Just a question to see if this happens to anyone else out there. My year old lab mix just started doing something I am not too sure about. When she wants to get my attention to take her outside to do her business, she does this little dance around the room. That is not the problem. Now, if I don't pay attention to her immediately, she will snarl her lip at me & show her teeth! She does not growl, just shows her teeth.
Does this happen to anyone else? Should I be concerned? Please let me know anything you can think of about this.
when ever she starts that I would tell her No... No.. in a harsh, firm voice. if you dont stop her now next will be the growling, barking, then biteing, the little stinker is just trying you. believe me she is not smileing. lmao...
sounds to me like she's smiling, and yes dogs do this, both Duke and Gretchen smile at me when I get home and first walk in, it's sometimes a submissive behavior, when a dog is aggressivly snarling, the will do everything to make sure ALL of the teeth show, i.e, they pull the lips and jowls all the way up, but a smile is usually just the front lips only. I would not correct this, it usually means no harm.
In the April 2006 issue of Whole Dog Journal, there is an acticle and an insert that comments on a dog smile, which is described as "When a dog lifts his lips into a grimmace that is unaccompanied by other behaviors that would indicate a threat" (11). This smiling is classified as an active submission behavior, which means the dog recognizes you as the leader, but he wants your attention or something from you. This all makes sense given the situation you described: the dog wants to go out and has discovered that, by smiling, he gets your attention. He doesnt know that you --and others--might see his smile as threatening. To him, it's like say "HEY" to you.
To stop the behavior, which is probably a good thing because not everyone will know the dog is actually being submissive instead of aggressive, train him to do something else to get your attention, so he behaves more appropriately. I know many folks have found hanging a bell from the doornob and training the dog to shake the bell when he wants out works well.
Are you sure she is not smiling? It is common in aussies and dalmations and some setters. They pull their lips back and show you their teeth and wiggle around in extreme happyness. Considering that we smile at them its not suprising that some learn to do it back.
Thank you so much for explaining. I NEVER thought it would be smiling at all. But, when she does it she is normally "dancing" around to get my attention. I will not reprimand her any more!!! Thanks so much!