My Dog Won’t Stop Licking My Other Dog’s Ears: Causes and Solutions

If you’re a dog owner, you may have noticed that your dog has a habit of licking other dogs’ ears. While this behavior is generally considered normal, it can become a problem if your dog is obsessively licking another dog’s ears.

my dog won't stop licking my other dog's ears

Not only can it be annoying for the other dog, but it can also lead to health issues if your dog is constantly exposing the other dog’s ears to their saliva.

There are several reasons why dogs engage in the behavior of licking each other’s ears. This can serve as a means of greeting, grooming, or displaying affection towards one another.

However, if your dog persists in excessively licking another dog’s ears, it might indicate a possible compulsive disorder or anxiety that requires attention and understanding.

Moreover, continuous licking of another dog’s ears may worsen any existing ear infection that the other dog might have.

In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind dogs’ ear-licking behavior and provide helpful suggestions on how to address and manage your dog’s obsessive ear-licking tendencies towards other dogs.

Why Dogs Lick Ears

dogs licking each others ears

If you have a dog, it’s important to understand your dog’s behavior. Dogs communicate with each other and with us through body language, vocalizations, and actions. Here are some key things to know about canine behavior when it comes to licking ears.

Canine Communication

Dogs use a variety of methods to communicate with each other and with us. Here are some common ways dogs communicate:

  • Body language: Dogs use their body posture, tail position, and facial expressions to convey their emotions and intentions.
  • Vocalizations: Dogs bark, growl, whine, and howl to communicate with us and with other dogs.
  • Actions: Dogs use actions like licking, jumping, and wagging their tails to communicate.

Understanding your dog’s body language and vocalizations can help you better understand what they’re trying to tell you.

Why Dogs Lick Ears

Dogs lick each other’s ears for a variety of reasons. Here are some possible reasons why your dog is licking your other dog’s ears:

  • Grooming: Dogs naturally groom each other, and licking is a way for them to clean each other’s ears.
  • Affection: Dogs show affection to each other and to us through licking. Your dog may be showing affection to your other dog by licking their ears.
  • Submission: Licking can be a sign of submission in dogs. If your dog is licking your other dog’s ears, they may be showing that they recognize the other dog as the dominant one.
  • Anxiety: Dogs may lick excessively when they’re anxious or stressed. If your dog is licking your other dog’s ears excessively, they may be feeling anxious or stressed.

It’s important to monitor your dogs’ behavior and intervene if necessary to prevent any harm or discomfort. If your dog’s ear licking behavior becomes excessive or problematic, consult with your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance.

Health Concerns

dogs lick each others ear to treat an ear infection

If your dog won’t stop licking your other dog’s ears, it is important to consider potential health concerns. Here are some common health issues that may cause excessive ear licking:

Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common cause of ear licking in dogs. Dogs with ear infections may have red, inflamed ears that are itchy and painful. They may also have a foul odor coming from their ears. If left untreated, ear infections can lead to more serious health issues. If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, it is important to take them to the vet for treatment.

Allergies

Allergies can also cause your dog to excessively lick your other dog’s ears. Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things, including food, pollen, and dust. If your dog has allergies, they may also have other symptoms, such as itching, sneezing, and skin irritation. If you suspect that your dog has allergies, it is important to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

In general, if your dog won’t stop licking your other dog’s ears, it is important to monitor their behavior and look for any signs of discomfort or health issues. If you are concerned, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian.

Behavioral Concerns

If your dog won’t stop licking your other dog’s ears, it could be a sign of behavioral concerns. Here are a few possible reasons for this behavior:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Dogs can develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), just like humans. OCD in dogs can manifest as repetitive behaviors, such as excessive licking. If your dog is obsessively licking your other dog’s ears, it could be a sign of OCD.

Here are a few signs that your dog may have OCD:

  • Excessive licking or grooming
  • Repetitive behaviors, such as circling or tail chasing
  • Compulsive barking or whining
  • Agitation or restlessness

If you suspect that your dog has OCD, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. They may recommend behavior modification techniques or medication to help manage your dog’s symptoms.

Anxiety

Anxiety can also cause dogs to engage in repetitive behaviors, such as excessive licking. If your dog is anxious, they may lick your other dog’s ears as a way to self-soothe.

Here are a few signs that your dog may be anxious:

  • Excessive panting or drooling
  • Restlessness or pacing
  • Aggression or destructive behavior
  • Excessive barking or whining

If you suspect that your dog is anxious, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. They may recommend behavior modification techniques or medication to help manage your dog’s anxiety.

