Do you feel like your cockapoo has a fetish for your ears? As funny as this might sound some dogs just love to lick ears more so than faces, hands or you in general. I know Luna is always after mine, I although I find it funny, I also think it is weird and wondered why she did this.
Although like a lot of things our cockapoos do, there are no real hard and fast facts to explain this licking behaviour or why dogs love licking ears, it is not uncommon behaviour for any dog breed.
If you feel your cockapoo is doing excessive licking, and not just licking your ears, but itself or anything that happens to be close by, then please be sure to get your dog checked out by your vet, as this can sometimes be a sign that there are underlying health issues or problems, such as separation anxiety, fear or skin disorders.
Reasons why they may do it
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We know in general that dogs like to lick not just as a sign of affection but because our skin has a natural salty taste that dogs seem to love, especially after hard exercise, but nobody really seems to know for certain the root cause for a dog licking your ears, here are a few theories that are popular amongst the canine community.
One of the theories suggests that it may be behaviour carried down from their wild ancestors. As dogs are unable to clean their own ears, and before they were domesticated, wild dogs used to groom each other and this included cleaning each other’s ears, just as we do it for them now.
Some of their natural instincts carried down through their evolution from wild ancestors will always be with them and, although not all dogs will have this licking behaviour, it is actually quite common so this theory makes sense.
Communication and affection
The next theory is about being a member of a pack and communicating with the other animals. There is always a social structure and hierarchy amongst the animals in a pack and this means that certain rules have to be observed by them during their day to day living.
Because of this, it is really important that each dog is able to communicate with the others, they do this with noise, body language and many other behaviours, and for wild animals, grooming is not just a form of communication, is an important part of daily life for their general health care.
When grooming or ear licking is done to another dog, animal or even human, it can be for different reasons, they are either showing respect for that dog or person, as they have a higher status in the social structure. It could also just be saying thank you for being my friend, I love you, and certainly a sign that they are relaxed and comfortable with you and their surroundings.
Smell and taste
We all appreciate the fact that dogs have a great sense of smell, as well as taste, so is this licking behaviour done just to investigate you or another animal, as it is known that they learn so much from just smelling.
Another of the possible explanations available could be that they just love the taste and smell of ear wax, even if your ears are spotlessly clean they will have a smell and some dogs just can’t resist trying to get to the source and that being in your inner ear canal means you get the royal ear licking treatment.
You may not mind being on the receiving end of these dogs licks but it is important to remember a few things.
Not all people will accept it with the same grace or feel that it is a lovely experience, it is therefore important that you do not let your cockapoo persist with the behaviour when unwanted nor must you let it become a compulsive behaviour.
If your dog is licking another of your pets’ ears then keep a check on it, there are two reasons this is important. Firstly, if licking is done too often it can cause the ears to be constantly damp, which in turn, can lead to health issues with their ears, such as an ear infection. It can also mean that the other pet has a problem so check them out and if in any doubt take your pet to the vet for a check-up.