Dog Teeth Chattering: 10 Surprising Causes And What to Do

Dog Teeth Chattering

Dog Teeth chattering is The noise that dogs make when they open and close their mouths quickly in sequence with the teeth rapidly clicking against each other repeatedly for a few seconds

Usually, it is a short-lived noise that stops immediately as soon as you notice and look at your doggo

The question here is should you worry? or should this be a matter of concern that requires your attention?

In this article, we gonna discuss Dog Teeth Chattering, the causes, What to expect? and more importantly, What to do??

Everything You Need to Know about Dog Teeth Chattering

When our teeth chatter, it is usually a tell-tale sign that we need to get a blanket or bundle up the thermostat.

However, that isn’t always the case with our furry friends, these rapid movements can be the result of several reasons; Some are innocent that don’t need any medical attention but Others may be caused by an underlying health problem.

dog teeth chattering
credit: Wag

Dog teeth chattering
Can be more than a quirky strange behavior your pooch exhibits,
So Be careful.

Reasons for Dog Teeth Chattering

There are several reasons behind dog teeth chattering.

Some of them are Harmless and others are alarming as they indicate a variety of medical problems, for which your dog will need treatment.

Harmless Reasons

Excitement and Joy

Anxiety, Stress or Acute Fear


Feeling Cold

Tasting Smell

Social Interaction

Alarming Causes

Advanced Periodontal Disease


Shaker Syndrome

Old Age

First, Harmless Reasons for Dog Teeth Chattering

For a better understanding, I’m gonna split these into two categories; Behavioral Reactions and Biological Reactions.

Behavioral Reactions

The following simply can be described as behavioral reactions. Just like with humans, dogs can start moving their chompers as a reaction to something they’re feeling.

Sometimes, The teeth chattering is just an impulse that they do.

Other times, It’s an adapting mechanism to adjust to whatever they are facing.

Social Interaction

Usually, when your dog feels stressed when entering a new place or threatened by another dog, he may chomp and chatter his teeth as a form of social interaction.

In such cases, chattering often represents a form of displacement

dog teeth chattering
credit: Expat woman

What To Do?

Unless your dog exhibits any other symptom, you should not be alarmed by this, you only need to end the interaction if you notice your dog chomping his teeth or chattering.

Excitement and Joy

Dogs are known to start chattering their teeth when they get excited.

You know,
Like when your dog starts doing this the second you get home from work,
He is simply excited to see you.

It is just a behavioral quirk that is more common in some dogs than others.

If your dog normally chatters when anticipating a trip to the park or when you tease him with a new toy, he is probably chattering because of the excitement.

Like this fella over here,

Dog Teeth Chattering: 10 Surprising Causes And What to Do |

You can also notice your Furry pal starting the teeth chattering in the middle of a play session, he is just overjoyed and must express it somehow.

What To Do?

In this case, There’s nothing to worry about. This impulsive behavior is coming from somewhere positive.

Anxiety, Stress or Acute Fear

Unlike the previous reason, Teeth chattering can also arise from something negative. It can be in response to fear or anxiety.

Dogs are likely to knock their teeth together immediately before, during or after stressful events.

You will know it when you see it, It will be Something like this over here,

dog teeth chattering
credit: dogs life

For Example,
When your puppy chatters his teeth before you leave for work.
He is likely doing so because he is suffering from
separation anxiety

So whenever you notice your dog chattering his teeth, It might be an indication of emotional distress, a way for him to get rid of bad energy and frustrations,

What To Do?

In this case, Don’t be alarmed, Let him be, your pup is doing this to vent

Biological Reactions

Our second set of harmless reasons behind Dog teeth chattering


Sometimes when Dogs feel pain, they chatter their teeth as a way to express their feelings.

It’s a sort of behavior that you have to look out for.

Dog Teeth Chattering: 10 Surprising Causes And What to Do |

In this case,
Dogs exhibit Teeth chattering out of nowhere to indicate that they are feeling pain somewhere you can’t see.
For instance,
your pup may be experiencing stomach pains.

What To Do?

Get him checked by the vet

Feeling Cold

Just like us, dogs shiver when they are cold.

It’s common among most mammals to shiver involuntarily as a reaction to low body temperature.

