Why Is My Dog’s Teeth Chattering?

May 19, 2015


If you notice your pooch’s teeth clicking it can signify an array of different things. From simple mood swings, protective behavior, to possible dental troubles. Make sure you pay closer attention to what’s going on around your canine friend as he may need an appointment for a tooth examination.

He’s Just Playing

Tooth chattering in canines can simply mean your dog is happy and he’s only playing and enjoying your company. Simple enjoyment and fun, nothing more and nothing less.

Some dogs tend to chatter their teeth when they’re in the middle of energetic play sessions. It comes unexpectedly to them and they might not even be aware that they are clicking their teeth hard.

If your pooch behaves like this during a lively game of fetch, don’t take it as a bad thing. He simply can’t contain all the fun he’s having.

Protective Behavior

Some canines, on the other hand, tend to click their teeth when they’re exposed to a frightening or threatening situation.

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If you catch your dog engaging in a confrontation with other dogs or with your cat, Fido is merely chattering his teeth to protect himself or even to protect you. In these cases tooth clicking is sending a signal warning the other dog to go away.

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My cane corso gets so excited when he wants my attention or when I come home that he whines and shakes, he chatters his teeth, he gets really close to me and leans into me. I make him calm down though before I pet him. I command him to sit, and he will sit and start trembling, wagging his tail, chattering his teeth, and stares at me eagerly awaiting for me to give him a big bear hug. I hope he isn’t damaging his teeth when he chatters them like that.


My south African Mastiff ( boerboel) chatters her teeth also when she is happy 🙂


My dog was neither playing or protecting when I noticed he was chattering his teeth. He was lying down, relaxing and it was like it was an involuntary action. It happened a few times in the evening, and again in the morning. I’m hoping this isn’t a sign of something else going on with him (he’s a 6 yo black lab-mix). Any ideas?


Hi Nelle. Did you get an answer? My dog’s teeth chatter is the same as you described. She was falling just relaxing (half-asleep) beside me and stuck her tounge out a few times and then did the teeth chatter each time immediately after. She didn’t seem in any distress or problem (and she’s young and her teeth are fine) so just wondering if you ever got an answer on this? Thanks!