If you have more than one dog, you are likely to encounter some strange behaviors. We spend a lot of time with our pets and become accustomed to their actions and attitudes. Many things they may do may make us curious to know why, and one thing that might pop up from time to time is when one dog suddenly takes an interest in licking the other dogs ears.
Image Credit: Yuriy Chertok, ShutterstockOne dog could simply be grooming the other. While licking oneself clean is usually reserved for cats , dogs do it too, and one could simply be helping another reach a particularly difficult spot.
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, ShutterstockExperts say ear wax tastes salty, so well have to take their word for it. Once they learn they like it, it can be hard to curb them from the behavior, and the dog could start licking the ears of humans as well. Its always a good idea to take a second to scan both dogs to ensure no health conditions are present that could be concerning.
It would help if you never allowed the behavior to occur without stepping in, and its important to tend to the ear immediately to clean and dry it. We hope you have enjoyed reading over our dive into this slightly disgusting topic and have learned something new about your pet.
Is it okay for dogs to lick each other's ears?
In most cases, dogs licking each other’s ears is a healthy and natural behavior that should not ring any alarms. Sometimes, however, licking can indicate an underlying medical issue, be it with the dog being licked or the one doing the licking.
What does it mean when dogs lick eachothers faces?
If your dog likes to lick other dog’s faces, don’t worry. It may seem weird to us, but your dog is doing it to show friendliness, affection or deference. Whichever reason is behind his dog-on-dog face licking, it’s never a bad thing. It’s always a sign that he means no harm.
Our canine companions are known for having many cute, quirky, and sometimes even bizarre behaviors. Many of them stem from some evolutionary behavior or communication mechanism. Others are just unique to the family dog.
Ear wax is a little on the salty side and can make a tasty treat for pooches with a sophisticated palate. Other dogs are attracted to the change in smell (and probably taste) of the discharge in an ear when there is an infection present.
Unlike humans, they dont have vocal cords to be able to speak and get their message across, so they do so by using other means of communication like barking, body language, and yes, ear licking.
In fact, Stella doesnt just lick my ears; she downright nibbles on them. But truth be told, she doesnt care she licks their ears anyway.
The answer to this question is that there are many reasons that dogs engage in licking behaviors. To make it simple, lets break it down into categories by talking about: In fact, licking is something that a puppy will often do to signal to its mother that it is feeding time.
In the canine world, its not unnatural to greet another dog  by licking them. While most cases of ear licking are completely natural and normal, it can also be a sign of infection. If you find that licking is excessive, you may want to take your dog to the vet to rule out any chance of infection.
As mentioned above, when two dogs are close to one another, they may engage in mutual grooming. I am comfortable with you, I accept you as part of my pack, and I respect and love you. When a dog licks your ears,its their way of saying they respect and love you, and accept you as part of their pack .
And while the thought of earwax makes us want to be ill, some dogs love it enough to lick it. With that being said, if you carefully observe your dogs interactions and notice that their licking has become obsessive, it may be time to intervene. This moisture creates the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to flourish and could set the victim dog up for infection.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, obsessive licking could also be a sign of infection. In most cases, licking is just a form of communication a friendly greeting to say I love you, I accept you, or I respect you. In other cases, licking could be a sign that something is wrong, or that an infection is brewing.
As disgusting as it may seem to us, dogs have a natural draw to the smell and taste of earwax and to that, we say, to each their own little Lassie! I mean, look at everything that your dog licks or puts in its mouth (including ear wax). When you look at things that way, you might understand why so many people are against letting their dogs lick their faces.
According to infectious disease specialist, Pritish Tosh, no, they are not that harmful. Precaution should be used then when dogs are licking the elderly, cancer patients, pregnant women, or others with diminished immune functioning, but even then, illness is unlikely. Like we mentioned before, licking is often used as a greeting or display of affection.
While you sleep, your skin secretes sweat and oil, which gives off a salty flavor. [^] Godey, B, et al. Beware of Dogs Licking Ears. Lancet (London, England) , U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 Oct. 1999, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10520644.
About the author:
Chalene Johnston graduated with honors from University with a BA in psychology. She is a proud stay-at-home mom to her 2-year-old French Bulldog puppy, Stella! She writes for a wide variety of topics with animals being one of her favorites.
Why do dogs lick ears?
Trying to figure out our pets’ behavior is a favorite pastime for many of us. While no one can be sure what’s going on in our pets’ minds, we can get a pretty good idea, and strange behaviors like ear licking are always more fun, let’s explore some possible reasons for this behavior.
1. Sign of Affection
One of the most likely reasons one dog might lick another dog’s ear is to signal a friendship. It’s very reasonable that the dog doing the licking is doing so as a greeting to a friend. It’s sort of like a handshake or maybe even a hug for humans.
2. Sign of Respect
It’s very possible that one dog might lick the ears of another dog as a sign of respect. Most dogs are pack animals that have ingrained impulses to communicate between leaders and subordinates. The dog doing the licking could demonstrate its submissiveness to the alpha, or the leader could be licking the ears of a subordinate who has done well at a certain task.
One dog could simply be grooming the other. While licking oneself clean is usually reserved for cats, dogs do it too, and one could simply be helping another reach a particularly difficult spot.
4. Getting Attention
It could be one dog’s way of getting attention from the other. If one dog is sleeping, the other will often choose to lick the ear to wake them gently. If both dogs are awake, one dog may lick the other’s ear to convince them to play.
5. They Like the Taste
Experts say ear wax tastes salty, so we’ll have to take their word for it. Many believe that dogs simply like the taste of ear wax and will get it where they can. Once they learn they like it, it can be hard to curb them from the behavior, and the dog could start licking the ears of humans as well.
6. Sensing Infection
Ear infections cause a discharge to occur, and it creates an odor that can attract other dogs. If your dog has picked up this behavior suddenly, it might be a good idea to check the other dog’s ear for signs of an infection. if you notice something, your dog has helped you get a jump on a health crisis.
7. Sensing a Medical Condition
If one dog is suffering from a medical condition like heat stroke, another dog might lick the ears to provide comfort, and they could be trying to prevent it from becoming unconscious. It’s always a good idea to take a second to scan both dogs to ensure no health conditions are present that could be concerning.If the behavior starts to bother the dog or it spreads to include humans, you can try to distract them with their favorite toys or give them some of their favorite treats. However, giving treats may also encourage the behavior. If it gets uncontrollable, you can try using a bitter spray on the ears of the offended dog. Many brands work well and are safe and non-toxic.Licking a dog’s ear isn’t exactly harmful, but the excess moisture is a direct path to an ear infection. It would help if you never allowed the behavior to occur without stepping in, and it’s important to tend to the ear immediately to clean and dry it. If you dry the ear quickly, there should be no harmful side effects at all.
Ear Licking is a Complex Canine Behavior
Dogs are pack animals, meaning that most of their day to day activities are some form of communication. The ever changing social structure in a pack makes it necessary that dogs are good communicators.Two dogs who are close friends or family members often engage in mutual grooming. The ears are a place that can get pretty dirty, and dogs are unable to groom them on their own. If you see a dog licking ears, whether they belong to another dog, a cat, or even you, he or she is saying two things:Many times the more submissive dog of the two animals will be the one doing the licking, as it is a sign of respect and admiration. Next time you get an earful of tongue from your pooch, remember it just means he adores you!