Anyone who has a pup knows they (mostly) love having their ears rubbed. Gently pulling, massaging, and rubbing dogs’ ears gives them so much pleasure – you only have to look at how their bodies relax, their faces soften, and their eyes close to know how much they’re enjoying it.
But why do they love dog ear massages so much?
How sensitive are dogs’ ears?
Dogs have a lot of nerve endings in their ears. This could be because hearing is one of their strongest senses (along with smell)! Their ears are incredibly sensitive, which means that when you touch certain areas, you trigger different responses in your pup. Your dog’s pointy, floppy, hairy or uneven ears are also home to glands that produce endorphins, the hormone that makes them relax, reduces pain, and feels really nice.
For many years, alternative health therapists have known that dogs have very sensitive ears. Much like how it works with reflexology on our hands and feet, the nerves in a dog’s ears connect to their internal organs, giving them a good way to perform alternative therapy on your pup.
What’s in it for you?
Rubbing a dog’s ears isn’t just good for them, it can have benefits for you too! Studies have proven that stroking, massaging, and rubbing your dog increases the bond between you. When you do something so relaxing, that makes them feel good, you also get a rush of happiness which in turn soothes and relaxes you.
Rubbing dogs’ ears is also a really good way of training them, and much healthier than giving them treats every time they do something well. Massaging their ears lets them know that they did a good job, especially when combined with a ‘well done’ from you.
Do all dogs like their ears rubbed?
Some dogs don’t. In fact, some dogs don’t like having their heads touched at all, especially by strangers. For dogs, head height is a sign of dominance, so when you touch their head they could see this as a sign of you, or the stranger, asserting their authority.
Dogs are also quite prone to ear infections. They have really windy ear canals which are the perfect environment for infections. Regular ear cleaning can help keep these at bay. However, if you do notice your dog (that normally loves an ear rubbing) is in pain when you do it, take them to the vet to have it checked up.
Rubbing dogs’ ears is a great way for you to soothe your pups and make them happy. It’s also a lovely thing for you to do to relax. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Does your dog like having its ears rubbed? Let us know below!
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!