You have probably seen a dog bare its teeth at one point or another. You might have thought it meant “stay away” and you were probably right. But what does it really mean when a dog bared teeth? Do some dogs smile? If your dog shows his teeth, is it aggression or his smiling?
In dogs, the term bared teeth simply means a dog is showing teeth. A dog bares his teeth by curling his lips back to reveal his teeth. It is a reflexive action that occurs in reaction to certain situations.
Training dogs to smile
In dogs that truly do smile, many owners are able to train their dogs to smile on cue. This is best taught by capturing the behavior and rewarding it while attaching a cue word like smile. Just be absolutely certain that the dog to do it on cue ! Also, make sure you are not inadvertently reinforcing sings of far or anxiety in your dog.
What to do if a dog bared teeth
If your dog is baring his teeth at you or someone else in an aggressive manner, you should carefully remove yourself and/ or your dog from situation. Then, seek the help of a dog trainer or behaviorist to help manage or put an end to the problem. It’s important you act quickly before your dog bites someone.
If you feel certain that your dog is simply smiling and his body language otherwise appears submissive, you probably don’t need to be alarmed., However, it is important that you keep watching your dog determine if he becomes uncomfortable or nervous in his current situation. You should also keep observing to make sure you are not misreading the signs.
If you are unsure whether your dog is exhibiting a submissive smile or becoming aggressive when he bares his teeth, yours best bet is to call in the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.
These expert are specially trained to detect the most subtle clues in your dog’s body language and behavior. It’s way a good idea to put safety first.
What it means when dogs bared teeth
In most cases, when a dog bares his teeth he is sending you a clear message to back off. Think of cared teeth as a warning:” I’m going to use these teeth if you don’t stop it.”. This behavior is often a precursor to more serious aggression. This type of dog body language is often accompanied by vocalizations, such as growling and snarling. You may also notice body language that indicates a dog is becoming aggressive, such as erect ears, a rigid body posture, and a tail that is held high and moving back forth rapidly. If your dog’s warning is ignored, the behavior could progress to snapping or biting.
Dog display aggression for a number of reasons, such as resource guarding, territoriality and fear.
No matter the reason a dog become aggressive tendencies behind it. This is referred to as a submissive grin or smile. It is usually accompanied by body language such as lip licking, an averted gaze, a relaxed body posture, and ears sitting flatter against the head.
The submissive grin is a type of appeasement gesture intended to calm down a situation. When a dog is truly showing a smile, the behavior should not progress towards aggressive. However, if your dog is grinning because he is stressed or afraid, he could eventually feel threatened enough to get defensively aggressive. Not all dogs exhibit submissive grins.