A dog licking his owner’s ears a sign of love and affection for some, and a nuisance for others. Both thinking sides are pretty much correct.
An occasional lick isn’t something to be worried about, but what happens when the dog does it often? There are a few reasons why the behavior keeps repeating and we will explain how to recognize them and eventually make them disappear.
Love and Grooming
Love is definitely the most common reason why the dog is so interested in his owner’s ears. We get back to the pack ancestry days when packmates used to lick each other’s ears to show that they are accepted by the others.
So when your dog licks your ears it basically means that he feels comfortable around you, accepts you as a family member and likes spending time with you. Dogs are also accustomed to help their packmates with grooming. It may sound weird, but whenever your dog licks your ears there is a possibility he is giving you a bath.
Because licking is a form of submissive body language, this might indicate that your dog recognizes you as the dominant pack member. When respect triggers the behavior it’s usually accompanied by the licking of the owner’s feet and face as well.
Nothing Better to Do
Dogs that are bored and need to occupy their time can choose ear-licking as a form of entertainment. In the meantime, they are also looking for your attention.
The question is – are you giving him enough attention? If not, it’s time to prolong those walks in the park in possibly add some fun games of fetch and Frisbee. While in the home, give the pup enough toys so it will have something to else to do rather than annoy you with licking.
The worst reason why dogs lick ears is that they like the taste. They are attracted to interesting smells, and ear wax produces such.
Is it Bad?
There is absolutely no harm at all, both for yourself and the dog if he occasionally licks your ears. However, if the dog is getting obsessed with it or licks other pets in the hose, it’s time to work on this negative behavior. Excess moisture in a dog’s ears can lead to serious ear infections.
Teaching Them Not To
It will be fairly easy to teach your dog not to perform the action if he just started exhibiting the behavior. Whenever he starts licking your ears you just turn his attention to more fun stuff such as treats, games, walks, etc. Never sound or act excited, even in a bad manner if your dog starts licking your ears – it will only encourage continuing the ‘game’.
Another thing you can do is completely ignore him and walk away. Don’t even look at the dog. After a minute you can reward him by giving a treat. Don’t give the treat too soon as your dog will think he is getting rewarded because he was licking you.