security, promoting a harmonious coexistence.

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The impact of ear licking on dog social structure

Ear licking has a significant impact on the social dynamics of a group of dogs. It contributes to the establishment of a hierarchy and the maintenance of peace and order within the pack. This behavior helps in promoting a peaceful and cooperative environment, vital for the well-being and stability of the canine community.

When Ear Licking Is A Concern

Many dog owners wonder why their dogs lick each other’s ears. Ear licking can be a concern when it becomes obsessive or indicates underlying issues. Recognizing signs of obsessive licking such as constant and intense licking is crucial. Common ear problems in dogs that are associated with licking include ear infections, allergies, and ear mites. It is important to consult a vet if you notice any signs of discomfort in your dog such as redness, swelling, or a bad odor, as these may be indicators of an underlying problem.

Training And Managing Ear Licking Behavior

There are several techniques to redirect excessive licking behavior in dogs. Establishing boundaries and teaching alternative behaviors is crucial. Positive reinforcement plays a significant role in modifying licking habits, as it encourages desirable behaviors over unwanted actions. By redirecting the dog’s attention and rewarding them for engaging in other activities, such as playing with a toy or practicing a specific command, you can effectively address ear licking behavior. Additionally, setting clear boundaries and consistently enforcing them can help manage and reduce this behavior. Reinforcing positive behaviors and providing appropriate outlets for the dog’s energy can lead to a healthier and more harmonious relationship between multiple dogs in a household.

Frequently Asked Questions For Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dogs Ears

Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dog’s Ears?

Dogs lick each other’s ears as a sign of affection and to establish social bonds. This behavior is also a way for dogs to communicate and show submission to the other dog. It’s completely normal and part of their natural instinctive behavior.

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However, excessive licking might indicate an underlying medical issue and should be monitored.

Is It Safe For My Dog To Lick Other Dog’s Ears?

In general, it’s safe for dogs to lick each other’s ears as it’s a natural behavior for them. However, it’s important to ensure that both dogs are healthy and free from any infections that could be transmitted through licking. Regular vet check-ups and proper hygiene can help ensure the safety of this behavior.

How Can I Discourage My Dog From Licking Other Dog’s Ears?

If you want to discourage this behavior, you can redirect your dog’s attention to a toy or treat whenever they try to lick the other dog’s ears. Additionally, providing enough mental and physical stimulation for both dogs can help reduce the urge to engage in excessive licking behaviors.

Should I Be Concerned If My Dog’s Ears Are Being Licked Excessively?

Excessive licking of a dog’s ears could be a sign of an underlying medical issue, such as ear infections or allergies. If you notice persistent or aggressive licking, it’s important to have your dog checked by a veterinarian to rule out any potential health problems.


Understanding why your dog licks the ears of another dog is essential for maintaining their well-being. This behavior could be a sign of affection, dominance, or simply a natural grooming instinct. By observing their body language and context of the behavior, you can gain valuable insight into your dog’s social dynamics.

Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and consult with a professional if you have any concerns.