Why Does My Male Dog Keep Licking My Female Dog’s Ears?

If you’ve noticed your male dog frequently licking your female dog’s ears, you might be wondering what drives this behavior. 

Dogs communicate through various gestures and actions, and licking is one of their primary forms of expression. 

While licking can be an affectionate behavior, it can also be a way for dogs to establish social bonds and maintain pack dynamics. 

In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this behavior and explore the underlying instincts that drive it. 

Additionally, we will provide tips on how to manage such behaviors if they become excessive or disruptive.

Natural Canine Communication

Dogs use licking as a means of communication in various social interactions. When two dogs meet or live together, they exchange scents and information through licking. 

The scent receptors on a dog’s tongue allow them to gather valuable information about the other dog’s identity, emotional state, and even reproductive status. 

When a male dog licks a female’s ears, he is gathering information that helps him understand her better.

Establishing Social Bonds

Licking can also be a way for dogs to establish and maintain social bonds within a pack. In the wild, wolves and other canine species engage in mutual grooming to strengthen their pack’s unity. 

Domestic dogs, though significantly different from their wild ancestors, retain some of these pack instincts. When a male dog licks a female dog’s ears, he might be reinforcing their social bond and expressing his affection towards her.

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Hormonal Signals

Female dogs release pheromones through their ear glands, which can act as powerful chemical signals. These pheromones communicate a female’s reproductive status to male dogs, even from a distance. 

When a male dog licks a female’s ears, he is gathering these pheromones and gaining information about her fertility and readiness to mate. This behavior is deeply ingrained in their natural instincts as part of the mating ritual.

Demonstrating Submission

In some cases, a male dog licking a female’s ears could be a submissive gesture. Just like other animals, dogs display submissive behaviors to communicate respect and deference. 

By licking a female’s ears, a male dog might be showing his submission to her, especially if she is the dominant member in their relationship.

Alleviating Stress and Anxiety

Licking can also be a self-soothing behavior for dogs when they are stressed, anxious, or uncertain. If your male dog is feeling overwhelmed or unsure, he may resort to licking the female’s ears as a way to comfort himself. 

This behavior can be particularly noticeable during periods of change or when exposed to new environments or experiences.


In conclusion, when your male dog licks your female dog’s ears, it’s a natural behavior driven by their instinctive communication and social dynamics. 

Licking is a way for dogs to gather information, strengthen their bonds, and express their affection. It’s important to understand that such behavior is often normal and harmless.

However, if the licking becomes excessive or bothersome, consider consulting a veterinarian or a professional dog behaviorist. 

They can help determine if there are underlying issues causing the behavior and provide appropriate training or interventions if needed. 

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Remember, every dog is unique, and understanding their individual needs is crucial for a harmonious canine companionship.