Why Does My Dog...BARE HIS TEETH!??!
Dog behavior can be a bit perplexing. But PetSetJuliet is here to help. Today, continuing her series "Why does my dog...?", she delves into the quandary all pet owners have experienced, answering the question "Why does my dog...bare his teeth?"
First, don't stress! Every dog has their..."moment", shall we say. Just like us. Certainly just like me.
Sometimes it may look menacing, but it's actually not. More on that in a sec...
Like humans, dogs communicate through body language. Their mouth is an important tool when it comes to letting us know what they're thinking and feeling.
If a dog shows its teeth, the AKC (American Kennel Club) says, most of the time, it's basically them saying "Here are my weapons. And I'm more than happy to use them."
But context is really important. If the teeth baring is accompanied by:
Fur standing up straight
...it's an indication the dog is feeling pushed past his comfort zone. Time to step away, and avoid eye contact (for you) and turn around and walk the other way (your dog).
There are times dogs bare their teeth to indicate the opposite of aggression. Many vets call this a "submissive smile". If your dog is confronted by an aggressive dog, he may have:
Relaxed body language
...This means he wants to calm a situation down.
Any concerns, just call your vet!