Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear? Should I Stop This?


Has your dog picked up the habit of nibbling on your ear? This can be cute and maybe a bit ticklish. After some time, you may find it become annoying or be afraid they do it to visitors. This may not be as welcomed as if they were to do it to you. Are you are looking for reasons why they do this or want to get them to stop? You have come to the right place! The following post is a guide through why your dog might be nibbling your ear, and how to get them to stop. Keeping below to find out!

why does my dog nibble my ear

Table of Contents

Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ears And Nose?

The following is a list of the top reasons why your dog might be nibbling your ears.

Love and Affection

Dogs, as you well know, are very emotional animals. They also experience a wild range of emotions, such as love, anger, happiness, and sadness. They even can experience jealousy!

They are most likely going to express most of their emotions with those they are closest with. This includes their owner, particularly if you have just one dog.

Ear nibbling is a very common way in which dogs express their emotion. If you have other dogs, they may just be using the same behavior with you as they use with other dogs. Your dog nibbling your ear is most likely a way for them to show you how much they love you. They can say the words out loud and so they need to express their emotions in a non-verbal way.

Trying to Groom You

You may find that your dog is licking and nibbling you because they are just trying to clean you up! They think of you just like they would another dog or animal.

Don’t be offended by this. Many other animals such as cats also lick themselves to keep clean. Your dog doesn’t know that humans don’t lick themselves to keep clean and they are just looking out for you.

They are not cleaning you because they think that you are dirty. It is just normal for them to do this and a safe cleaning procedure.

Are you worried about the bacteria in their saliva getting into your ear canal? You could always give your ear a little wash after they do this just to make sure nothing has gotten into your ear.

Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear?

They Are Curios About The Smell And Taste Of Your Ear Wax

This particular reason is quite disgusting if you think about it. Why would my dog like the taste of my bitter ear wax?

Remember that dog taste buds are very different from ours (they enjoy raw meat). Therefore, the taste of ear wax might be pleasant to them after all.

Dogs also have a very sharp sense of smell and might derive pleasure in licking up your ear wax.

As I’ve previously mentioned, ear nibbling could be a free grooming session for you. Not only this, it is also a chance for your canine to grab a snack lodged deep in your ears.

Following Their Natural Instinct

To understand your dog sometimes, you have to remember that some of the things it does are deeply rooted in its brain and are just a matter of instinct. As humans feel the need to sleep from time to time, dogs also feel the need to lick and nibble on each other and you sometimes.

This habit is seen especially in puppies and younger dogs. Other dogs will outgrow it as they get older, some carry it on to adulthood.

Submitting to Their Pack Leader

Even though this may sound weird, your dog could also be nibbling on your ear to show his submission to you. They do this to show they are acknowledging you as his leader.

Dogs are pack animals by nature, and the subjects of a pack usually nibble on the “alpha’s” ears. In this case, they are submitting to you as their pack leader. They do this to show respect and subordination to whoever is in authority. You might also notice this in a group of dogs. The ‘weaker’ dogs tend to nibble the ‘stronger’ one’s ears.

Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear?

Your Dog Could Just Be Bored

Dogs can easily get bored too sometimes. They could be engaging in this behavior just to keep themselves busy with your ear. This is especially likely if it is very close to them at that moment.

If you notice your dog does this a lot, try engaging them in fun activities. If you do this, it will help them to stay busy and they can get rid of some of their excess energy. It will also prevent they from gnawing on your ear and making a habit out of it!

Other times, your dog might need something to chew on to occupy his time. Your ear might seem like a soft and fun thing to chew on! Purchasing your dog a chew toy would also be a great way to keep him or her distracted.

They Are Excited To See You And Just Greeting You

Have you just been away from your dog for a while? For example, if you went away for a long time from home. You could have just come back from work. You might notice your dog runs towards you, licks your face and nibbles your ear out of pure joy.

This is just your dog doing this as a form of greeting as if they were saying hello.

Dogs can do this when they see someone or something they are excited to see again. Just like you may when you haven’t seen a family member in a long time. Or, just like a new toy, they are excited to see you and play with you.

Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear?

Your Dog Could Be Trying To Get Your Attention

Have you found that your dog suddenly starts nibbling on your ear vigorously? This could be an indication that he wants your attention immediately for something. It could be something about your surrounding environment, body, or something about their own body too.

He or she could even be doing it to express their anxiety to you. They could also be doing it to show you they are under stress. You’ll distinctly know if this is the reason they want your attention because they will have a stressed demeanor. It is important that you try to find out what the matter is as soon as possible.

They Could Be Curious About What Is On You

Whether it is a new aftershave, cologne, or cream you are eating, a dog will often nibble your ear if they notice something different about you. Your dog might also notice something unusual about your skin or face and is trying to get your attention to it.

Dogs are naturally curious creatures. They just want to find out everything they can about their environment. Shiny ear accessories like ear cuffs and earrings can also cause your dog to chew on your ear. They will just want to find out exactly what foreign object is on your ear.

In this case, be careful they don’t pull at any dangly earrings!

Showing Their Age

Puppies are adorable little creatures, and of course, let us not forget that they are just baby dogs. They will usually try to chew anything they can get their paws on. This unfortunately also includes your ears.

Nibbling could also happen because puppies often play with each other like this. In so he might want to do the same with you.

Nibbling can also help them exercise their growing teeth, and biting on things help them to relieve symptoms of teething. Dogs often find this painful and biting helps to relieve this pain.

Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear?

So, How Do You Stop Your Dog From Nibbling Your Ear?

There are a couple of ways of getting your dog to stop this behavior, in a humane way too. You don’t want to scold your dog when they are most likely just trying to show their love for you.

Direct Their Attention To Their Toys

If your dog won’t stop nibbling your ears, try to direct their attention away from you by using one of their toys. Distract them by showing them the toy.

Chew toys are very good for this. Your dog will then begin to associate the toy as their target for biting, and away from your ears! They will use their toy then as a resource to use up all of their energy.

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Interrupt This Behavior and Don’t Make It More Fun

It is very common that when the puppies start to bite their owners, they find it cute. In order to stop this, try not to make it more fun for the dog.

When you keep pulling your ear, laughing, moving your ear in front of the dog’s muzzle, all of these make him want to nibble and play. And he will bite harder and harder, as he will be growing and excited about the game.

If your dog ever bites your ear hard, you must react quickly with “Ouch, it hurts!”. Then, immediately stop playing and walk away. Interruption is punishment itself, as dogs love to play. Play again only when the dog is calm.

Use commands to relax the dog

Use the commands “Calm” or alternative commands like “Sit.” You can use these commands to calm the dog during play.

This will allow your dog to relax and prevent the dog from becoming progressively more excited. Do not use relaxing commands in response to negative behaviors. This may cause them to start associating these phrases with being okay to do bad behaviors.

Now You Know Why Your Dog Is Biting Your Ear!

There are many different reasons why your dog might be biting your ear. While it is mostly harmless and for affectionate reasons, you may want to give the tips a go. This will help to get them to stop doing this behavior.

Have you enjoyed this post and would like to read some more of my previous posts? I have linked some of my other blog posts I have written, so check them out here!


Why Does My Dog Bump Me With Their Nose?

Dogs will often do this just to get your attention. It can also be a way in which your dog shows affection and is just trying to show you some love. If they keep doing this, then you should give them some attention by patting them, playing with them, or even take them out on a walk.

Is It OK For My Dog To Lick My Ears?

If it doesn’t bother you, it’s normal dog behavior to nibble or lick your ears.