Dog Tricks: Teach Your Dog How To ‘Show Teeth’

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Brad asked how to teach a dog to bare his teeth on command.

My very tame American Eskimo, Jersey, (who wouldn’t hurt a flea by the way) used to show his teeth. But it was only when our new little puppy, Destin — and then years later our newest puppy, Tenor — would get on his nerves.

So out of frustration, Jersey would simply bare his teeth as if to show some sort of dominance to these young pups. It was if he was saying, ‘Okay, I’ve had enough… stay away… I’m done playing.’

It was cute. But it can actually be a scary situation if you don’t know you’re dog’s own limits and how to read a dog’s body language.

That said, we ended up putting a ‘name’ to this unique behavior. And now my dog will ‘show teeth’ on command!

Here’s how to teach your dog to ‘show teeth’…


A Unique Dog Trick

I’ll be honest, if your dog doesn’t already do a similar type of behavior — that you can put a “name” to and turn into a “command” — then it will take a bit of time to teach this particular dog trick.

Your best bet is to:

  1. Simply watch your dog’s own behavior.
  2. At the very moment that your dog displays some form of teeth baring (maybe a funny smile), then immediately REWARD that behavior and call it something.
  3. Try to encourage your dog to do it again. (He probably won’t.) Don’t force the behavior. It must happen naturally in order to make sense to your dog.
  4. From this point forward, any time you see your dog doing something even remotely similar to ‘showing teeth’ make sure to always call that behavior the same thing and always reward it.

That’s how to get your dog to do it on command in the future.


2 Fun Ways To Teach Your Dog To Show Teeth

#1 – If you get your dog used to teeth-brushing on a regular basis, your dog might become more accustomed to showing teeth on command — simply because it’s part of the routine. It’s pretty much a required behavior in order to get the teeth brushing done. That, and the fact that some dogs don’t like the taste of the doggie toothpaste and may make a face like this as a reaction to the strange tasting toothpaste.

#2 – If you try introducing a new dog-safe human food to your dog for the first time, you might notice your dog showing teeth or making a funny face that’s similar to showing teeth. You never know. It’s most likely to happen with really strange or bitter-tasting foods that are safe for dogs to eat — like some fruits & vegetables.


Videos Of Dogs Showing Teeth On Cue

Here are some videos of others getting their dogs to bare their teeth or ‘Show Teeth’.

If you’re wanting to teach your dog this cute dog trick, perhaps you will find some clues in these videos:


A 6-month-old Boxer dog reluctantly ‘shows teeth’ on command…

Sometimes, simply displaying a specific hand gesture causes the dog to ‘show teeth’…

Sometimes ‘show me your teeth’ is all it takes…

If your dog ‘smiles’, then reward that behavior…

The more you reward, the bigger the smile…


As with most dog tricks… a dog is never too old to learn a new trick. However, the younger your dog is when you start teaching a new trick like ‘show teeth’ or ‘smile’, the quicker they catch on and the easier it is.

Here are my best tips for teaching any dog any trick any time!

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I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner -- currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians -- whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started... and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog -- how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 600 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.

7 thoughts on “Dog Tricks: Teach Your Dog How To ‘Show Teeth’

  1. The only way I ever got my dog to show teeth was during a “rough-housing” game (which was actually very gentle) where he’d roll on his back and put his paws up by his head, and open his mouth. If I then tapped at his jaws he’d bare his teeth and mock-bite my hands (so very very gently, I could barely feel the faintest brush of his teeth on my skin). He’d have this goofy grin the whole time with his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth – so silly :)

    Even with his teeth bared I never thought he looked scary – he always just looked cute to me… although other people thought he looked vicious like that xD

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