Dog Showing TeethDogs can’t express their feelings with words, but they have the same emotions as humans: Happiness, sadness, comfort, and fear. Just like us, they use their bodies to communicate and express emotions. To build a strong, healthy relationship with your dog, you need to understand their signals – from ears to tail. This guide will help you decode your dog’s mouth language, including dog showing teeth.

Visual Effects: Facial Expressions and Sounds

Facial expressions – with or without teeth – can disclose various signals. For example, when your dog is nervous or stressed, they’ll often lick (the closest thing, even if it’s not tasty) or yawn to relieve the tension. To better understand your dog’s signals, it’s important to observe their body language in various situations. For example, notice how they react when meeting new people or encountering other animals. By paying attention to their responses, you can learn to anticipate their needs and avoid situations that may cause them stress or discomfort.

Dogs aren’t naturally aggressive, and a happy, well-socialized dog wouldn’t actively seek confrontation. Once you master their body language, and learn to read their lips it’ll be easier to understand each other and spot early signs of distress.

Mouthfull of Signs

Dogs use their mouth to send many types of signals – positive and negative. These are the most common:

1. Smile

The mouth is open with the lips loosely lowered. When dog’s body is relaxed it means they’re happy. For the sake of scientific accuracy, we should note, that your dog doesn’t really smile at you – there’s no such thing as a smile in the animal kingdom.

Dog Showing Teeth2. Ventilation

The mouth is open, and the dog is panting. That means your dog cools themselves down. There could be several reasons for that, it’s either too hot, or it could be a sign of stress.

3. Under pressure

Lips are tight and slightly pulled back, and the mouth is closed. That is a definite sign that your dog is stressed. It’s your job to identify the cause.

4. Yellow light

Lips are tightly pulled back, teeth are exposed and clenched. That’s your dog’s way of warning whoever it may be to stay away.

Dog Showing Teeth5. Stop sign

Bared teeth and growling. Your dog’s not kidding anymore and might attack.


In addition to the signals mentioned above, dogs also use their mouth to communicate excitement or anticipation. For example, you may notice your dog drooling when they see you reach for their leash before a walk. This is a natural response to excitement, and it’s important to recognize and respond to these signals in a positive way. By doing so, you can strengthen your bond with your dog and improve their overall well-being.

If you notice that your dog shows their teeth without any particular reason, reach out to your vet or behaviorist for consultation.


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