Dogs nibble human ears for many reasons. Although the habit is harmless, a little training may be required to tone it down.
If you are wondering why your pup nibbles your years, it is because;
He loves you
Is comfortable around you
He is grooming you
It is a sign of respect
He likes the taste of your ear
VIDEO: Puppy Nibbles on Owner’s Ear
A sign of love
Nibbling and licking the ear is a sign of affection. This is how dogs show love in the canine world. Since your pup considers you a packmate, he doesn’t mind showing you some love.
A sign of comfort
Nibbling the ear followed with nuzzling shows your dog is comfortable around you. Pups would also do this if they feel content and want to bond with their owners. In the canine world, bonding is done through scent marking. Nibbling your ear allows the dog to pick up scents from you. And by licking, he is transferring his scent to you.
Also, dogs would nibble the ear if they are playing. If you are lying down at the same level when playing, nibbling could be a form of tickling for fun. Another sign your dog is comfortable around you is when he sleeps on your lap.
Cats and dogs have the same grooming habits. In the company of other pets, they will groom each other to keep clean and bond. Nibbling and licking help clean the ear and wade off infection. Your ear may not be infected or dirty, but your pup doesn’t mind giving it a good old clean.
As weird as it may sound, a dog will nibble your ear as a sign of respect. In the canine world, the alpha is revered by the rest of the pack through licking and nibbling. So maybe your dog considers you as the alpha in his pack.
Your dog could nibble your ears for the fun of it. Unbeknownst to you, dogs can catch and read various scents from your ear. A gentle nibble of the ear could tell a dog a lot about you. Alternatively, maybe your dog likes the bitter taste of earwax.
When is ear nibbling a problem?
Maybe you do not mind your dog giving you nibbles now and then. But if not trained to stop, a dog can behave the same way around guests and strangers. To avoid grossing out other people, it is important to train your dog to stop the habit.
A good way to do so is by diverting your dog’s attention. There is a high chance that your dog nibbles your ear out of boredom.
You could keep his mind engaged with a food-dispensing maze toy. A maze toy lets your dog work his tongue through the toy to get to the treat. Keep him engaged this way helps direct his licks elsewhere.