What Does It Mean When A Dog Bites Another Dog’s Ear?

What Does It Mean When A Dog Bites Another Dog's Ear?

Dogs are fantastic pets due to their playful and protective nature. Thus, dog owners always have a great time with their dogs. However, if you see your dogs closely during playtime, it may surprise you. Yes, when you will see your dog biting the ear of its playmate and vice-versa, there’s enough reason to be surprised and worried.

So, what does it mean when a dog bites another dog’s ear?

Do they do it to express anger? Or, do dogs do it to show affection and love?

Well, the answer is both. At times two dogs simply can bite each other ears to express love and affinity during playtime. And on another day, the same scenario would mean who is actually the boss between the two dogs. The one biting the other dog showcases his strength and claims to be the boss of this playfield.

But why they chew each other ears so keenly? And should you worry about it and what measures to take if it a matter of worrisome?

We have these answers covered in our following discussion. So, dog lovers stay, let’s kick off it.

Why Do Dogs Bite Each Other’s Ears When Playing?

Dogs are one of the most sociable animals on the planet, and they apply various techniques to communicate with each other. Chewing or biting each other ears is one of their most frequently used communication media.

what does it mean when a dog bites another dog's ear

Since it has a different meaning during communications, its actual meaning alters somewhat quickly. But if you see them chewing ears, the most common cause of it can be expressing love and affection for the playmate.

Dogs, unlike a human, don’t have opposable hands to express their emotion and needs. Thus, they use different tricks for it. When they want to play with other dogs, they will gently lick its ear. They do it because their teeth and tongue is their primary sensor to exchange affection. Also, they use these organs to grab attention from others.

Thus, during playtime, they frequently leak other dog’s ear to let it know that he has accepted it as a friend and want to play. For the same reason, you will see dogs often licking your legs and hands. When the dog does it with you, it means he is willing to play or spend time with you.

What Does It Mean When A Dog Bites Another Dog’s Ear?

Are you interested to know why do dogs bite ears?

Dogs biting another dog’s ear might have various meanings. It can be both a way of showing affection and aggression. Thus, you have to observe the way the dogs are biting and chewing their ears to know what it really means.

Dog experts show that these cute creatures use their mouths and tongue to interact with the outer world and its other counterparts. So, they are keen to interact with other dogs using their mouth and saliva that comes only through vigorous licking and chewing.

To understand what this language means, you have to see the activity closely. For instance, two playful dogs will lick, chew and bite their ears affectionately. But things can alter rather too quickly and dramatically since dogs are known for their hot temperament too.

If they get angry, they will start putting too much pressure on the ears. Thus, it will cause shouting of the bitten dog and even slight bloodshed. The most frightening part of such aggressive biting is that even the smallest cut can bring massive bloodshed to the dog. And it can be a nightmare for the bitten dog with such cuts.

Therefore, you have to observe your dogs’ activity and expression closely to know why do dogs bite other dogs’ ears. If the dogs are happy and still playing, the bites are affectionate. If you see them snarling or yelping due to pain, it means the biting on the ear wasn’t playful but aggressive.

Why Do Dogs Bite Other Dog’s Ears?

 When you see your digs biting other dogs’ ears, one question might easily come to your mind, “Why does my dog chew on my other dog’s ears?”

We have already described with proper reasons that it could both mean aggression and affection for the biting and bitten dogs. But that’s not the only reason for the dog biting the other dog’s ears. Another highly possible reason for it could be the dog’s extreme affinity for salinity.

The ear lining of the dog preserves salt as it they sweat. Thus, this place becomes salty. Also, dogs are extremely keen in nature. So, they are attracted and expressive to any strange and unknown taste and smells.

Therefore, they will lick the other dogs’ ears to taste and absorb the salinity around the ear lining. Also, it allows them to recognize the smell and fragrance of the other dog. So, dogs may simply enjoy the salinity and smell as they play with each other.

Handy Hint: If you interested to know more guide about dogs, visit our other article about do foxes attack dogs?.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Bite Each Other While Playing?

Yes, it is perfectly normal for dogs to bite each other while they play. In fact, dogs use biting and licking both for grabbing the attention of other dogs to invite them for play and express love during playtime. As dogs are social creatures, they often find a way to interact and communicate with each other.

And Kanine Society, their communication becomes even more vigorous when they are in the mood for play. They will happily bite and chew each other ears and their lining to express their happiness. But you have to be truly careful because a dog’s tongue is pretty harsh, and even the friendliest bite can be painful.

If one dog is overenthusiastic and powerful, its chewing on other dogs can penetrate deep through its ear canal. And it can be highly injurious if not deadly. Once the dog bits penetrate the other dog’s ear canal, it will not only cause bloodshed but also produce discharge. As the blood comes out of the canal and starts drying, it becomes brown.

So, to know the actual reason for the dog biting its playmate, you should see their ear and its surroundings to find the brown discharge. If the bite were a part of showing love and affection, it would be friendly. So, there should be no bloodshed and brown discharge.

On the other hand, aggressive bites will cause bloodshed. Thus, you have to treat the injury to help the dog cure and live happily. If you don’t treat the penetrated ear of the dog, it can become infectious and cause a slow and painful death.

How Can You Tell If Two Dogs Are Playing or Fighting?

The American Kennel Club has identified some certain behavior of dogs to know whether they are playing or fighting. These include- 

  1. If they are engaged in a fight, their body will become stiff. The ear of both dog’s upper backs will raise. But it is a tough thing to observe for dogs with long hairs.
  2. The growl will be low and alarming during fights. And for a fun time, the growl will be relaxed. The angry growl will often be followed by snapping and snarling.
  3. When dogs are playing, they will bounce around with relaxed movements. During the fight, they will become quicker and frightening.
  4. The lips will curl towards the back, and its ear will turn into an extremely flat state. Also, there will be massive snarling.
  5. One dog (usually the weaker one) will try to get away from the stronger one. But during playtime, both will hug and come across in close contact.

Why Is My Dog Attacking My Other Dog for No Reason?

If you see your dogs engaged in fights, it can be because there are frightened. If one dog is older and growing weaker, it will feel threatened to lose its position. So, it would try to fight away the playmate to establish its supremacy.

Also, they may be disturbed due to any change in the surrounding, which will also lead them to stress. So, they will try to fight and come out of such stressful moments.

How Do I Stop My Dog from Playing Too Rough with Other Dogs?

Playing for dogs mainly means expressing their dominance over the other ones. Thus, they will show their strength through rough play. If you want them to avoid such rough plays and transform them into more timid ones, you should spay or neuter them.

As you neuter or spay the dogs, it reduces the hormone secretion and helps them grow gentler. So, they should avoid rough play in the future. Also, it helps them remain safe as neutered or spayed dogs will not show signs of aggression both at home and outdoor.

How Long Should Dogs Be Separated After A Fight?

If the dogs are engaged in ferocious fighting, you must immediately separate them for safety. But how long should you keep them separated? Well, experts say separating the two dogs for 36 t 48 hours should help them become stress-free and relaxed.

So, you can reintroduce them easily after 48 hours of a fight.


Here, we end our descriptive discussion on what does it mean when a dog bites another dog’s ear. The main reason for dogs biting each other ear’s may include showing love, affection, aggression, and the will to play with each other. Also, it happens as a dog wants to consume the saltiness of another dog’s ear lining and canal.

Although these bites are less likely to cause any injuries, aggressive biting might penetrate the ear canal to cause slight bloodshed. You have to treat it ASAP to avoid further complications.

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