Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dog’s Ears? (+What to Do!)

“Why does my dog lick my other dog’s ears? If you’ve noticed your dogs licking each other’s ears, then it’s completely understandable to wonder what’s going on, and if you need to do anything about it. This behavior often represents more than just playful interaction or grooming habits.

In this article, we’ll explain why dogs and puppies engage in ear licking, and teach you the signs of affectionate grooming in comparison to those of potential underlying health issues. We’ll also address what actions, if any, you should take if your dog keeps licking the ears of another dog, and how to know when it’s time to intervene. Let’s begin!

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

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

Your dog licks your other dog’s ears because of a combination of affection, grooming behavior, and possibly even to help keep the ears clean or free from infection. This action can also be a sign of submissiveness or comfort-seeking. While it’s a common behavior seen in many dogs, understanding the motivation behind it can help ensure it remains a healthy interaction between your pets.

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears?

Dogs lick each other’s ears as part of their natural grooming behavior and social interaction. This act can be a way of showing care and affection towards one another. It’s also thought that the taste of the ear wax or the scent of the pheromones in the ears might be appealing to some dogs.

Generally, ear licking is a benign behavior unless it becomes excessive or is associated with an underlying health issue.

Dogs Licking Each Other’s Ears: Signs of Illness

While dogs licking each other’s ears can be normal, it’s important to monitor for signs of illness, such as:

  • Excessive licking that leads to redness, swelling, or wetness in the ear.
  • Bad odor coming from the ears, which could indicate an infection.
  • Signs of discomfort in the dog being licked, like whimpering or pulling away.

If you notice any of these signs, contact a veterinarian to rule out infections or other ear problems.

Dog Licking Ears of Another Dog: What to Do

If ear licking becomes excessive or if one dog seems bothered by it, you can intervene by:

  • Distracting the licking dog with toys or commands when they begin to lick the other dog’s ears excessively.
  • Regularly checking the ears of both dogs to ensure they are clean and free of infection or irritation.
  • Contact a veterinarian if you suspect the behavior is linked to an ear condition that needs treatment.
  • Using positive reinforcement training to encourage alternative behaviors.

While dogs licking each other’s ears is a common and often harmless behavior, it’s important to remain vigilant for any signs of excessive licking or discomfort that could indicate health issues. By understanding why dogs engage in this behavior and knowing when to intervene, you can help maintain both the physical and social well-being of your pets.

It’s important to remember that any underlying behavioral issues (dominance, anxiety, etc.) that may be contributing to all of this will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog licking another dog’s ears excessively and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog licking your other dog’s ears ever again!

Why Would a Puppy Lick Another Dog’s Ears?

Dogs Licking Each Other's Ears

Puppies lick another dog’s ears as part of their learning and socialization process. This behavior can be driven by curiosity, affection, or an instinct to groom and care for others in their pack. Understanding this behavior helps in ensuring it remains positive and does not lead to discomfort or health issues for either dog involved.

Why Is My Older Dog Licking My Puppy’s Ears?

Your older dog is licking your puppy’s ears as a gesture of care and grooming. In dog packs, licking is a common way to clean and comfort one another, and it can also establish a bond between dogs. When an older dog licks a puppy’s ears, it may be showing affection, asserting gentle dominance (but watch for chewing), or performing a parental role by keeping the puppy clean.

Your older licking your puppy’s ears could still become excessive, however. Learn when you should intervene by going back to the first section now.

Why Is My Puppy Grooming My Older Dog?

Your puppy is grooming your older dog as part of its instinctual behavior to bond and interact with pack members. Puppies learn by mimicking the behavior of older dogs, and grooming is a sign of trust and comfort with their companions.

This behavior can also be a way for the puppy to explore their environment and understand social cues within their pack.

How to Stop Puppy Licking Older Dog’s Ears

  • Observe the dogs to ensure the ear licking is gentle and not causing any irritation or discomfort to either dog.
  • If you notice any signs of discomfort or if the licking becomes excessive, distract the puppy with a toy or a command to shift their focus.
  • Regularly check the ears of both dogs for signs of irritation, infection, or injury, and contact a vet if needed.
  • Encourage other forms of play and interaction between your dogs to reduce the puppy’s reliance on licking as the main form of socialization.

In conclusion, while a puppy licking another dog’s ears is generally a normal and healthy behavior indicative of bonding and social interaction, monitoring this behavior to ensure it remains positive and healthy for both dogs is important. Encouraging a variety of interactions can help maintain a balanced and happy relationship between your pets.

I’m sure you’re ready to get started now that you have all of your questions about your dog licking another dog’s ears answered, so I’ll let you get going on things. Best wishes, and thank you for checking out our article “Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dog’s Ears? (+What to Do!)”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.