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Old 08-22-2012, 08:31 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
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Default Opening and closing the mouth slowly

Is that a sign of over-stimulation usually? Mia and Summer got in a little tiff just now and afterwards Mia was sitting there just opening and closing her mouth.

She does a 'teeth chatter' quite a few ways. One is purely excitement and she chatters her teeth really fast (like say I put her in a stay and then throw the ball and she really wants it- she will chatter the teeth quickly then).

#2 looks like the teeth chatter but it's slow. Usually happens on a walk or just hanging out. She will usually put her head forward a bit then scrunch up her nose and open and close her mouth. Ears stay forward on this one and she appears overall relaxed.

#3 is what she did now. Ears pinned back as far as she could, tense, and mouth opening and closing very slowly. Happens after a fight only.

Any ideas?
Mia and Summer
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:10 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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#2 might be a flehman response (vomeronasal stuff)
#3 is unusual, but could be an attempt to diffuse tension in her jaw muscles or give calming signals.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:24 PM
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#3 is something Tango does pretty often. I'll move my hand in a puppet type way (Thumb as the bottom jaw, fingers as a top to make a mouth) and he'll slowly open and close his mouth with my hands. As in, I open my hand, he opens his mouth. His face will be in a part snarl but he doesn't put his ears tightly back but they do go back. I think for him it's play behavior though. Unless he's trying to appease my hand not to eat him.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:25 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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That's an interesting idea about a Flehmen response esque behavior for #2. I've not seen another dog do it though. One of the most common times for it to happen is post walk and in the car on the way home.

Here's a couple pictures of behavior #2:

DSC_0311 by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

bite by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

bite5 by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

bite3 by Summer_Papillon, on Flickr

Video (I've shown before):

Mia's a very intriguing dog to me. She has some behaviors I have not seen in my other dogs at all. For a while I was categorizing the three behaviors as the same thing but they're definitely different behaviors and happen at different times.
Mia and Summer
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:34 PM
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She's playing "THIS is your HEAD!"

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:22 AM
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Katalin does this very occasionally - but much slower. I've seen Paps, Poms, and Greyhound/whippets do this before though. Could be over stimulation or even a calming signal?
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:59 AM
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Emily Emily is offline
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
She's playing "THIS is your HEAD!"
LOL and here I thought this would be veterinary advice. I like this idea though.

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Old 08-23-2012, 09:10 AM
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Taqroy Taqroy is offline
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
She's playing "THIS is your HEAD!"

Mu actually does something similar - it's only when she's ramped up from playing though. She'll stand around with her mouth hanging open about an inch (but not panting) and then close it, then let it hang open again. Usually she's standing right in front of me staring at me and wiggling her nub so I always assumed it was a play behavior and my dog is just weird. Although it's entirely possible she's pretending to squish my head.

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Old 08-23-2012, 10:50 AM
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Misty and Rain both do that on occasion. Usually when they want me to do something and are a little amped but aren't quite sure where to go with it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:52 AM
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Ripley did that teeth chattering thing too! I really don't know why, but it's funny to see another dog do it.

As for the slowly opening and closing of the mouth, Eve does that after a tiff with another dog too. I think it's a calming thing.
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