Even though you may find it awkward or uncomfortable when your dog starts nibbling your ear, it is not as uncommon as you may think. It’s such a unique behavior, but there’s really a fascinating reason for it. So let’s answer the question you may have; why does my dog nibble my ear?
Dogs nibble your ear because they are grooming you and enjoy the taste and scent. They also nibble your ears to show affection and submission to you as the dominant member. Dogs inherit this behavior from their ancestors from the days of roaming the wild in packs.
No matter the reason, if you are uncomfortable with your dog licking your ears, there are ways to stop this behavior. First, you have to identify why they are doing it and then put into practice some strategies to help stop it.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Nibble Your Ears
It is normal for dogs to nibble your ears. When a dog is doing something that confuses you, try and think of it from their perspective.
It would be a little concerning if your neighbor walked over and took a nip at your earlobe, but it is very typical behavior for a dog. Nibbling your ears, among many other traits, shows how dogs communicate with you or each other without using words.
What Does Nibbling On The Ear Mean
When you start to feel a doggy bit on your ear, this could mean a few different things. Here are our seven reasons why they do it; let’s break it down to help you understand what it means.
Your Ear Tastes Good To Your Dog
Nibbling at you might mean they like your natural taste, or maybe you touched something yummy, and the scent or taste got onto your ear.
Your Pup Is Grooming You
In the wild, packs would help groom one another. You are part of your dog’s pack, so instinctively, they will help to keep you clean.
They show they are submissive to you
Dogs will nibble or lick the more dominant dog in the pack. Your dog nibbling your ear could indicate them letting you know they see you as the pack leader.
Your Dog Is comfortable with you
Dogs are intimate with those they are comfortable with; their nibbling could be a sign they feel comforted being near you.
Your Dog Trusts You
This goes back to a pack; nibbling at your ears can show they trust you and trust you will protect them if needed.
Your Dog Is Playing With You
A lot of dogs, especially puppies, will go for the ears if they are excited and want to play around. In essence, your ear is basically a toy to them.
It’s okay to let your dog nibble around your ear a bit, but anything excessive may lead to infections. Especially if your dog has licked a bunch of other things, and then goes to your ear and begins licking, it could become an irritant.
They May Smell Or Sense Infection
Dogs have a very fine-tuned sense of smell; if they indicate an ear infection, they may nibble at your ear to let you know.
They Are Looking For Attention
If your dog is seeking more attention from you, there is no better way than nibbling at your ear. This could mean that they want you to interact with them more.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Earlobes
A dog liking your earlobes can mean pretty much the same things as if they were nibbling on them. Licking your earlobes could be as simple as they enjoy the taste of them, or more seriously, they can tell there is something wrong such as an infection.
A dog will do whatever they can to alert their owner of anything they find a little off.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Ear
If your dog is licking your entire ear, it may mean they are excited to be near you, or they are trying to get your attention. A big ole ear lick could also be your dog showing you their love and affection.
Is It Bad To Let Your Dog Lick Your Ears
Yes, it is bad to let your dog lick your ears as it can spread germs.
Although your dog’s intentions are good, licking your ear can not only feel weird and make you uncomfortable, it can even cause health concerns.
Not only can the saliva build-up in your ear cause infections, but if your dog is licking the ears of other people or animals, they can also spread infections.
So even though the act of licking your ear isn’t bad, and more times than not completely harmless, we suggest maybe keeping the kisses on the cheek.
Why Does my Dog Smell My Ear
Just like licking, your dog could be sniffing around your ears for many various reasons. Maybe they smell whatever it was you ate for lunch or the puppy you were playing with on your morning run. They might also smell something is off, indicating infection or injury inside your ear.
How To Stop Dogs From Nibbling Your Ears
If you can’t take the nibbling anymore (and we don’t blame you), you need to work with your dog to get them to find other ways to communicate with you.
Most of the time, nibbles are an indication your pup is trying to tell you something. Give them another way to “speak” to you without having to slobber all over your ears.
● If your dog is nibbling your ears out of affection, teach them another way to give “kisses.” There are ways to train a dog not to use their tongue and give kisses with their nose.
● If the nibbling is for play, stop them as soon as it starts and give them a toy to nibble instead.
● If they are nibbling for attention, turn your head and do not let them get to your ear; tell them to sit; once they sit, flood them with praise and attention. This will make them want to sit in front of you to ask for your time rather than biting at your earlobe.
When puppies nibble at your ears, it can be cute and silly, but this behavior can go on into adulthood and can turn frustrating and even painful. Finding a way to figure out precisely what it is your dog is looking for when they nibble your ear will help you find the perfect solution to make it stop.
Remember, your dog is ultimately nibbling on you to grab your attention. Whether it is good attention or bad, they are trying to get you to notice them for one reason or another.
It is essential to keep your composure and show lots of patients. Yelling at a dog for any behavior will not result in anything beneficial and can ultimately hinder any training you have done thus far or plan to do in the future.
The best way to stop your best fur friend is to find an ulterior solution that works for you both, making nibbling a thing of the past and their new traits something that will bring you two together.
Once you adopt a dog into your life, you are a pack and should be willing to accept each other and help each other grow for the rest of your lives.