Why Does My Dog Lick My Other Dogs Ear

Dogs are undoubtedly one of the most loyal and loving pets that one can have. They are not only great companions but also excellent communicators. Dogs use various forms of communication, including body language, vocalizations, and even licking.

One of the most common behaviors exhibited by dogs is licking. It is a natural behavior that has several meanings based on the context in which it occurs. It can be a way for dogs to show affection or communicate with other dogs and humans. However, as a dog owner, you may have noticed that your dog sometimes licks the ears of other dogs. This behavior can leave you wondering what it means and why your furry friend does it.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why dogs lick each other’s ears and what it signifies.

Understanding Licking Behavior in Dogs

Before diving into why dogs lick each other’s ears, it is crucial to understand why they lick in general. Licking is a fundamental behavior that starts from birth. Puppies lick their mothers to stimulate milk production and receive food. As they grow up, they continue to lick to show affection, communicate, and explore their surroundings.

Some common reasons why dogs lick include:

1. To Show Affection

Dogs are social creatures that thrive on affectionate gestures like licking. When they lick you or other dogs, it shows that they are happy and content. Licking releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) in their brains, making them feel relaxed and comfortable.

2. To Communicate

Licking is also a way for dogs to communicate with each other and humans. For example, when dogs meet each other for the first time, they may sniff and lick each other as a way of saying hello. Similarly, if your dog wants something from you, they may come over and lick your face or hands to get your attention.

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3. To Explore Their Environment

Dogs are curious animals that use their tongues to explore their surroundings. They use their sense of taste and smell to gather information about the world around them. For example, they may lick the ground to taste different scents or lick objects to see if they are edible.

4. To Clean Themselves

Dogs are naturally clean animals that groom themselves regularly. Licking is one way for dogs to keep themselves clean by removing dirt and debris from their fur.

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

Now that we understand why dogs lick in general, let’s explore why they specifically lick each other’s ears.

1. As a Sign of Dominance

Dogs are pack animals that have a social hierarchy. When dogs interact with other dogs, they establish dominance through various behaviors, including licking. If your dog licks another dog’s ear, it could be a sign of dominance or submission.

2. To Show Affection

As we mentioned earlier, licking is a way for dogs to show affection. If your dog licks another dog’s ear, it could be a sign that they like the other dog and want to show it.

3. To Groom Each Other

Dogs are social animals that groom each other as a form of bonding and affection. Licking each other’s ears is one way for dogs to groom each other and strengthen their bond.

4. To Soothe Itching

If one dog has an itchy ear, the other dog may lick it as a way of providing relief. This behavior is more common among dogs that have close relationships with each other.

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5. As a Form of Play

Dogs are playful creatures that enjoy interacting with each other in various ways. Licking each other’s ears can be one way for dogs to play and have fun together.


In conclusion, there are several reasons why dogs lick each other’s ears, including showing dominance, affection, grooming, providing relief from itching, and playing. As a dog owner, it is essential to observe your dog’s behavior and understand the context in which licking occurs.

If you notice that your dog is excessively licking another dog’s ears, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue or behavioral problem. In such cases, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for guidance.

Remember, licking is a natural behavior that dogs use to communicate and bond with each other and humans. By understanding why dogs lick each other’s ears, we can deepen our relationship with our furry friends and ensure their well-being.