It’s a truth universally acknowledged (amongst dog owners, at any rate) that your furry friend loves to lick you. From giant slurps to quick licks and slobbery kisses to nose boops, it’s hard to resist this particular form of affection.
Whether they lick you on your feet, your hand, or even your face, you’d be hard-pressed to find a canine connoisseur who hasn’t succumbed to the charm of a “kiss.”
But why does my dog lick my ears? Earlobes and canals may seem like a strange place for your pet to deliver their love slurps, but there are a few reasons why they might want to. Read more to find out why your dog just loves to lick your ears.
- 1 Why Does My Dog Lick My Ears? 6 Reasons
- 2 Should I Stop My Dog From Licking My Ears?
- 3 Final Conclusion on Why Your Dog Licks Your Ear
Why Does My Dog Lick My Ears? 6 Reasons
Is it smelly there? Is it a communication thing? Are dogs just weird? Whether having your dog lick your ears gives you the heebie-jeebies or makes you feel more connected to them, here are some of the top reasons for this behavior.
Image by Roman Michael Gottfried from Pixabay
1. They’re Helping You Out
It’s pretty adorable when you hit that sweet scratchy spot and your dog’s leg thumps up and down as a show of just how itchy they are there. Grooming each other’s hard-to-reach places is common in a pack, and ears are one of those spots.
Your dog sees you as a member of their pack, so it’s only natural for them to want to make sure you don’t suffer from any uncomfortable itches or dirt in your ears, either. It doesn’t matter that we have hands for the job; your pet is simply being sociable and grooming you how they like to be groomed.
Naturally, you should return the favor and brush your dog to relieve any itchy spots they may develop.
2. They’re Being Submissive
You’re the boss. At least, to your dog you are. And part of showing you that you rank higher than them and they’re happy to submit to your authority is a good old-fashioned grooming session.
A lick in the ear is one way they like to show you their devotion, just like they would to the pack alpha. Submissive licking is a normal and social aspect of a dog’s life, so feel free to let them tell you how much they respect you by giving your ear a patina of slobber.
Image by Guo from Pexels
3. They’re Feeling Secure
Grooming in this manner can also indicate that your doggo is feeling content and secure, and that they really love you.
Seeing as there are multiple reasons why a dog might lick your ears, though, how could you tell it’s this one specific reason? Well, there’s a slight tell — the muscles in your dog’s face will relax and their face will appear and feel soft with no palpable tension.
This is the face of a pet that feels safe and happy, so if they’re licking your ear in this state of utter relaxation, you know it’s the dog version of “I love you.”
4. They’re Trying to Comfort You
If you’re in distress, your super-sensitive canine companion has ways of knowing. Not only can they pick up on your body language, but they can detect the hormone change from your personal smell. A lick to the ear might be an attempt on their part to comfort you and make you feel better.
Especially if they’ve learned that this behavior elicits a positive response from you. If you tend to laugh when you get an earful of slobbery tongue, they might be trying to get your serotonin levels up. But they also may just be telling you that they’re there for you, no matter how bad your day has been.
Image by Petra from Pixabay
5. They’re Exploring
Dogs don’t only use their noses to explore their world but also their tongues. They can pick up some information by licking or chewing more efficiently than when sniffing.
This is why puppies end up licking you and chewing your furniture, shoes, and (shudder) electric cables. If your furry friend loves to give you a lick in the ear, they may be trying to find out more information about you, too.
They can pick up insights about where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing, all from your earwax. So don’t be grossed out — they’re just catching up on some gossip about your day.
6. They Think It’s Tasty
Ew, right? There may be plenty of smells that dogs hate, but this isn’t always one of them. Earwax isn’t a taste any human would imagine can be good, but to a dog it just might be.
They can have similar reasons for licking bare feet or skin — they simply like the taste. While it may be a gross concept to us, there’s nothing wrong with this oddity among certain canine palates.
They’re just enjoying the strong flavors they find in there. If the idea is really off-putting to you, maybe encourage them with a couple of tasty treats instead, and perhaps they’ll start preferring filet mignon flavor to earwax.
Image by Anna Kester from Pexels
Should I Stop My Dog From Licking My Ears?
This one is up to you. Not everyone appreciates a dollop of slobber in their ear canal, or the feeling of a rough tongue raking their skin for long periods of time.
But to your good boy or girl, they’re just showing you affection in one of the best ways they know how. If you don’t enjoy this particular manifestation of puppy love, it’s probably better for you to encourage them to demonstrate their feelings in other ways that you don’t mind.
Otherwise, let them lick away, and feel happy that your best friend is safe and comfortable with you in their pack.
Final Conclusion on Why Your Dog Licks Your Ear
For some people it’s just not enjoyable, and for others it’s an endearing act of love that they would never change. How you feel about getting a wet “kiss” in the ear won’t change the fact that your dog loves and respects you, though.
If they can’t reach your ear, they’ll just find another way to show you just how much you mean to them, and perhaps have a lick at your tasty-smelling hands instead.
Now that you know all about why your dog might lick your ears, why not learn more about why dogs lick their own noses? Here’s the scoop.
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