Licking other dogs teeth? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Licking other dogs teeth?

Floki is the 10 month old Mal that was supposed to be an emergency temp foster. He still is for me, DH is still holding out on keeping him. I’m heading into surgery as soon as the guy gets here to knock me out. Just wanted to ask a question that might keep me occupied before and after.

Floki constantly licks the older dogs teeth. Like open mouth licking. He occasionally does it to Seiran, but not as often as he does with Lyka and Crios. Lyka doesn’t mind at all and will lay down with her mouth open, and also licks him back, but Crios will only take so much before he starts to snarl at Floki. I obviously correct Floki when he starts this, but from what I’ve read on Dr Google, it’s usually just young puppies that do this, and if they are older, it could be a sign of OCD or lack of socializing. When we take him out with us, he doesn’t do it to strange dogs, just my dogs. Anyone have any experience with this? And by take him out, I mean a short walk in my neighborhood and DH took him to Home Depot with him last night.

Also, we are wondering if it’s normal for him to be so small. He has all his adult teeth, so I know the shelter didn’t put 10 months when he was really 10 weeks. Seiran is on the smaller side of the GSD spectrum. She is 5 months, and she is both taller and longer than Floki at 10 months. Do Mal’s grow at a slower rate? Or will he just be a mini Mal? Lol

I’ve tried looking for a Mal forum similar to this one, but can’t find one that is user friendly.

No, we still haven’t made the final decision to keep him or have Jake take him. Well, I have, but DH still wants to keep him. The fighting about it was causing way too much stress and I didn’t want to have to reschedule surgery, so we agreed to disagree until after surgery.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 01:34 PM
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Mals are weird.

I'm not a Mal owner, but we've had a few come through GSD rescue once in a while--and of the "cousins" (Dutchies, White Swiss, etc.) that have come through breed rescue, I think Mals are by far the weirdest. The last one we pulled involved a conversation with my friend who fostered him that went like this:


Me: "You know they're all crazy, right?"
Her: "Yeah, but he's so sick they'll put him down if I don't take him. He's sweet. How bad could it be?"
Me (laughing): "I'm going to remind you of this conversation in a few months when he's feeling better."

And once he was healthy, she had to run him about 3 miles per day to drain off the edge of his energy or he would bounce off the walls. She had to practice obedience games constantly to keep him engaged, etc. He was a GOOD mal -- great temperament, charming to the point of being so charismatic that he had a fan club, and whip-smart. Our vet said he was her favorite mal of all time...but he was quirkie.

He couldn't see a metal water bowl without picking it up, dumping it, and chewing lightly on it to make a pattern of dents all over it to make it look like it was textured. Every bowl had to have his texturing pattern put on it. Why? Mal quirk. We joked that we needed to open a shop on Etsy selling his bowls to raise money for the rescue -- some were quite artsy!

They seem to often have odd behavior quirks that border on OCD -- the teeth thing you describe kind of sounds like it's in the same ballpark -- I've never met one that didn't do something bizarre for fun. Maybe it's because the working drive is so strong that if they're not working, they make up strange "jobs."

Could your guy be a dutchie-X-mal? They're smaller.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jchrest View Post
Floki constantly licks the older dogs teeth. Like open mouth licking. He occasionally does it to Seiran, but not as often as he does with Lyka and Crios. Lyka doesnít mind at all and will lay down with her mouth open, and also licks him back, but Crios will only take so much before he starts to snarl at Floki. I obviously correct Floki when he starts this, but from what Iíve read on Dr Google, itís usually just young puppies that do this, and if they are older, it could be a sign of OCD or lack of socializing. When we take him out with us, he doesnít do it to strange dogs, just my dogs. Anyone have any experience with this?

Also, we are wondering if itís normal for him to be so small.
You are probably peacefully conked out right now while the surgeon does the repair work, but you have two less things to worry about when you feel like checking out the forum again.

I've had two dogs who did the teeth licking thing as adults. In one it seemed like submissive grooming behavior. In the other, she was seeking and getting food particles. It sure cut down on the dentistry bills for the dogs getting their teeth cleaned. Definitely not an OCD thing and I would not correct Floki when he does it to dogs that don't mind.

As for size, Malis can range from 35 pounds to 100+ pounds. Floki looks like he is in excellent condition. Be grateful he is small--would you want 110 pounds of Floki tearing around your house?

I will be very interested to see how enthusiastic your DH is about keeping Floki after taking care of him by himself for a while.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 02:11 PM
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I've seen this a lot in labs. The dogs I see it in are usually excessive suckups. They're saying hi I like you I want to be friends. Other dogs understandably often get annoyed by it especially if the dog continuously does it.

If you look at wolf behavior 'top dogs' will go towards the top of the muzzle of other dogs while young/bottom dogs will lick under the chin and such.

Basically I'd just continue getting after him so he doesn't pester the others too much as it can get annoying to the other dogs, obviously if you don't keep him it won't be an issue for you though. My friend and I let my dog, her other dog and her young lab out on a walk around their property and let them correct her when she got too obnoxious. They were not fighting or anything. But would let her know they didn't enjoy it and wouldn't tolerate her continuously doing it. After a couple of minutes she had pretty much entirely stopped doing it and they all just ran and played with no issues.

Basically though it's pretty easy to control and nothing alarming if you stay on top of it and are consistent. But it can cause fights if they do it to intolerant dogs who get annoyed by it. Also highly increases their chance of getting sick from other dogs. My aunts lab had kennel cough 3 times before she hit a year.

Last edited by Kazel; 08-10-2019 at 02:16 PM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:30 PM
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Licking around the mouth and chin is a submissive behavior commonly seen in puppies and young dogs.

It is a behavior used to stimulate the regurgitation of food, and is general regarded as a calming signal. I discourage it solely because some dogs will actually regurgitate which gets annoying when you are the one cleaning up.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
Licking around the mouth and chin is a submissive behavior commonly seen in puppies and young dogs.

It is a behavior used to stimulate the regurgitation of food and is generally regarded as a calming signal. I discourage it solely because some dogs will actually regurgitate which gets annoying when you are the one cleaning up.
I think it's pretty much fine for a Dog As they play like this sometimes
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