As a dog owner, you may experience behaviors your lovely furball does that may have you question yourself. Behaviors such as sleeping on the floor when there’s a comfy bed or nibbling on your ears can make you scratch your head. It may seem abnormal to you, but to your furry friend, there’s always a reason. Sometimes it can be frustrating, mostly fun, or even a bit odd. So, “Why does my dog nibble my ears?”
Your dog may nibble your ears because he’s being playful, simply loves the taste, trying to groom you, or showing you affection. It can also be because he’s comfortable around you.
Below are 6 possible reasons for this behavior.
Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ears?
06. Being Playful
When your dog nibbles or licks your ears, she might just be playful and want to explore with her mouth. This behavior tends to be more common in puppies as opposed to adult dogs. That is why puppies often love to play fight by softly biting each other.
If you have an adult dog, just be extra careful as these playful niblings can cause harm. She may unintentionally harm you, so the best practice is to discourage this behavior, which we will explain later on.
05. She’s A Puppy
Like the above reason, your pooch is still a puppy and they are always exploring and investigating new things. As puppies, during the teething phase, they likely nibble to relieve discomfort caused by their new teeth. Again, the best practice is to discourage this behavior before it gets out of hand.
04. Loves The Taste
It can simply be because your dog loves how you taste. Maybe you just finished working out and Maya just so happens to be by your ears and starts nibbling and licking. Our skin produces salty sweat and oil. It might seem disgusting, but many dogs enjoy our salty taste.
In addition to the salty taste, they may also be grooming you, to ensure you are clean. Canines clean by licking themselves, and since you are her favorite hooman, she feels it’s part of her job to take care of you.
03. You Are Needed For Something
Your furball could very well be nibbling your ears to signal that you are needed for something. Your ears may just so happen to be near her. She may be hungry or need to potty. If her request is not met, get ready for some adorable puppy-dog eyes and light whimpering.
Dogs use smell and taste to inspect and investigate pretty much everything. Have you recently applied face lotion or any cream around your ears? If so, Maya probably knows and thus nibbles and/or smells your ears to figure it out.
Lastly, the reason can be your dog is simply showing you affection. She nibbles on your ears to show how much she appreciates everything you do for her. She feels comfortable around you and decides to give you some nipping and warm slobbery kisses to your ears.
Should You Allow This Behavior?
Although most of the time, nibbling in general is harmless, it is best to discourage this behavior. As mentioned earlier, even if your dog does not mean harm, she can unintentionally harm you with her teeth if the behavior is not addressed. Some dogs have poor impulse training which can mean they wouldn’t know to what extent their playful nibbles will cause pain. Worst yet, there can be children and elderly in the household whose skin may not be as strong as yours. Below are some tips you can use to help discourage this behavior.
How To Discourage Dog Nibbling
To effectively train your pooch to stop nibbling on your ears, don’t get physical as it can lead to aggressive behaviors. Instead do the following:
Chew Toys: If your dog is still a puppy, consider getting chew toys for her to bite on. She’s in the teething phase, which means she is nibbling out of pain from her gums. Make sure to get different varieties of chew toys so your pooch doesn’t lose interest.
Be Firm: Saying “No!” or “Ouch!” in a firm tone should alert your dog that what she is doing is hurting you. She would eventually stop the behavior out of concern for you.
Positive Reinforcement: Make sure to give your furball treats or some praise whenever she is showing restraint and not displaying the nibbling behavior after telling her “No!”. She will learn by conditioning and will eventually stop.
There is no single reason as to why your pup is nibbling on your ears as no two pooches are alike. If the behavior is not bothering you and is not recurring, then enjoy some lovely doggy kisses to your ears. Your dog is most likely showing you love. If you are concerned about the behavior, try implementing the tips mentioned above. After all, you know your dog best, and with any behavior you are trying to correct, make sure to show plenty of love!