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Canine Behavior/Clacking teeth behavior normal??


sandy wrote at 2012-12-20 21:35:54
My little white 13 year old dog has been clattering his teeth occasionally, lately and this article was helpful.  I want to add that I had a female spayed cat that used to do this when looking out the window and spotting a bird in the tree.  I can only assume this is what is referred to in the article as Jacobsons' organ.  In any case. the article was informative and helpful.

Lisa wrote at 2013-07-16 20:14:15
I stumbled upon this looking for insight into my 8 month old Airedale's behavior. While I can't speak for the original poster, I can say that in my case it's not a small shiver type chatter, it's a series of rapid deliberate snaps at the air. She isn't lunging forward, posturing, or displaying any other aggressive behavior. It's most commonly (for us) displayed when she's told "no bite!" when getting too riled up and play/puppy biting. It's almost like she is compelled to bite, but knows she's not supposed to bite us. When she play bites (which we have NEVER not discouraged, but can't seem to break her of - the closest we've come is a shot of bitter apple, so now she won't bite if you're holding the bottle, put it down and your fingers are fair game again), she's careful and has never broken skin, shaken, or displayed any apparent intent to do anything but rough-house, but when she snaps at the air it's with full force. It sounds like an alligator snapping its jaws shut. SNAP, SNAP, SNAP!  I imagine it would be terrifying to someone who doesn't spend a lot of time with her or another dog that does this. It's a behavior I'd like to curb less out of a concern for safety and more a concern that people will see her as aggressive.  

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Jody Epstein, MS, CPDT-KA


IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR DOG IS ILL OR INJURED, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM TO ADDRESS URGENT MEDICAL ISSUES. I AM NOT A LICENSED VET AND HAVE NO DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS. ***I have been answering questions on All Experts for over 8 years now. I enjoy being able to offer assistance in this forum. I do need to be clear, though. If you’re looking for free advice about a specific behavior question, you MUST submit your question to me via All Experts. If you bypass All Experts and write to me directly through my website, I will ask you to submit via All Experts. On the flip side, if you’re local to Los Angeles and you wish to speak to me privately about an in person consultation, please go through my website. I appreciate your assistance in keeping my volunteer work on the volunteer site.*** I can answer questions about the following canine behavior issues: obedience, timid/fearful & fear-based aggression, nuisance behaviors, families that are expanding with either new human or new animal members and many other issues. If you have potty training questions please first read my trio of blogs at If you still have questions after reading the blogs you can post your specific questions here. PLEASE be as specific as possible when asking a question. Give me a detailed example of the situation - dog's behavior, body language, circumstances surrounding the issue, what the consequences are (another dog's response, your response), etc. I can only provide insight if I can get a picture of the whole scenario. If I ask for further details, please provide them. In person I would normally observe for at least 90 minutes to assess the situation and the dynamics before offering tools and suggestions to modify it. In writing it is ever so much more difficult. Thank you for your participation in the process.


I have been a professional obedience trainer for 9 years, and specializing in behavior modification for 8 years. I have owned dogs my entire life. I own my own dog training and behavior modification business called Nutz About Mutz.

I am a Certified Profession Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), #2133301 ; I am a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), #77763 ; I am an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator (CGC), #71253

Publications ; ; Multiple articles in the local pet magazine Pet Press (found across Southern California)

I have a masters degree (MS) in Animals and Public Policy, with a minor in Animal Behavior, from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I also have 3 years of graduate education in Animal Behavior and Learning from UM-Missoula and UL-Lafayette. I continue to educate myself to canine-specific behavior through extensive reading, online interactive workshops, vidoes and attending canine behavior conferences, workshops and seminars. Beginning in March, 2017, I will be the Behavior & Training Manager at Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, AZ.

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