Why do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears

Why do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears

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Dogs have been living with humans for a very long time and over time, humans have become very used to having dogs around them. The fact that dogs and humans live together has not really made dogs behave any less like dogs. The best it has probably done is make dogs behave in less aggressive ways. Nonetheless, their instincts are still very much the same.

Dogs have several behaviours. Some are cute, others, are funny and rather strange. One of the very strange behaviours that dogs exhibit is licking each other’s ears. If you have been around dogs long enough, then, you must have seen them licking one another’s ears. So, I can say this is a behaviour that you might be used to. Regardless of the fact that you are used to seeing dogs lick each other’s ears, there is a likelihood that you have no idea why they lick one another’s ears.

Well, the fact that you are on this page is an indication that you are looking to learn about the various reason dogs lick one another’s ears. Read on to find out why they exhibit generally gross behaviour.

Why do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears

They could be Anxious

Just like humans, dogs sometimes deal with issues that make them nervous. When dogs become nervous, they take part in several activities all in a bid to distract themselves. One thing dogs do when they are nervous is to lick other dogs ears.

Since dogs sometimes lick the ears of other dogs, it really might not be a problem. However, if your dog is beginning to lick the ears of dogs around it too frequently, then, it just might be nervous. If you intend to keep it from licking the ears of other dogs too frequently, you just might have to come up with ways to keep it from being too nervous.

It Could Be a Sign that a Dog Has Infections in its Ears

One reason a dog might frequently lick the ears of another dog is it might have detected an infection in the ear of the dog whose ear it is licking. Amazingly, a dog can detect an infection in the ears of other dogs even before this infection becomes established enough to exhibit symptoms. This action is basically related to a dog’s sense if smell.

So, if a dog spends time licking the ears of a particular dog, you might have to check if all is well with the ears of the dogs it is licking. Look out for dirt as well as any form of discharge coming out of the dog’s ear.

After checking the dog’s ears by yourself, if you spot any form of redness on a discharge, then, it is time to take your dog to the vet. If there is an infection, then, it should be treated before it spreads or gets complicated.

It Might Need a Toy

It could look like there is no link between a dog licking the ears of another dog and it needing a toy or snack.  Regardless of what you think, you must note that ear wax is salty and dogs enjoy taking salty snacks. If this is anything to go by, then, your dog might simply lick the ears of another dog when it wants a snack.

It’s a Form of Grooming

Dogs love to be groomed and also love grooming themselves. One way they groom themselves is by licking their own body. In as much as a dog can achieve a lot by licking its body, there are some parts of its body that it can lick. It is impossible for dogs to lick their own ear.  Every dog knows this. So one way they show love to one another is by licking the ears of another dog.

When dogs lick the ears of one another, they can prevent ear mites. However, when this is done excessively, the dog that has its ear being licked can get irritated. Also, this action could lead to an infection in the dog’s ears.

Dogs Enjoy the Taste of Ear Wax

This particular reason might seem bizarre. However, you have to note that dogs get engaged in a couple of bizarre activities. Some dogs seem to enjoy the salty taste of ear oil is. So, if you have a dog that enjoys taking salty foods, you can assume it will lick other dog’s ears because it enjoys the taste of other dog’s ears.

It Signifies Submission

Dogs live in packs and in their packs are hierarchies. As the owner of a couple of dogs, you might not know the dogs that are ranked above one another. Nonetheless, the dogs themselves know. Generally, the dogs that are lower in rank submit to those higher than them. One way they do this is by licking the ears of the dogs ahead of the. This is done as a show of respect.

It is Simply Instinctive

There are various reasons dogs lick each other’s ears. Some of these reasons are very tangible. Other times, dogs simply follow their instincts when they lick the ears of other dogs. This is something they have seen other dogs doing. So, they follow suit and do same.

Is a Dog’s Licking Behavior Something to be Worried About

Licking is something that the average dog does. This means it is not a behaviour that one should really be worried about. While this action might be perfectly normal, there are times some dogs become obsessed with licking each other’s ears. When you notice an obsession with licking the ears of other dogs, then, you might need to show some concern.

Obsessive licking will never really be a problem in the dog doing the licking. However, the dog that is being licked might suffer some form of damage.

Dogs that have their ears licked too often could get into trouble because of a residue of saliva in their ears. The presence of excess saliva in the ear of a dog being licked is a good breeding ground for bacteria and his could end up in an infection.


It is generally okay for a dog to lick the ears of other dogs. However, there are times when this attitude becomes extreme. If you notice that your dog is becoming too interested in licking the ears of the dogs around it, you have to make moves to keep it from doing so. One way to distract your dog when it is beginning to get obsessed with licking the ears of other dogs is to get it a toy. You could also give it a treat if you think a toy might not be good enough. That’s not all. If after getting the dog a toy, it continues to lick the ear of other dogs, you might want to have bitter sprays on the ears of these other dogs.

Dr. Rebecca Black

Dr. Rebecca Black is an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. She brings decades of experience to Handy Pets Guide and has overflowing talent and passion for breeding and caring for pets, their people, and the team around her. Dr. Sophia was born and raised in Columbiana, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After earning her DVM from The Ohio State University in 1980. She has experience of over 3 decades and is very happy to share them. Her goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and also recommend the best product for every pet owner.

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