Why Does My Dog Nibble My Ear?

As a dog owner, you might occasionally encounter odd behavior from your puppy that leaves you confused. Behavior such as dozing off on the floor when there's a comfortable bed or nibbling on your ears can leave you scratching your head. 

dog nibbling ear

However, dogs don’t just behave erratically. There’s a reason behind every action they take – including nibbling your ear. Your dog might nibble on your ears when he’s happy, attempting to groom you, or showering you with love. It may also be his way of showing that he’s happy and at ease around you.

Is your dog’s behavior starting to make some sense now? Keep reading to see a few other reasons why they might be nibbling your ear.

Reasons Your Dog Is Nibbling Your Ear

  • You Dog’s A Young Puppy

Your dog might still be a puppy, i.e., at an age where they are constantly investigating new things. This is also when puppies go through their initial teething stage, and tend to lick and nibble on things to soothe themselves from the pain brought about by their new teeth. 

As you can see, this behavior then tends to be more common in small dogs. If your puppy is nibbling on your ear regularly, you should not encourage this behavior. 

  • Your Dog Needs You for Something

Your dog may be nibbling on your ear because you aren’t paying attention to him. If your pet needs something from you, nibbling may be their way of getting your attention. Dogs tend to do this a lot when they want to go for a walk, want food, or need to go to the bathroom. 

  • Your Dog’s Just Having Fun

If your cute little pup is nibbling at your hear, he may just be playing with you. This is once again usually more common with little puppies as compared to fully grown dogs. 

If you pay attention when puppies play together, you’ll see that they nibble each other’s ears too. So, it’s quite a common way of showing affection.

Of course, things get tricky when your dog isn’t a puppy anymore. When it comes to fully grown dogs, just be extra cautious as these fun-loving nibbles may be painful. They may also accidentally hurt you, which is why you should try and stop this behavior before something alarming happens.

  • Your Dog Actually Enjoys the Taste

One peculiar reason your dog might be nibbling your ear is that they enjoy the taste. This happens frequently after owners are done working out. Dogs will approach you trying to lick off your sweat from everywhere, including our ears! 

Besides enjoying the taste, your dog may also be grooming or cleaning you through his nibbles. Grooming is an act of affection among dogs. So, just how they lick themselves clean, they may be licking you clean too!

  • Your Dog Just Loves You

We already know the special bond dog owners and their pets share. Just as we show our dog love by petting them or hugging them, your dog may be nibbling your ear to show you how appreciative they are of you. A dog’s nibbles are usually a sign that he feels great around you and wants you to know that! 

  • Your Dog’s Really Curious

It’s funny how we call cats curious creatures when our little pups are just as curious, if not more. If you’ve has a dog for a long time, you’ll know that dogs use their smell and taste to explore basically everything. 

So, if you’ve changed something about yourself or done something to your face (such as applied face moisturizer or any cream around your ears) get ready for your dog to nibble on your ears. Your dog may do this because he’s smelled the cream and is now trying to identify it. 

Is This Behavior Normal and Should You Encourage it?

Nibbling on eats is completely normal behavior when it comes to dogs of all breeds. More often than not, nibbling is not harmful to you or your dog, but it is ideal to not encourage this behavior. 

As said before, regardless of whether your dog means harm or not, he can unintentionally hurt you with his nibbles. Your dog can’t really predict whether his cheerful nibbling is painful for you. So, it’s easy for things to get out of hand.  

You could also have kids and older people in the family whose skin may be quite sensitive. So, they may react quite negatively to your dog’s harmless nibbles. 

A situation like this can be distressing. Luckily, there are a few ways you can discourage this conduct. 

How To Stop Your Dog From Nibbling On Your Ears

To stop your dog from nibbling on your ears, you’ll need a good amount of patience. Here are three things that you can do: 

  • Chew Toys

If your pup is in his initial teething stage, he’s probably nibbling out of agony. After all, teething is a painful process. So, to take his attention away from your ears, buy some chew toys. 

This way, your dog has something else to nibble on. Wheneever he’s nibbling at your ear, just give him a chew toy instead.

  • Being Firm

Saying "no!" in a firm tone should caution your dog that what he is doing is wrong. Whenever, he’s nibbling your ear, give him this firm warning. After a few warnings, he should ultimately stop the nibbling. 

  • Encouraging Good Behavior

Make sure to reward your dog whenever he stops nibbling your ear after a warning. Ultimately, your dog will learn that not nibbling your ear is good behavior that will be rewarded, so he’ll stop. 

Final Thoughts

There is no single explanation as to why your puppy may be nibbling on your ears, as no two dogs are similar. Assuming this act is just a one-off occurrence, you shouldn’t be too worried.

However, if the nibbling occurs quite regularly, you may want to try and stop the behavior before it gets out of hand. There’s a few ways to do this; just make sure you do it with patience and love.

Here are some other common questions about dogs that may also be helpful:Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets? Why Does My Dog Bury His Head in Me? Why Does My Dog Lay His Head on Me? Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs? Why Does My Dog Lick My Pillow? Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me? Why Does My Dog Stretch So Much? Why Does My Dog Put His Butt on Me? Why Does My Dog Sleep With His Tongue Out? Why Does My Dog Lay On My Clothes? Why Does My Dog Hump the Air? Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dogs Pee? Why Does My Dog Push Against Me? Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs? Why Does My Dog Lick My Eyes? Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking? and if you are after our pet portraits, you can see themhere.