How to Stop a Dog From Chewing on Other Dogs’ Ears [Easy!]

Does your dog have a habit of chewing on other dogs’ ears? It might seem like an odd behavior, but it’s not uncommon in dogs.

In this article, we’ll explore why dogs bite each other’s ears, whether it’s related to dominance, and how it fits into play. We’ll also offer practical advice on how to prevent your dog from chewing on other dogs’ ears, whether it’s an older dog biting a puppy’s ears or a puppy biting an older dog’s ears.

We’ll give you some easy steps and solutions to address this issue effectively. So, let’s dive in and find out more about this behavior and how to handle it. Read on!

How to Stop Dog Chewing Other Dogs’ Ears

How to Stop My Dog From Biting Other Dogs' Ears

If your dog chews on other dogs’ ears, it’s important to address this behavior immediately to prevent potential injuries and conflicts. Here are some simple steps to help you stop your dog biting other dogs’ ears:

  1. Supervise and intervene: When dogs are interacting, closely supervise their interactions and be ready to intervene if your dog starts to chew on another dog’s ears. Immediately redirect their attention to a more appropriate behavior, such as playing with a toy or engaging in positive play.
  2. Teach the “Leave It” command: Train your dog to understand and obey the “Leave It” command. This command is useful for redirecting their attention away from other dogs’ ears. Start by teaching the command in a controlled environment using treats as a reward, then gradually practice it during interactions with other dogs.
  3. Provide appropriate chew toys: Make sure your dog has plenty of suitable chew toys to satisfy their chewing instincts. Offer a variety of toys with different textures and materials to keep them engaged. When your dog shows interest in chewing another dog’s ears, redirect their attention to a chew toy.
  4. Socialize your dog: Proper socialization is crucial for dogs to learn appropriate behaviors around other dogs. Expose your dog to well-behaved and tolerant dogs in controlled settings, such as dog parks or supervised playdates. Positive experiences can help them understand proper boundaries and reduce the urge to chew on other dogs’ ears.
  5. Address underlying causes: Sometimes, dogs chew on other dogs’ ears due to dominance issues, aggression, fear, anxiety, or overexcitement. Identify and address any underlying causes of your dog’s behavior through and work to correct those using positive reinforcement training (keep reading for more on that).

These steps will get your dog to stop biting other dogs’ ears, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (dominance, aggression, fear, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

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

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 when your dog bites other dogs’ ears 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 biting other dogs’ ears ever again!

Puppy Biting Older Dog Ears

How to Stop a Dog From Chewing on Other Dogs' Ears

Puppies biting older dogs’ ears is a common behavior, especially during playtime. However, it can also indicate your puppy is testing boundaries or exploring their social standing.

Play Behavior

When puppies play, they often engage in activities such as chasing, pouncing, and yes, even biting. This is part of their socialization process and helps them understand how to interact with other dogs. The older dog will typically respond appropriately, teaching the puppy the boundaries of acceptable behavior.

Testing Boundaries

Puppies also use behaviors like biting to test boundaries and establish their position within the social hierarchy. It’s a way for the young pup to communicate with the older dog and learn what’s acceptable and what’s not in their interactions.

Communication and Socialization

However, if the older dog shows signs of discomfort or distress, it’s crucial to intervene and correct the behavior. It’s a delicate balancing act; you want to allow the dogs to communicate and socialize, but not at the expense of either dog’s comfort or safety.

What to Do

If your puppy’s ear biting becomes problematic, it’s important to get a handle on it before it becomes a learned behavior for them. Learn how to do that yourself by going back to the first section of this article now.

Older Dog Biting Puppy Ears

When an older dog bites a puppy’s ears, it’s usually a part of their social interaction. This behavior can be a teaching moment, a sign of dominance, or a form of play. However, it’s important to monitor these interactions to ensure they don’t escalate into aggressive behavior.

Teaching and Correcting Behavior

Elder dogs often take on a mentor role with puppies. When the older dog bites the puppy’s ears, it might be their way of teaching the young one about acceptable behavior within their social structure. This is particularly true if the puppy is behaving excessively boisterous and the older dog is trying to correct it.

Dominance and Control

The older dog could also be demonstrating their dominance or control over the younger one. Ears are sensitive, and a nip to the ear can be a powerful way for a dog to establish their position within the pack.

Play Interaction

Ears are also often a focal point during play. Dogs of all ages will play bite, and the ears are a popular target. However, play biting should never cause the puppy distress or pain.

Monitor and Intervene When Necessary

As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to keep an eye on these interactions. If the ear biting becomes too aggressive, or if the puppy seems distressed, it’s important to intervene before your older dog biting your puppy gets any worse. Separating the dogs and giving them time to calm down is a good first step.

