Dogs are odor-driven animals. It’s one of their primary sources of sensory information. They presumably value their nose even more than their eyes or hearing. It gathers odors, which they then transform into knowledge in their brains. Dogs don’t just want to scent something nice, like people do, either. Your dog appreciates the smell of things that we would consider to stink, whereas we enjoy the scent of a flowery perfume or exotic cologne. You may or may not have noticed that earwax and ears have an unique fragrance of their own, but dogs like it.
Even though it is entirely undetectable to our slow, human nasal sensibilities, your dog adores any personal odor that your body emanates. He won’t necessarily enjoy the perfume of your shower gel, but he will adore any of your natural body odors, especially the one coming from your ear. Your dog can smell it from a mile away. He might possibly develop a sniffing addiction. What a strange thing.
Let’s confront the truth. You must be at a level where your dog can reach your ear in order for him to be able to sniff it. If your dog leaps into the bedroom when you’re enjoying a quiet Sunday morning in bed and pokes his nose in it, he might not be sniffing anything. He might have figured out that sticking his chilly, wet nose in your ear is a fun and successful way to get you out of bed and take him for a stroll. Sometimes it pays to keep in mind how clever your dog may be and the extent he’ll go to when he’s bored to grab your attention.
Dogs have such a keen sense of smell that it has been demonstrated by science that they are also capable of detecting human disease in addition to narcotics and explosives. Your creatures are quite amazing, aren’t they? If your dog keeps sniffing your or another person’s ears, there may be a problem or potentially an infection developing in your auditory canal.
My dog keeps licking and sniffing my ears, why?
Dogs respond to several relatively powerful canine behaviors that have been inherited through many generations. Dogs are extremely sociable pack animals by nature, and a lot of the behaviors they exhibit are a result of the particular ways that dogs interact and communicate.
Your dog may be expressing extreme comfort if it licks your ears. Members of the pack frequently groom one another, so you might be thought of as simply another member of the pack. It’s possible to lick your ears as a symbol of affection, caring, and respect. In other words, your dog is complimenting you when they kiss your ears!
Is It Gross?
It might not be best for everyone to just let your dog lick your ears whenever they feel like it.
Yes, it might be acceptable if they sneak a slurp in while hugging you. However, some dogs who frequently eat the ears could actually be drawn to the taste and smell of earwax. Additionally, any salt they absorb from the skin around them can make them feel more content.
Redirect That Tongue
Positive reinforcement training methods are accepted by dogs. This implies that kids are more likely to repeat positive behavior when it is rewarded. Dogs learn not to repeat unwanted or “bad behaviors” by humans not reacting to them.
Keep an open mind if your dog starts to lick your ears. Simply stand up and draw their attention elsewhere. Give them a chance to switch from licking to doing something productive that rewards them. Your dog will stop often licking his ears over time (but only with persistence and patience).
Dogs use their tongue (after their nose and ears) to explore and attempt to understand their surroundings, therefore it seems logical that they would lick their ears in order to learn more about it.
Another animal’s ears may suddenly catch your attention, requiring additional investigation. An infection’s discharge and odor might be alluring and can provoke compulsive ear licking or cleaning (s). Check to see if frequent or excessive licking is contributing to a moisture or saliva buildup in the ear canal. Other problems may result from this. Once more, make an effort to divert the licking to an enjoyable activity.
When a Dog Licks Your Ears
The fact remains that most of this is typical dog behavior. Having said that, it could be necessary to step in if the conduct crosses the line or is compulsive.
Why do I enjoy the fragrance of my dog’s ears?
Pheromones given off by a dog’s ears cause social cohesion in puppy packs. It’s not confirmed by any means, but if you enjoy smelling your dog’s ears and scalp, it’s possible that you’re picking up on the pheromones that are meant to attract other living creatures to your dog, which would make perfect sense.
Why do dogs inspect people’s private spaces?
Due to the sweat glands, also known as apocrine glands, that are present there, dogs like to sniff people’s crotches. A dog can learn details about a person’s age, sex, mood, and likelihood of mating by sniffing these glands.
What causes dogs to nose your face?
Some dog owners mistakenly believe that their dog’s greeting is an invitation for them to check out their breath. However, canines frequently welcome one another and people they regard as members of their pack by smelling each other’s faces and mouths. In the past, wild canines and their ancestors utilized this technique to learn what the pack leader consumed, and young animals would smell and lick their mothers’ snouts in an effort to obtain food. With domesticated dogs, it is mostly merely a welcome and a method for your dog to learn about your day’s activities and mood.
Why are human ears appealing to dogs?
Some dogs won’t lick their owners’ ears. But that is a behavior that is rather typical. The most obvious explanation for a pet licking your hands, face, ears, or other body parts is affection. It’s just their way of expressing their love for you.
