How to Stop My Dog From Biting Other Dogs’ Ears
It’s playtime! The only problem: your dog won’t stop biting other dogs’ ears! So what are you supposed to do? Why is your dog biting other dogs’ ears? And why does your puppy bite your older dog’s ears? Will they grow out of this eventually or do you need to start doing something about this right now?
Today, we’re going to answer all of the questions you have, and even more importantly, we’ll tell you how to stop this frustrating and possibly dangerous behavior! Soon, you’ll be able to let your dog play worry-free. Won’t that be nice? Of course! So let’s not delay any longer and get to our article “How to Stop My Dog From Biting Other Dogs’ Ears.”
Table of Contents
Why is My Dog Biting Other Dogs’ Ears?
Your dog is biting other dogs’ ears most likely because they’re just trying to play. Your dog is only applying a small amount of pressure when nipping ears like this and is trying to roughhouse or play fight with the other dog. It’s not something that should be painful at all to the other dog and is a normal part of playtime. As long as the other dog doesn’t seem to mind, you can allow it.
To be sure this is what’s going on, look for other signs of play from both dogs like high-pitched barking, wagging tails, and doing play bows towards each other. If you see these, you can be confident that the dogs are just having fun with each other.
There are other possibilities for why your dog bites other dogs’ ears that are less likely. If they don’t seem like they’re playing, your dog is probably trying to establish dominance over the other dog. A few clues for this type of behavior would be trying to take food or toys from that dog, or just generally being aggressive.
More signs include: is your dog also staring with a focused intent at the other dog? Are they growling or barking deeply? Do they attempt to head the other dog off if they try to leave the area? These would be clear displays of dominant aggression, and is definitely not a behavior that should you let continue.
If your dog is still a puppy under six months old, then they could be teething, or just testing out new things. While not a huge deal, you shouldn’t allow this because your puppy needs to find a proper outlet for their teething bites, and they need to learn that they can’t explore everything with their mouths just because they want to, or it could get them hurt.
If you feel that your dog is biting other dogs’ ears when the other dog isn’t playing along, or if they refuse your commands to stop, then you have a serious problem on your hands, and you need to do something about it immediately. Allowing it to continue will give your dog the idea that it’s okay, and the problem will only grow and escalate.
It won’t be long before your dog takes things further and is violently biting other dogs’ tails, biting other dogs on the legs, and even biting other dogs on the neck. You obviously can’t have any of these happening, so you need to act right away to stop your dog from biting other dogs’ ears by using behavioral training. Skip to the last section now where we’ll tell you how to do that.
Why Does My Puppy Bite My Older Dog’s Ears?
Your puppy bites your older dog’s ears because they’re trying to play. Nipping or biting ears is often how dogs will roughhouse, or try to encourage another dog to play with them. For puppies, it’s also possible that they’re teething (if under six months old), or just trying to explore something new in the world.
Most older dogs are familiar with this and will be tolerant of it, but you should still keep an eye on things for signs that your older dog is getting fed up or stressed. If your older dog tries to walk away, lightly growls, or bites back at your puppy, then you should separate the two for a while.
Keep doing this for as long as you need and your puppy should eventually learn that there are limits to what’s acceptable during play. This will let your dogs continue to interact and play when the older dog is up to it, without your puppy getting hurt.
Will My Dog Grow Out of Biting Other Dogs’ Ears?
Your dog will not grow out of biting other dogs’ ears. It’s possible if they are still a puppy under six months old, but even then there’s a good chance the possible behavioral problem will continue even as an adult. Puppies do bite ears as part of teething, but they also do it to try to encourage play, and this is something older dogs also do.
So generally, dogs biting other dogs’ ears is a possible behavioral issue and not one that is age-related, so you can’t expect your puppy to just grow out of it. Dogs biting another dog’s ears is often done to encourage play which is okay, but they’ll also do it to try and establish dominance, which is definitely not.
But regardless of whether your dog is biting other dogs’ ears to play or to dominate the other dog, it’s not something that’s age-related (only teething is), so it’s very unlikely they will grow out of it.
How to Stop Dog Biting Other Dogs’ Ears
To stop dog biting other dogs’ ears, you should immediately give a calm firm “no” or “stop” as soon as you see your dog taking things too far. Put your dog into time-out in their crate or a closed-off room with no toys for about 10 minutes.
You can then let them out to resume playing with the other dog, but should repeat this process as many times as necessary if they’re again biting the other dog’s ears too roughly or trying to dominate them.
But if your dog is playing or interacting with the other dog in an acceptable way, reward them with encouragement and praise. Moving forward, you should be sure that your dog has a proper biting outlet, like a chew toy. Also, make sure your dog is getting plenty of walks or solo playtime like playing fetch. A tired dog is much less likely to take things too far with other dogs.
Ensure that anyone else who spends time with your dog is also following these steps so that they’re getting consistent feedback about their biting behavior from everyone.
Still, you’ll need to address the fact that your dog was ever playing too roughly or trying to dominate other dogs — and especially so if they were refusing your commands. Acting in these ways is a definite sign from your dog that they don’t respect you as the leader of the family pack. They might even see themselves in this role rather than you.
But once you’ve shown them that you are not just their pack leader, but a capable one that they must respect, your dog will stop biting other dogs’ ears. They’ll stop trying to dominate other dogs. And most importantly, they’ll respect you as the leader of the pack and will happily listen to and obey your commands at all times.
You’ll be better off for obvious reasons, but so will your dog because they’ll be freed of all the stress that pack leader confusion causes them. You’ll also avoid the serious problems that could arise if your dog’s biting of ears provokes a fight from another dog.
So everyone will win. Sounds like a win-win, right?
“Of course, but how do I do this?”
You should watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this exact subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In the series, he’ll explain everything you need to know in ways that are very easy to understand and he gets right to the point so that you’ll start seeing these important changes in your dog’s behavior before something awful happens.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress or get anxious, because you’re not going to have to be mean or even raise your voice to your dog. Dan only uses 100% humane and loving methods at all times because it’s the right thing to do, and because it’s the fastest way — and the only way — to achieve permanent changes with your dog.
I’m sure you’re ready to not have to worry about your dog playing with other dogs anymore, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading “How to Stop My Dog From Biting Other Dogs’ Ears.”