Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Faces and Ears? The Truth About Dog Licking

Since we adopted a new dog, our native dog’s behavior has changed.

The native dog follows the new dog and licks the new dog’s face and body.
What are the reasons why dogs lick other dogs?
When your new dog comes near, he will start licking and will continue to lick his face, ears, and eyes.
At first, he doesn’t like the new dog and bullies him? I thought so, but there was no fight.

 The native dog is restless and is being eaten by the new dog.

Dogs lick their own bodies to take care of themselves, and lick their owners’ hands and faces to show their affection, 
but they should focus on licking the faces of dogs they meet on walks or newly adopted junior dogs. 
there is. 
We will introduce you to the feelings that are reflected in the actions of dogs like this. 

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other Face?

For dogs, the act of licking has two meanings: medical, such as treating wounds and grooming, and social behavior, such as greeting and expressing emotions.

Moreover, the meaning varies depending on the part you lick.

Let’s quickly explain three reasons why people lick their faces.


1: To Show Social Ranking

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Face?

Dogs are hierarchical animals, and they rank everyone in their environment (their owners and their families).

It is more serious when it comes to dogs, and if you have multiple dogs living together, it is clear which dog is at the top of the list, and they are expected to live according to the hierarchy.

Licking another dog’s face in such an environment seems to mean that the licking dog recognizes the dog being licked as superior to itself.

Lower-ranking dogs lick the higher-ranking dog’s face as a sign of respect and subordination.

In this case, lower your stance, approach, and lick shyly from the bottom of the dog’s chin. The higher-ranking dog that has been licked will gently lick you back, as if to say “I have accepted your courtesy,” to maintain its position and the peace of the group.


2: For Care

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Face?

When you see a puppy licking its mother’s face, you tend to think that she’s being spoiled, but in reality, she’s often asking for food.

By licking the mother dog’s face, the mother dog communicates that she is hungry and wants to eat, and that she wants to be cared for.

In response, the mother dog satisfies the puppy’s appetite by breastfeeding and vomiting up the food she is currently digesting.

Mother dogs also lick their puppies for grooming. Since they are too young to groom themselves, I help them do it for them. I feel the strength of motherhood when I see her not only licking her face but all over her body to encourage excretion and check on her health.

Dogs who are caring even if they are not the mother dog may take care of the puppies by licking them hard when they arrive as junior dogs.


3: To convey my feelings of love

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Face?

They often express affection by licking their partner’s face.

Dogs have strong bonds with each other, such as parent and child, siblings, and friends, and they lick each other to communicate that they care for each other. In this case, unlike when showing social ranking, lick as if you were kissing without hesitation.

Also, when you lick the face of a dog you meet for the first time while taking a walk, you do it with a more light affectionate feeling, saying, “We seem to get along well, so let’s become friends” or “Let’s play together.”

If you see your dog licking another dog’s face, it might be fun to take a look and see why they’re doing it.


Reasons why dogs lick other dogs’ ears?

Have you ever seen dogs lick their ears or other body parts when greeting each other when going out for a walk? In households with multiple dogs, this may be a common behavior among the dogs. 

This time, let’s focus on why dogs lick each other’s ears. What on earth does that mean? By knowing the meaning of this behavior, you will be able to understand your dog even more!
Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other's Faces and Ears? The Truth About Dog Licking


1: Shows that you are superior

If you live in a multi-dog household or have close dogs in your neighborhood, you may have seen your dog licking the ears of other dogs.

It is said that when a dog licks another dog’s ear, it is meant to rank them.
Basically, it is said that a dog in a higher position licks the ears of a dog that it thinks is lower than itself.

Also, there are cases where dogs licking their ears or behind the ears is simply a way of greeting each other, but even in this case, the higher-ranking dog often licks the lower-ranking dog.

However, for dogs, the act of licking is just part of their instinct, and it does not follow any set rules.
Therefore, it seems that lower-ranking dogs may lick dogs that they perceive to be superior to them first to show their goodwill and respect.


2: Love expression

Dogs may also lick other dogs to show affection. Dogs may use this behavior to build and maintain trusting relationships with other dogs.

If the dogs already have a deep bond with each other, they may lick each other, similar to kissing and hugging in human communication.
Some trainers have stated that “licking and being licked releases endorphins, which makes dogs feel relaxed and happy.”


3: Invitation to play

When inviting dogs to play, they may lick other dogs’ faces or ears to show that they are ready to play. You may do this not only with dogs you already know, but also with dogs you are meeting for the first time.

If your dog is desperate to play, he may lick the other dog’s face, in addition to the “play bow” position where he lowers the front half of his body and raises his butt high.
This dog is in such an adorable state, trying so hard to invite other dogs, “Hey, let’s play!”


4: Instinct

If a mother dog is licking her puppies, it can be said that she is doing this to care for her puppies, such as grooming them or encouraging them to defecate.

Licking a puppy is an exchange of affection between the mother dog and the puppies. By the way, when puppies are licked a lot by their mother, a substance called serotonin, known as the happy hormone, is secreted.
This seems to help maintain mental stability. It also seems to have physical effects, such as helping with food digestion and promoting blood circulation.
Dogs living together in multi-dog households may also be seen together to strengthen their bond or to take care of each other.

On the other hand, if your puppy licks or bites another dog’s ears, it’s likely that he’s doing it simply because it’s moving, interesting, or fun.


5: Because it tastes good

Dogs may also lick someone’s ears or face simply because of a certain taste or smell.
Many children will lick their food after eating because they notice food stuck to their food or feel salty.

There may be something wrong with the dog’s ears that are being licked, and the condition may be different from usual, such as smelling or swollen.
If your dog is licking frequently, it would be a good idea to have your dog check it out.


What is licking for dogs?

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other's Faces and Ears? The Truth About Dog Licking

It is natural for dogs to lick their own bodies, human hands and faces, toys, and even other dogs.

This is because the tongue is the part of the dog’s sensory organs that can sense irritation and bitterness, so dogs have the habit of trying to obtain information by licking.

In addition, licking is not only used to obtain information, but also as a part of communication between dogs, as mentioned above.
Dogs are originally animals that lived in packs, and the act of licking each other was performed between companions who lived in the same pack.
This act is called social grooming, and it may be used to show respect, obedience, or ranking, or simply to express affection, or to clean each other’s coats. It has various meanings, such as being an opportunity to resolve conflicts between dogs.

Cats and dogs in particular are said to groom trusted humans as a sign of affection.
If you’ve ever had contact with a dog, you’ve probably had your face or hands licked at least once.



We’ve explained that dogs lick other dogs as a result of their natural habits, or as an expression of affection or social grooming.

If the dogs are good friends, it won’t cause any problems, and there is no problem in observing this situation as a funny situation. However, be sure to keep an eye on the other person to make sure they are not bothering you or showing any signs of dislike. It’s not uncommon for someone to be too persistent and get angry, leading to a fight.

Also, there are cases where ear disease is the cause, so please be careful about that. Be sure to check the condition of your dog’s ears regularly and provide appropriate care, and if you suspect a disease, please consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. The same applies if a mental illness caused by stress is suspected.

There are many articles on the internet about ear diseases, so it’s a good idea to look at the table of contents and check if you notice any symptoms you’re concerned about.

Mian Zubair

My goal in writing here is to create a happier and more comfortable home for dog owners and the dogs they love, while improving quality of life. I have knowledge and experience to write various information about dogs.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Faces and Ears? The Truth About Dog Licking”

Leave a comment