The friction resulted from the twitching muscle fibers will generate heat that helps to raise their body temperature

Your pup is more likely to experience this after a recent grooming session in a cold night or if you already got a short-haired dog while living in a cold climate area

dog teeth chattering

What To Do?

If this was the case was your dog, The best thing to do is to bring him inside to get warm, Get him to put on a sweater, or do the same as the picture above and wrap him up with a blanket

Tasting Smell

Dogs are weird!!

Please, Don’t mind me saying that!!

Unlike most mammals, Dogs have a different approach to smelling, they can actually taste smell

Yeah, I know !! I was surprised too !!

They have a special organ called “vomeronasal organ” that allows them to taste smell

It is a pouch-like structure located between the dog’s vomer and nasal bones with a special duct located at the top of the dog’s roof of the mouth.

Dog Teeth Chattering: 10 Surprising Causes And What to Do |

Long story short, The dog will move his mouth in a wide variety of strange ways to help bring scent molecules into contact with that organ.

One of these strange moving ways is teeth chattering.

Unlike the previous instances, This type of chattering is slower and more deliberate.

I have to mention that when a dog licks something gross,
He will chatter his the teeth impulsively.
Just the same as humans shuddering if they taste something displeasing.

On the contrary, Your dog may chatter his teeth if he likes the taste or smell of something. Male dogs may do it when they smell a female in heat

What To Do?

In these cases, Teeth chattering is impulsive, There is nothing to worry about

Second, Alarming Problematic Reasons for Dog Teeth Chattering

These are the causes that you have to be alert when noticing as they require medical attention.

Advanced Periodontal Disease

Broken teeth, Cavities, and Gum disease, among other dental problems, can all cause your dog’s teeth to chatter.

dog teeth chattering
credit: Proud dog

Signs of dental problems include your dog eating less food than normal, chewing in odd ways or taking longer to eat than he normally would, so keep an eye out for these symptoms.

The problem here is that your pup may try to mask the pain to avoid showing signs of weakness. However, he may instinctively chatter his teeth at the pain.

What To Do?

Once you suspect and notice any of these symptoms, Visit your vet at once. Dental problems can be excruciatingly painful.

While most such problems can be treated, it is always best for your pup’s health and quality of life (as well as your bank account) to treat them at the earliest possible opportunity.

Dental work on dogs isn’t cheap, but heading to the doggie dentist sooner rather than later may save you from more expensive and intensive surgeries.


Epilepsy and related seizure disorders are relatively common in dogs, more than it is in humans.

This can be caused by a number of things, including tumors or allergies. This disorder can cause jaw clenching and teeth chattering.

This is also accompanied by intense Drooling and Foaming from the mouth. It’s an alarming condition that should be taken seriously.

woman with dog in seizure. dog teeth chattering
credit: metro paws

However, unlike many of the other causes of chattering, which seem to occur in a predictable fashion, epileptic or seizure-induced chattering is usually somewhat random and occurs out of the blue.

What To Do?

Once you detect it, Take your pup immediately to the vet

Shaker Syndrome

Also called multi-system neuronal degeneration or white dog shaker syndrome. This malady causes damage to a dog’s neurons. This damage leads to full-body tremors, which can cause their teeth to chatter.

This condition can occur in dogs of any color, but small white dogs (Particularly West Highland white terriers, Maltese, and similar breeds) are the most frequently afflicted.

Dog Teeth Chattering: 10 Surprising Causes And What to Do |
credit: wag

What To Do?

There’s no cure for this disorder, but veterinarians can treat it. They’ll use a variety of methods that help manage convulsions and teeth chattering. In some cases, symptoms can be eliminated altogether.

Old Age

As dogs age, they may develop tooth-chattering behaviors for reasons that are not entirely clear.

In fact, teeth chattering is more common among older dogs than it is puppies or young adults.

What To Do?

You only need to have your vet check out your geriatric pooch, but don’t worry tooth chattering is rarely a problem in these types of cases.

That’s it…

That was our guide on Dog Teeth Chattering for you, Ma’am

If you enjoyed this article, share it with a friend, she may have the same questions in mind.

What did you think about this guide, whatever you think, comment below and let me know!

And as always if you liked what you read here and you wanna read more, feel free to check my other articles on Top 5 Easy-to-Train Dogs or How to Train a Dog to Attack

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, I will respond ASAP

Have a nice day and Read you next time

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