Each dog belongs to a pack. This can be made up of both themselves and other dogs, or only the humans whom the dogs live with. If your dog licks you, it can be a sign that they respect you as the pack leader. It’s also a statement of respect in addition to love.
However, when it comes to licking your ears especially, it may also imply that they taste and smell excellent. And although it’s disgusting to think about, some canines might enjoy the taste of human ear wax. 2
Your Dog’s Behavior And Instincts: They’re “Grooming You When They Lick Your Ears
It’s possible that your pet is grooming you by licking your ears. This relates to the natural behavior that dogs have with other canines in their group. Dogs frequently groom each other. They are unable to clean specific body parts on their own, including the ears. As a result, other pack members aid them. 3
Of course, dogs occasionally indulge in a little excessive grooming. Cleaning the ears of the other dogs in the pack might help them stay away from issues like ear mites. But if they do it excessively, it may cause annoyance and even an ear infection. 4
If you have multiple dogs, you should frequently examine their ears to make sure this isn’t taking place. There is very little likelihood that you will become infected if a dog licks you. However, if you have an issue with your inner ear, never let your dog near this area. The likelihood of a more serious problem emerging is the cause. 5
Ear Licking May Be A Sign Of Submissive Respect
Some dogs may lick the ears of their pet parents out of submission. Dogs may see their parents as the pack’s alpha, as was already established. A dog will correctly express their respect by licking their ears (or elsewhere). 6
Your dog is letting you know they are okay with you being in charge when they lick you, especially around the face. You may say that you are the leader of the pack. Dogs can also demonstrate their submission by squatting, exposing their bellies, or tucking their tails between their legs. 7
When Licking Is A Sign Of A Potential Health Issue
Even though it’s one of the most typical canine behaviors, licking occasionally may indicate a possible health problem.
For instance, a dog with allergies may frequently lick their toes or exhibit itchy skin symptoms, such as chewing. They might be sensitive to dust, pollen in the air, or flea bites. 8
Lip licking is another another sign of additional health problems. It can indicate that your dog has a tummy ache. The same is true if your dog licks your ears, if that’s unusual for them, or any other strange location, like the walls, the floor, a piece of furniture, or your ears. Other symptoms of nausea include excessive drooling and lip biting or smacking. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, notably vomiting and loss of appetite, call your veterinarian right once. 9
Consider speaking to a veterinary behaviorist if your veterinarian indicates there is no health issue but you remain worried about your dog’s excessive licking despite this.
Can You Catch A Disease From Your Dog’s Licking?
Of course, you adore your pet, and you cherish your time spent together. Getting dog kisses, whether on your face, ears, or anywhere else, is a common way of connecting. But on rare occasions, that can result in health problems.
The mouth of a dog does carry microorganisms. It’s possible that these bacteria could occasionally spread to people. As an illustration, the bacteria Pasteurella can infect the skin or lymph nodes. However, the majority of these illnesses are spread by cat scratches rather than dog licks.
Sadly, dogs frequently lick their behinds. Additionally, if they carry pathogens like Campylobacter or Salmonella in their feces, they may occasionally lick humans and expose them to those germs. Though it’s unlikely, it can happen. 11
Reducing The Risks Of Health Problems From Dog Saliva
There are certain things you can take to assist lower the danger even though the likelihood of contracting something unfavorable from puppy kisses and licks (in your ears and elsewhere) is extremely low.
- Do not allow your dog to lick any cuts or sores on your body. Dog saliva can cause an infection but can also kill some types of bacteria.
- Always properly wash your hands after handling your dog, especially if the animal is sick.
- Maintain the best grooming and cleanliness for your dog.
Why then does your dog enjoy licking your ears? Now that you know, it’s frequently due to their love for you. They wouldn’t have it any other way; you are a member of their pack. Additionally, bear in mind that there is a very low likelihood that a canine kiss or ear lick will ever get you sick. But it won’t harm to take a few easy safeguards.
Study More: What a Dog Growl Is and How to Handle a Dog’s Aggressive Behavior Strange Dog Behavior: Why is My Dog Licking the Floor? Strange Dog Behavior: Weird Puppy Habits and What They Mean
My dog keeps looking at me; why?
- Dogs stare at their owners for a variety of reasons, including to interact with and comprehend us.
- Some dogs use their gaze to browbeat their owners into giving them food or letting them let them outside.
- Focused gazing behavior can be positively influenced by training and canine sports.
Have you ever had the impression that your dog is monitoring every move you make? Perhaps your dog is ogling you while gnawing on a chew bone or toy. Or perhaps you like to sit and look into each other’s eyes with your dog. Whatever the circumstance, dogs often spend a lot of time gazing at people. And a lot of dog owners spend a lot of time pondering the reasons.
