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What does this behavior mean?


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Rievaulx is now 17 months old and is not fixed yet. The reason is he is going to be an agility dog and I wanted him to be able to mature fully before we neutered him, we have had no behavior issues, marking etc to give us any reason to hurry the surgery along.

He does though have a behavior I have not seen in any of our other dogs which is chattering or quivering of his teeth or perhaps jaw, and this behavior seems to be happening with more regularity and intensity and we are very curious as to what it is.

Thanks

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Buzz's teeth would chatter when he was really amped up playing fetch. He'd been neutered well before we got him, so before age 1. I always saw it as a sign of almost over the top excitement, and would do something else with him for a couple minutes, to let the arousal die down, then go back to fetch but at lower intensity. Never had a problem with it, never saw it in any other situation.

 

Ruth

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All three of my male dogs were neutered late - and they all three will chatter their teeth after sniffing very delicious yummy girl pee (though before neutering the young male dogs did this with ANY sniffing it seemed that included urine). :lol: Even the 17 year old Papillon does it. In what context is your dog doing this?

 

June (female) will chatter her teeth as an appeasing behavior if she is afraid she's in trouble with another dog (or me).

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I should have added it occurs in different contexts, sometimes it is in the house (no girl dogs in residence) others times after a run when we get back to the truck. Initially I thought it was a bitch in heat in the neighborhood as it happened outside in the garden, but now it is random. He is also not excessively excited when he does it.

The behavior does not bother us it is just something we have never seen before so are curious about.

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As others have noted, it is not exclusive to unaltered dogs. It's simply a behavior that some dogs exhibit when they are very excited. My older dog sometimes chatters at dinner time if he feels he is *starving*. He will also chatter over his frisbee. My intact male only chatters over pee spots, and it is mild.

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i've seen my dog puff and chatter his teeth in stressed times. kind of his way of letting off steam. there was a toddler in our house visiting. he has never been comfortable around children and this one was getting too close i think or making too much noise, or activity. i took it as a sign to put him in a quiet room. (the dog, not the toddler, although that would have been my preference!)

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Scooter's teeth chatter, his cheeks puff and he blows air out, sounding almost like a horse. This happens when he's really excited and intense about playing ball or Frisbee. He was chattering and shaking one time when we took him to the vet's, but he was in a lot of pain. That's the only time he's done that there.

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My 5 year old intact male does this when sniffing "certain type" of pee. He also looks a bit transfixed when doing it, I kindda have to snap him out of it to continue our walk. Never did it to a real dog. Nor does he exhibit this behaviour in any other context.

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Buddy deliberately chatters his teeth like that after smelling and then licking a particularly delightful bit of urine. He seems to use the behavior the way a wine connoisseur will swirl the wine and then give it a good sniff, roll it about in his mouth.

 

So, I go with MyTDogs' answer: at least in my dog, it's about more thoroughly taking in the molecules he's trying to suss out.

 

Buddy was fixed at about 2. I've never seen this behavior in any other dog I owned, and never even knew it existed. But I haven't owned a male dog since I was a little girl. (He was unfixed and never teeth-chattered.)

 

Mary

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