Is your dog chattering and you don’t know why or how to get him to stop this behavior?
There are always explanations and above all solutions to every problem you encounter with your dog.
We will see here how to respond to your problem: we will first see why a dog chatts its teeth, what it means and especially what to do if it happens frequently.
Chattering teeth out of fear
Very generally, teeth chattering is often associated in dogs with a more or less high state of stress. The chattering of teeth may then be accompanied by tremors and a general body condition that is not very alert.
But beware, here chattering teeth will be just the tip of the iceberg.
If you do not absolutely want to stop this behavior, it will be much more efficient and productive to find the cause of your dog’s stress in order to resolve the problem in depth and no longer on the surface.
Chattering teeth to communicate
Like many cues such as growling or barking, teeth chattering is one of the communication tools a dog can use to express discomfort.
We can then observe chattering of teeth during confrontations / meetings between two dogs for example or when someone makes contact inappropriately with a dog.
Here, the chattering of teeth will then be a kind of shield for the dog, which he will use to scare the object away from his discomfort. This signal will often be accompanied by other avoidance signals such as growling, nose licking, yawning, recoil, bark, etc.
Chattering teeth to exteriorize too much energy
The chattering of teeth can also be observed when the dog shows impatience and excitement at the approach of an activity that he loves: going for a walk, eating, the return of his master, a play session. , etc.
Chattering teeth to attract attention
If when your dog is chattering his teeth you systematically give him your full attention, he may start chattering his teeth just for you to take care of him.
Be careful because this is often the case with bored dogs!
Chattering teeth to analyze the olfactory messages of congeners
This phenomenon is called “Flehmen”, a German term for raising the upper lip. Clearly, when a dog smells an odor left by a fellow creature (and more particularly the urine left by a bitch in heat), he uses his sense of smell, of course, but to analyze the odor more precisely, he also uses his palace.
To do this, the dog smells a scent, opens his mouth, saliva and rolls up his upper lip to allow the scent to reach the organ directly for him to analyze. And this behavior can then be accompanied by chattering of teeth.
Chattering teeth because it’s too cold
Like us, dogs can chatter their teeth if they are too cold. This is a completely natural behavior, but it will be necessary to watch out if you consider that the temperatures do not justify such tremors and chattering of teeth on the part of your dog.
The dogs most affected by these teeth chattering at low temperatures are dogs with a very light coat and in particular an undercoat that does not guarantee them good protection against bad weather.
My dog is chattering his teeth: what to do concretely?
As mentioned previously, if you observe a state of stress or fear in your dog, resulting in teeth chattering, seek more to find the cause of his stress and then set up possible habituation or immersion therapies. or desensitization to make it more comfortable in certain situations.
Do not hesitate to call on a behavioral dog trainer to accompany you in this process, which can be long and delicate to deal with.
If your dog is chattering his teeth to express discomfort and to communicate with his fellow creatures or others (or even you), his message should not be ignored and heeded.
Indeed, if he chatters his teeth in front of another dog, wait to see if the other dog understands and accepts the “refusal of contact” of your dog and if this is not the case, intervene and allow your dog to “move on” by diverting it to another behavior, another activity.
It is very important to let dogs communicate with each other, but sometimes some dogs do not receive messages properly and persist in making contact. It is then necessary to intervene to avoid any incident.
Likewise, if your dog is chattering his teeth in front of someone else or in front of you, you absolutely must stop the current action to avoid possible aggression from your dog.
We are fortunate to have animals that warn and alert us when they are not in a comfortable situation, it is up to us not to miss their messages and to allow them to be better and more comfortable in such and such a situation.
If we do not take into account the messages and signals of warning and avoidance of our dogs, they will not end up not bothering to warn us and will go directly to aggression to escape an uneasy situation or even threatening to them.
Then, if your dog is chattering his teeth out of excitement or to get your attention, it may indicate lack of expenditure. Here the solution is simple: spend your dog, keep him occupied when he is alone at home or when you cannot take care of him.
Remember, a dog needs to exert himself physically, mentally and scent every day in order to thrive.
Finally, if you cannot find an answer to your dog’s chattering teeth after reading the main causes and solutions mentioned above, I invite you to consult your veterinarian to help you understand your dog’s behavior.
Unexplained teeth chattering can sometimes hide a physical or neurological problem or a potential disease. Your veterinarian will help you to rule out these possibilities or on the contrary to diagnose them and then treat them.
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