If your dog has been smelling your ears, you might be wondering why, what it means and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons responsible for this behavior and what you can do about it.
Possible reasons why your dog smells your ears are that it likes your body smell, it is investigating possible illness, boredom or just dog things.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog might smell your ears, and it might be due to a combination of reasons. Read on below to fully understand the reasons for this particular behavior.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
It likes your body smell
One possible reason your dog smells your ear is that it likes your natural body smell. As you probably know, dogs are 'sniffing' creatures; they like to smell things but more importantly, things or the body of their owners.
Dogs depend on their highly developed senses of smell and hearing to remember people. It recognizes you by your smell even from afar off - I guess you might have thought your dog recognizes you by your face.
It smells you to remember you and that you are a member of the pack. Not only that, it reveals a lot of information about you - like where you've been.
And it is also a way for it to show affection towards you, synonymous with how you hug a close pal
Detecting illness or infection
Yes - you read that. Dogs can detect health information by smelling you (Source). The smell from your ear, skin, nose can give off information about what's going on with you.
Being caring creatures that they are, dogs took care and sniffed themselves while in the wild to find those with illness to survive in the wild and maintain the health of the pack.
Back to why your dog smells your ear, it can detect that something is wrong with you by just smelling your ears as your ear wax carries information that reveals detail about your health.
So pay attention when your dog smells your ear frequently and far longer than normal, as it may be the case of a developing infection.
You don't have to feel any pain or experience any inflammation; once he starts sniffing frequently, you should try to see your doctor.
Another possible cause of this behavior is boredom. Dogs are energetic creatures with a high level of energy. Just like kids, they have to expend this energy.
When they can't, they start to exhibit several actions and behaviors that may seem weird to you, like digging and sniffing around, dragging and rolling on your laundries, chewing things they'd not normally chew.
And when this is the case, he may choose to smell your ears—just anything to do to keep him active and engaged.
Other Things To Consider
Here are some other reasons you could consider to drill down to the root cause.
Do you carry or play with other dogs?
Dogs are known to be jealous, and they can smell the scents of other dogs on you. So, try to watch out if it's only when you play with other dogs that it smells your ear.
You encouraged the behavior
Yes, you may be asking why you would encourage such behavior, but you may have unknowingly encouraged him by giving him a reward like treats or toys or even praising it. Dogs learn far easily by encouraging them after they have learned an action or habit
How To Stop Your Dog From Smelling Your Ears
while you've learned the possible reasons for this behavior, they are nothing you should worry about except that you'd want to avoid your dog from licking your ear.
Dogs' mouths contain germs and bacteria that sometimes can cause opportunistic infections, which means they can cause an infection under the right conditions, such as a weakened immune system.
Play with it
if it is caused by boredom, then you may want to play with your dog. You can even take it for a walk to get him active and expend its energy
One thing you may not know is that dogs hate being ignored, particularly when it is by their owners. So ignore it but don't mistake it for screaming or yelling at it. When you yell, it may see it as a complement to encourage the behavior.
Train him not to (using treats)
While I previously mentioned it's possible he smells your ear because you have mistakenly encouraged it, you can also stop it by training it using treats.
Start by using a single command word like 'Stop' or "No.' if he responds to these commands, give it treats each time he stops so it can take a grasp of what you expect of him
Engage him mentally
One thing to know for a fact is that dogs hate being idle. They need to be engaged every day to prevent them from learning some weird and bad behaviors.
As such, you have to find a way to engage them, either physically or mentally.
Some interactive toys can help with the physical engagement you can purchase in the market, such as puzzle toys, hide-and-seek toys, etc.
Most Recommended For Dogs
Best Dog Treats (to use for training)
The Best Dog Training Program
Our favorite: Brain Training for Dogs. If you want an obedient dog and wants to learn how to successfully develop your dog's natural intelligence and eliminate bad behaviors even if you are a first-timer, then check this out.