Why does my dog bite my other dog’s ear?

Having multiple dogs can be challenging as you want them to have a good relationship, but it’s not always easy to tell if they are being friendly or hostile towards each other.

There are various reasons why a dog may bite another dog’s ear, some of which suggest a bond between them, while others are worrisome.

Why does my dog bite my other dog’s ear?

If one of your canines has a habit of biting the ear of your other dog, you may be curious about the reason behind this behavior and whether or not it is a cause for concern.

Fortunately, in the majority of cases, biting another dog’s ear is an indication of companionship or fondness, although it can also indicate hostility or superiority.


Dogs may sometimes bite the ear of another dog while playing or to grab their attention, resulting in both dogs engaging in playtime.

If the dog is playfully biting, there will be no harm caused to the bitten dog, and the biting dog will not cause any injury or draw blood.

Guppies may accidentally bite too hard while they are still in the learning process, causing unintentional pain even though they are just playing.


Dogs communicate through body language rather than verbal language. When one dog bites another dog’s ear, it can indicate a form of endearment, similar to a human “bro hug.”


Dogs are known for being social creatures and they often show their affection by grooming other members of their pack. It is possible that when your dog bites another dog’s ear, it could be a form of grooming.

If you observe your dogs licking and nipping at each other’s ears instead of biting, it is likely that they are engaging in grooming behavior towards their fellow pack member.


During the teething phase, puppies tend to bite almost anything as it provides temporary relief from pain and pressure in their teeth, similar to a teething toddler who constantly seeks something to chew on.

If your dog is teething, they may be biting your other dog’s ear as a way to soothe their gums.

Enjoys the Taste

Canine creatures have a peculiar taste preference that differs from humans. Your furry friend might relish the flavor of your other dog’s ear, which could be due to the presence of salt or food particles on its coat, or simply because they enjoy the taste of their skin.

Similar to why some dogs bite their fellow dog’s ear, some dogs may lick their owners for the same reason. Although it may seem unusual to us, dogs are not as selective when it comes to delicious treats.

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It is believed that biting your dog’s ear can establish your dominance as the alpha, which may seem comical but holds some truth. This behavior is also observed in dogs, where they bite another dog’s ear to display their dominance.

Dogs have a hierarchical social structure in their natural habitat, where the highest-ranking male and female are considered the alphas, followed by the omegas who are only subservient to the alphas, and at the bottom are the betas who are subservient to both omegas and alphas.

When living together, domestic dogs usually adhere to a certain structure, which may not be complete depending on the number of dogs in the household, but typically involves one dog assuming the role of alpha in almost any multi-dog setting.


Ear biting may indicate aggression and result in a potential dog fight. Although owners often perceive aggression as straightforward, it can stem from various types and reasons.

Aside from biting, indications of hostility consist of growling, barking, lunging, snarling, snapping, and a rigid body stance. If your canine growls, snaps, and subsequently bites the ear of your other dog, it is probable that they are displaying aggression.

Possessive aggression, also known as resource guarding, is a prevalent form of aggression among dogs. It occurs when one dog perceives something as its property, such as toys, food, or even their owner, and becomes aggressive towards another dog that approaches too closely to these resources.

Territorial or dominance related aggression is a different kind of aggression that happens when one dog invades another dog’s space, but this usually isn’t an issue for dogs who cohabitate because they share the same territory.

Dominance aggression may happen, but it is typically resolved without resorting to violence. Nevertheless, dogs may engage in fights to establish their hierarchy, especially if they are equally matched.

Suppose there is an alpha and beta dog; in that case, they will not engage in a dominance fight, but if two alpha dogs are present, they may fight to determine their position.

Finally, canines may exhibit aggression when they feel scared since they possess a fight or flight response similar to humans, and if your dog feels threatened, it may act defensively by showing aggressive behavior.

Why does my dog howl in his sleep?

Why do dogs bite ears when playing?

There are several reasons why dogs tend to bite each other’s ears during playtime, and one of them is that a dog’s ear is like a bullseye, making it an easy target for other dogs to grab. As a result, dogs learn that ears are easily accessible and can quickly capture another dog’s attention.

As puppies, dogs learn that biting can be a way to initiate play, and as they mature, they continue to use playful biting as a means of communicating their desire to engage in play.

How to get my dog to stop biting my other dog’s ear?

Are you worried about one of your dogs biting the other’s ear? If you want to put an end to this behavior, there are several methods available.

Should You Stop It? 

Prior to addressing how to prevent it, consider whether or not you should intervene. Is the behavior causing discomfort for your dogs? Is there any harm being inflicted on one of them? Is the behavior playful or aggressive in nature?

If your dogs are biting each other’s ears as a form of play, grooming, or affection, it may not be necessary to intervene. Nevertheless, if this behavior is causing discomfort to one of the dogs, appears aggressive, or is resulting in harm to the ear, it is advisable to put an end to it.

Letting the Dogs Work It Out

If both of your dogs are capable of defending themselves, it might be best to let them resolve the issue on their own. If one dog is genuinely bothered by the other’s ear-biting behavior, they will communicate this and put a stop to it. While this could lead to a scuffle, it’s a natural part of establishing hierarchy within the household.

It is important to exercise your own discretion in this situation and if you have concerns about the safety of one of your dogs, then this may not be the appropriate action to take.


The technique commonly referred to as the startle technique can be used to stop your dog from doing something by making a loud noise that startles them, such as clapping your hands, stomping your feet, or using an air horn.

The goal is to interrupt their current behavior and guide them towards a more appropriate activity, but it’s important to avoid reinforcing the undesired behavior by refraining from offering treats or playing with them as a distraction.

Why does my dog howl in his sleep?

Bad Taste 

Similar to humans, dogs tend to refrain from putting things in their mouths that they find distasteful. Attempting to feed a toddler peas can be quite challenging!

If you are wondering how to prevent your dog from biting your other dog’s ear, one solution is to try using bitter apple spray which has an unpleasant scent and taste that dogs usually dislike, causing your other dog to resist having it on their ear.

Hot sauce can be an alternative solution as dogs usually find spicy foods unpalatable, making it an effective method to discourage your dog from biting the ear of another dog.

Spray Bottle 

Dogs usually dislike getting wet with water. If one of your dogs starts biting the other’s ear, you can use a spray bottle to squirt them with water. Consistently doing this whenever they bite the other dog’s ear will probably make them stop soon.

Using a spray as a form of negative reinforcement can be effective in preventing dogs from biting each other’s ears. Dogs have a remarkable associative memory, which means they remember the feeling associated with an action. Therefore, when a dog bites another dog’s ear and is sprayed, it will feel uncomfortable or startled and associate this feeling with biting the ear. As a result, the dog will no longer want to bite the ear.

If using water doesn’t work, you can try filling the sprayer with vinegar or lemon juice as dogs have a strong aversion to these scents.

Separate Them 

If you are worried about the safety of your dogs, it may be necessary to temporarily separate them and gradually reintroduce them to each other, which can help alleviate any negative emotions between them.

Chewies and Bones 

If your canine is looking for something to gnaw on, it’s advisable to have chew toys or bones readily available. This is particularly effective for young dogs who are teething and those that relish the flavor of another dog’s ear.

Ensuring that there are enough resources for all dogs can prevent conflicts and keep them engaged.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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