If the behavior continues, then you should go back to the first section of this article to learn how to fix the problem. There, we’ll fill you in on why the behavior is happening and give you the techniques to correct it.

Why Do Dogs Bite Other Dogs’ Ears

In the world of canine behavior, dogs biting other dogs’ ears is not an uncommon sight. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help us address it effectively. Here are some common reasons why dogs bite other dogs’ ears:

  1. Establishing dominance: In many cases, dogs may bite other dogs’ ears as a display of dominance or to assert their rank in the social hierarchy. It can be a way for them to communicate boundaries and establish control.
  2. Play behavior: Dogs often engage in playful interactions with one another, and biting ears can be a part of their play repertoire. It is a way for them to communicate, initiate play, or establish dominance in a friendly manner.
  3. Puppy behavior: Puppies, in particular, tend to bite and chew on everything, including each other’s ears. This behavior is a normal part of their development and exploration of the world around them.
  4. Attention-seeking: Some dogs may bite other dogs’ ears as a way to seek attention. It can be a way for them to get the other dog or their owner to interact with them or engage in play.
  5. Social bonding: Dogs biting each other’s ears can also be a form of social bonding. It’s a way for them to express affection and strengthen their social connection with one another.
  6. Resource guarding: Dogs may bite another dog’s ears if they are resource guarding a particular toy, food, or resting spot. This behavior is a way to protect their valued resources from other dogs.
  7. Fear or aggression: In rare instances, ear biting between dogs can be a sign of fear or aggression. Dogs may resort to biting ears as a defensive or aggressive response in stressful situations.

It’s important to remember that dog behavior is nuanced, and each situation is unique. If you’re concerned about your dog’s ear-biting behavior, go back to the first section of this article now. We’ll teach you how to stop the problem while also addressing the root cause.

Not doing anything and letting the problem grow will just lead to it appearing even more frequently. You’ll soon find your dog is biting other dogs’ tails, biting other dogs’ legs, or biting other dogs on the neck. I’m sure you can see why it’s best to just handle things now.

Dog Biting Other Dogs’ Ears When Playing

If you’ve noticed your dog biting other dogs’ ears during play, you might be wondering if this is normal or something to be concerned about. Here’s some context to understand this behavior:

  1. Play Behavior: Dogs often use their mouths during play, which can include behaviors like mouthing, nipping, and even light biting. This is generally harmless and a part of their natural play language. Biting at each other’s ears can be a normal part of this play behavior, especially if it’s done gently and both dogs seem comfortable with it.
  2. Communication: Dogs communicate with each other in different ways, and physical interactions like biting each other’s ears can be a part of this communication. It’s often a way to initiate play or interact with another dog.
  3. Boundary Testing: Puppies and younger dogs often bite or nip during play to learn about boundaries. By interacting with other dogs, they learn what is acceptable and what isn’t. Biting another dog’s ears during play could be a part of this learning process.

While ear biting can be a normal part of play, it’s important to monitor the situation to ensure that it doesn’t escalate into aggression. Look out for signs of discomfort or fear from the other dog, such as yelping, trying to escape, or showing other signs of distress. Positive signs include play bows or a wagging tail.

Also, observe your dog’s behavior. If the ear biting is accompanied by aggressive body language or becomes more intense, it may be a sign of an issue. In these cases, it might be necessary to intervene and consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Biting Dogs’ Ears: Dominance Issue?

Ear biting in dogs is very often related to dominance. It’s one way a dog might assert their position within the social hierarchy of your household.

Dominance in the Dog World

In the canine world, dominance is about control and leadership. A dominant dog will use certain behaviors, like ear biting, to establish their higher rank. Ears are sensitive, and a bite or nip can be a powerful message to another dog about who’s in control. Here are a few signs that ear biting might be a dominance issue:

  • The biting dog is always the one initiating the ear biting.
  • The biting dog shows other signs of dominance, like marking territory or asserting control over resources like toys or food.
  • The other dog appears submissive during these interactions, showing signs like avoiding eye contact, crouching, tucking its tail, or rolling over onto its back.

Not Always About Dominance

However, ear biting is not always about dominance. It could be a part of play, or it might be a way for an older dog to teach a younger one about appropriate behavior. This is particularly true if the recipient of the biting is a boisterous puppy who needs to learn social cues.

Monitoring and Intervening

Always keep an eye on these interactions. If the ear biting becomes too aggressive, or if it causes distress, it’s time to intervene. You should also work to correct the problem using behavioral training. We go over how you can do that yourself in the first section of this article.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to this no longer being a problem, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading “How to Stop a Dog From Chewing on Other Dogs’ Ears [Easy!]”

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.