Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth?

Hello, I’m Gary the greyhound and I would be very happy to answer your question.

First off – if I’m chattering my teeth, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m cold.

It might, but if you’re not really chilly, then I’m probably fine. I often chatter because I’m in a good mood, or het up about something.

That being said, I might also be incredibly nervous too. It depends on the context!

My mom learned this the hard way when she rescued me.

I’m a former racer you see, and incredibly anxious, but also deeply grateful for being saved from the kennels.

Living in cramped, horrible conditions and being shouted at by humans to run, even when you really don’t want to, is very hard to get over.

When she first brought me home, I chattered quite a lot: I was excited by all of the new sights and sounds and smells, but also very very nervous about the change of environment.

She called the vet to ask if there was something wrong, and they politely informed her that, no, I’m probably just getting used to the new situation.

You should certainly keep in mind that all dogs are different, and your pup might actually be distressed: think about the context they’re in right now.

Is their tail wagging, or between their legs and droopy? Are they snuggling with you, or across the room hiding?

Are there new people around, or is everybody that’s present someone they know and are comfortable with?

The way you answer those questions will help you figure out if you need to worry about the chattering or not!

Why does my dog’s jaw quiver?

Another excellent question! Much like the above, the answer is: a number of potential reasons.

Did you just get home, or perhaps come back downstairs after being asleep all night? It’s very possible that your pup, like me, is just very excited to see you!

Us dogs shake all over when we’re hyped up. We’re just kind of uncivilized that way, we can’t help it. Sorry! We’ll calm down soon enough, especially if you don’t give us any attention… although, as I say that, why would I advise you not to pet your pup?!

We’ll settle even if you give us a good cuddle. In fact, go find your pooch and give them a cuddle right now. They deserve it. Tell them Gary sent you.

ANYWAY – it’s also important to know that your canine companion could be demonstrating what is known as a “displacement behavior” – are they currently in a situation where they might feel in danger, or a need to defend themselves?

This is an inherent tactic from their wolfy ancestors and would ward off fellow dogs in the wild.

Or, maybe it’s not that deep and you’re just about to give them a treat and they just absolutely cannot wait to taste it, the anticipation is killing them!

Why do dogs move their mouth like they are talking?

No, you’re not going crazy, and it is highly unlikely that your furry friend is trying to communicate with you. However, you may be witnessing their mouth opening or moving around as though they are silently attempting to talk.

Sadly, this isn’t the case, and you’re not about to become the next Dr. Doolittle, unfortunately for your bank account.

If your pup will let you, gently open up their mouth and see if there is anything lodged in their teeth or stuck where it shouldn’t be. Much like you humans after a good meal, we may well just be cleaning loose food from behind our fangs. You caught us at a bad time! Look away!

However, if we’re persisting in weird behavior, and also making strange sounds, there might be something stuck in our throats, at which point you need to intervene and help us clear the blockage.

Have you ever seen a human who’s about to throw up? They start doing weird things like swallowing and breathing weird and opening their mouths, as though it’s going to stop them from puking – it probably won’t.

Unfortunately, we dogs are also likely to get a bit freaked out when we feel sick. You yourselves know it’s an unpleasant and strange sensation we’d all rather avoid, whatever the species.

Can’t identify another reason your dog’s mouth is opening? Get out of the way, they could be about to blow!

Again – all dogs are different, me included. If you’re worried, get in touch with *sigh* the vet, who probably knows more about this than I do…

Why does my dog curl his lip?

I’m sorry to keep repeating myself, but there are a few different reasons that I or a fellow dog might curl our lip to reveal the sharp and potentially dangerous teeth lying beneath them.

If your dog is growling whilst they bare their teeth at you, then this is a clear sign that they are angry about something and should be left alone.

Similarly, baring our teeth at you and curling the lip without a growl is indicative of us asking you to stop whatever it is you’re doing. So if you’re approaching for a cuddle, it’s an indication that we’re not in the mood.

This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re annoyed or upset with you – in the wild, we wouldn’t be showing aggression without the growl to go alongside it. Merely indicating to our fellow canine that we don’t feel like interacting right now.

Again, context is important. Did you just take away our favorite toy, tell us no, or remove us from a situation we were very invested in?

Then, much like a toddler, we are simply telling you how we feel about it, without a thought for why it has happened.

When you would like to assert your dominance over us in such a situation, there’s no need to resort to yelling.

All you need to do is keep eye contact, look directly at us, keep a firm stance and reaffirm you’re going nowhere, or the answer is still no.