Understanding your dog's actions creates a meaningful relationship. But, sometimes, they behave in ways that humans can't comprehend. For instance, your furry friend may devour your socks, bark for no apparent reason, and lick your ears.
The third one is by far the most intriguing: why does my dog lick my ears? does it even mean anything?
Such behavior is far too usual in dogs regardless of their race. Here, you'll discover the potential reason behind it and why it's a significant activity you may want to encourage.
Top 5 reasons:
Your dog licks your ears due to several reasons, including as a sign of respect, because they feel safe and comfortable, or simply because they like the taste of it. They may also do it after noticing new smells, which could actually be due to health-related issues.
Dogs descend from wolves, and many of their modern behaviors trace back to their ancestors' wild pack habits. Wild animals are complex creatures with social systems and activities that help maintain a unified structure.
Licking their ears or grooming each other is one of those activities. It allows them to maintain a degree of social balance and hierarchy. Nowadays, domesticated dogs continue this trend by licking their human's ears to show their feelings. Here's what it could mean.
As a Sign of Respect
Licking your ears can be a sign of respect. Going back to wolves, a lower rank wolf grooms higher rank wolves as a way to show respect. Dogs could lick your ears for a similar reason, showing their submission to you as a high-ranked family member.
You can cement this idea if you notice other submissive demeanors like when the dog crouches down, exposes the belly, or tucks the tail.
The Dog Feels Comfortable & Safe
Another potential reason why they lick you is that they feel comfortable and safe. It's a method to let you know they love and appreciate you. You can also tell this is the case if the dog has a relaxed face and body position.
They Like How it Tastes
When you care for a dog long enough, you notice that they like to put some gross stuff in their mouths. As weird as it may sound, earwax is also one of those things. It has a strong and salty taste that dogs often enjoy. One man's trash is a dog's treasure, right?
Sense of Exploration
Dogs like to dig around, and that's one of the reasons why they're so good at searching tasks. You can see this behavior in their earlier days as pups. They like to sniff around the house and even chew household items.
It may be annoying for their human parents, but they do it to learn new things.
Since you're a huge part of their life, it's natural that they want to know you as well. This includes licking your face, nose, and ears.
New Smells or Tastes
Lastly, your dog may lick your ears if they notice something is different. Inadvertently to you, you may be dealing with ear infections or other conditions. Dogs don't understand what this change means, but you can use their incredible senses to spot these health issues.
Conclusion - Should You Let Your Dog Lick Your Ears?
If you like the feeling and have no problems with it, then there's no issue when your dog licks your ears. The risks of catching infections are quite low, as explained here.
However, if you don’t like that your dog licks you, that's also fine. You can express your love and let them love you in other ways. As long as you treat your dog right, that's all that matters.