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Does Biting A Dogs Ears Really Show Dominance?

There have been a large number of people reaching out for advice on how to establish dominance over their unruly dog recently and as always, there has been a huge number of people on social media recommending that you bite your dog’s ears as a way to establish yourself as the dominant member of the pack.

As with most things on social media, this couldn’t be further from the truth and you should never be biting your dog’s ears.

We understand that it can be frustrating to get control of a dog and establish yourself as the dominant leader between the two of you but there are some excellent dog training programs that you are able to use to your advantage to help you with this.

In our opinion, a dog training program based around positive reinforcement will always be the better route to take when looking to train your dog into accepting you as the leader.

That said though, due to seeing so many people reaching out about biting their dog’s ears each month, we have decided to publish a dedicated article on the subject.

Our hope is that we will be able to help stop dog owners from trying to bite their dog’s ears as well as help you understand why it is useless as well as how it is also potentially harmful to your dog.

Does Biting Dogs Ears Really Show Dominance?

Biting a dog’s ears does not show dominance in any way and will often cause pain in your dog and force it to counter the action with a display of aggression. If you already have an unruly dog that is vying for dominance of the household, this is the last thing that you want.

Although there is a natural behaviour in dogs of nibbling each other’s ears, it is not to display dominance over the other dog. Human jaws are not designed to softly nibble over a large area of the dog’s ear to have the same effect either.

There are much better ways to get your dog to understand that you are the dominant one between the two of you than trying to bite its ear.

Keep in mind that if you do bite your dog’s ear, your face is easily within biting distance for a defensive move from your dog after you bite it too but they may not know that you are not trying to cause it serious harm with your bite and use its full strength against you.

Why Do Dogs Bite Ears?

There are a number of reasons that dogs bite each other’s ears but showing dominance is not one of them.

The main reason that dogs nibble on each other ears is actually to show affection with puppies nibbling on other puppies ears as a part of “mouthing” to explore the world and learn how to interact with other dogs.

As we mentioned above, dog ear biting is a natural behavior for dogs and the shape of their jaws make it a much easier for dogs to control the pressure that they exert with their bite than it is for a human.

On top of that, dogs will usually go through a bonding process of nipping and nibbling each other while play fighting.

This establishes a previous behavior between the dogs for biting each other ears rather than a human just randomly doing it.

If both you and your dog are trying to establish dominance then a random bite to the ear from you could easily be missinteperated as actual aggression too.

Should I Bite My Dogs Ear?

You should never bite your dog’s ear as there is no reason to do it with there being no potential benefits but plenty of potential downsides. Biting your dog’s ear is not a way to establish dominance but it could harm your dog’s ar or result in your dog biting you back.

We know that there are a shockingly large number of people on social media groups recommending dog ear biting over and over again so it can be difficult to realize that this is not correct information.

Thankfully, over the last three months or so, more and more people are starting to counter the post on social media where people claim that biting a dog’s ear is a way to show dominance.

Unfortunately, with social media, it is generally a mob rules mentality and even though the person saying you shouldn’t bite your dog’s ear is correct, the uninformed masses generally shout them down.

This makes it very easy for people trying to do actual research into if biting your dog’s ear actually works or not to think that it is a real training method that works due to so many people confidently claiming it is fine to do.

Where Did The Idea Of Biting A Dog’s Ear For Dominance Come From?

We have no idea where the idea of biting a dog’s ear to display dominance came from and we would guess it is just a rumor that got out of hand and then enough people actually believed it to keep it going.

Unfortunately, this rumor has potentially dangerous consequences for both you and your dog.

There have even been some people claim that biting your dog’s ear to establish dominance is backed up by established dog trainers but we have been unable to find any actual evidence of this.

In some cases, there are some established dog trainers outright saying that this is not a real behavioral pattern and that it is potentially dangerous to do.

It is good to see that more and more people are finally starting to realize that this is not a real thing and the speed that this rumor used to spread is slowing down.

We only hope that in a few more years, enough people will be knowledgeable on the situation to be able to counter all of the people who recommend biting dogs’ ears on social media to explain that it is a waste of time and not worth trying.


That brings our article going over if biting dogs ears as a way to establish dominance actually works or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you realise that this is not a real dog training method and that it actually presents a risk to your dogs ear if you bite too hard as well as to you if your dog decides to bite you back. There are much better training methods that you are able to use to get your dog to understand that you are the dominant one that trying to bite its ear.