Addressing the Issue

If your dog won’t stop licking your other dog’s ears, it’s important to address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem. In this section, we’ll go over some ways to train your dog to stop this behavior and when it might be necessary to seek professional help.

Training Your Dog

Training your dog is the first step in addressing this issue. Here are some methods that may help:

  • Positive reinforcement training: Whenever your dog licks your other dog’s ears, give them a verbal cue such as “no” or “leave it.” If your dog stops licking, offer them a treat as a reward. With enough repetition, your dog will learn that they only get rewards when they refrain from ear-licking behavior.
  • Redirect their attention: When you see your dog starting to lick your other dog’s ears, redirect their attention to a toy or treat. This will help them learn that there are other things they can do instead of licking ears.
  • Teach them the “off” command: Teach your dog the “off” command and use it whenever they start to lick your other dog’s ears. You can also use this command to stop them from jumping on people or furniture.

Seeking Professional Help

If your dog continues to lick your other dog’s ears despite your training efforts, it may be time to seek professional help. Here are some signs that it’s time to consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist:

  • Obsessive behavior: If your dog is obsessively licking your other dog’s ears to the point where it’s affecting their quality of life, it’s time to seek professional help.
  • Aggressive behavior: If your dog becomes aggressive when you try to stop them from licking your other dog’s ears, it’s important to seek professional help to prevent any injuries.
  • Underlying health issues: If your dog’s ear-licking behavior is caused by an underlying health issue, such as allergies or an infection, a veterinarian can help diagnose and treat the issue.

Remember, it’s important to address this issue sooner rather than later to prevent any potential harm to your dogs. With patience and consistency, you can train your dog to stop licking your other dog’s ears and maintain a happy and healthy household.

Preventive Measures

prevent dogs licking each other

If your dog won’t stop licking your other dog’s ears, there are a few preventive measures you can take to help stop this behavior. Here are some tips to follow:

Regular Check-ups

Make sure to take your dogs to the vet for regular check-ups. This can help identify any underlying health issues that may be causing your dog to lick the other dog’s ears excessively. Your vet can also recommend any necessary treatment or medication to help stop this behavior.

Proper Hygiene

Ensure that your dogs are clean and well-groomed. Dirty ears can attract your dog to lick the other dog’s ears. Clean your dogs’ ears regularly to prevent any buildup of dirt and wax. You can also use ear drops or wipes to clean your dogs’ ears.

Mental Stimulation

Provide your dogs with plenty of mental stimulation to keep them occupied and prevent boredom. A bored dog may resort to licking another dog’s ears as a way to relieve stress or anxiety. You can provide mental stimulation by playing games with your dogs, giving them puzzle toys, or taking them for regular walks.

By following these preventive measures, you can help stop your dog from licking your other dog’s ears excessively. Remember that it may take time and patience to change this behavior, but with consistency and positive reinforcement, you can train your dog to stop this behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes dogs to lick each other’s ears?

Dogs lick each other’s ears for various reasons, including showing affection, grooming, or exploring. However, excessive ear licking can indicate an underlying issue, such as allergies or ear infections.

How can I stop my dog from licking my other dog’s ears?

If your dog won’t stop licking your other dog’s ears, you can try the following:

  • Distract your dog with toys or treats.
  • Train your dog to obey the “leave it” command.
  • Use a bitter-tasting spray on your dog’s ears to discourage licking.
  • Keep your dogs separated when necessary.

What are the symptoms of ear mites in dogs?

Ear mites are a common parasite in dogs that can cause excessive ear scratching, shaking of the head, and dark, waxy discharge in the ears. Other symptoms may include inflammation, irritation, and foul odor.

Why is my dog obsessed with licking ears?

Some dogs may have a compulsive behavior of licking ears due to anxiety, stress, or boredom. It’s important to address the underlying cause and provide your dog with proper mental and physical stimulation.

Can a dog’s excessive licking cause ear infections?

Yes, excessive licking can lead to ear infections by introducing bacteria or yeast into the ear canal. If your dog is showing signs of an ear infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge, consult with your veterinarian.

Is it normal for dogs to lick each other’s private parts?

Yes, it’s normal for dogs to lick each other’s private parts as a form of social interaction or grooming. However, if the behavior becomes excessive or aggressive, it may indicate an underlying issue that requires attention.