Unluckily, there isn’t a straightforward solution that works for everyone. Dogs may focus their attention on us for a variety of reasons. However, they spend the most of their time either interacting with us or waiting for us to do so. You can learn to distinguish between them with a little research and careful observation. You can teach your dog other communication techniques that aren’t quite as perplexing as staring.
Dogs Are Reading Us
Dogs are more attuned to people than practically any other animal on the planet. They read us for clues about what will happen next by observing our moods, responding to our pointing, and reading our body language. That implies that they frequently glare at us in order to learn about their surroundings. They are essentially waiting for us to take action that will affect them. Dogs, for instance, quickly pick up on the fact that their owners always pick up the leash before leading them for a stroll. They will therefore keep an eye out for that indication that a journey outside is approaching. The same is true for meals, playtime, car excursions, and a lot more occasions.
Dogs also wait for their owners to give them more deliberate cues. Cues to carry out a certain activity, such sit or down, are opportunities to receive a reward. Dogs will look out for these opportunities since they enjoy receiving treats, toys, or games. This is especially true for dogs who have been trained using positive reinforcement techniques. These dogs develop a love of training and eagerly await cues to engage in training games.
Dogs Are Trying to Tell Us Something
Staring also happens when your dog is attempting to communicate with you or seek your attention. Your dog might sit at the door and stare at you if it’s time for a bathroom break, for instance. Or, if you’re eating and your dog is hungry, staring may be a request that you share your food. It’s the canine version of a shoulder tap.
Some canines use staring to sway their humans and obtain what they want. This situation with begging at the dinner table is typical. The owner will give the dog a piece of their dinner if they glare at them for a while. In actuality, you made that monster. The dog would have initially regarded me out of curiosity. Your dog would have undoubtedly found something else to do if you had turned away from the look. However, the look makes you feel awkward or bad, so you acquiesce to stop it. The dog has now mastered a new kind of communication, so there you have it.
Your dog will ultimately try different activities to grab your attention if you become conscious of how you respond to his staring behavior and stop rewarding him. Teaching your dog what you want is a more effective strategy. For instance, your dog might munch on a bone as you eat in a dog bed or ring a doggy bell to signal that it’s time for an outdoor bathroom break. You will quickly have a dog who looks at you for clues rather than guilt trips if you encourage the new behavior and ignore the gazing.
Dogs Are Telling Us How They Feel
Additionally, your dog communicates both positive and negative feelings through eye contact. Staring is considered aggressive and impolite by their wolf ancestors. Some dogs are still like that. Because of this, you shouldn’t hold dogs steady and stare into their eyes or stare down unusual canines. Back aside and avoid eye contact if a dog gives you a strong stare with unblinking eyes and a stiff posture. When a bone or other valuable treat is at stake, you might observe this behavior in your own dog. The act of defending a resource is frequently accompanied with an intense gaze and other combative nonverbal cues. If your dog exhibits it, speak with a qualified trainer or behaviorist.
Of course, excessive canine gazing is precisely what it seems—a sign of affection. Dogs will stare at their owners to show affection, just like people do when they are in love. In actuality, the love hormone, oxytocin, is released when dogs and people stare at each other. This hormone is crucial for bonding and enhancing feelings of trust and love. When you stare at your dog, the same hormone that is released when a new mother looks at her infant is likewise released. It makes sense why our pets like constantly gazing at us.
Dogs and Humans Can Benefit from Staring
The majority of dog glares combine affection and attentiveness. Your dog probably finds you fascinating, even though it could make you uncomfortable. You can therefore make that human-centric approach work for both of you rather than discouraging it. First, pay attention to the cues you offer your dog. For instance, are you indicating to sit with your words while fully indicating something else with your body language? Be consistent and clear with your intentions to help your dog comprehend them.
A attentive dog is also simpler to train. The distractions in the immediate environment are less likely to interfere if your dog is focused on you. Think about using commands like “look at me” or “watch me” to encourage your dog to maintain eye contact. When you want your dog to focus on you rather than the surroundings, you can then ask for some looks.
Finally, think about how that intense eye contact might improve your performance in dog sports. Teamwork is essential in sports like agility and AKC rally. The dog must constantly be aware of the handler’s body language and cues. Additionally, dogs must learn very precise tasks and then perform them without being interrupted in sports like AKC Trick Dog and Obedience. Dogs that are focused intently on their owners will pick things up more quickly and perform better.
Do you need assistance training your dog? In spite of the fact that you might not be able to attend live training sessions during COVID-19, we are still available to you electronically through the AKC GoodDog! Helpline. With the help of this live telephone service, you may speak with a qualified trainer who will provide you with unrestricted, personalized advise on anything from behavioral problems to CGC preparation to getting started in dog sports.