Muzzle Punches, Air Snaps and Tooth Clatters Revisited

What a great conversation we've had about these behaviors in dogs. I originally posted on this topic on October 10th, and the comments in response have been fascinating. For those of you who'd rather not read through them, I'll summarize them here, and add some information I've found elsewhere. First of all, I did look at some of the wolf literature (still waiting to hear from folks who work with wolves), and I did find that Zimen, an internationally respected wolf ethologist, discusses 2 of these behaviors in his wolf sociogram in Wolves of the World. I'll add his comments in the relevant section. MUZZLES PUNCHES/POKES: As best I could, I categorized your responses about the context of muzzle punches into 4 categories: Excited/Playful, Attention Getting, Warnings with potential Read More

“Muzzle Punches,” “Air Snaps” and “Tooth Clacking”

I am not sure if the title is more reminiscent of canid communication or some strange, alien kind of cookies, but let's go with the former. I'm writing this post because I'd love your interpretation of 3 canid behaviors that we've been discussing in the comments on one of my posts. I had mentioned a "muzzle punch" somewhere, and in response one commenter inquired if an air snap or muzzle punch was more predictive of a potential bite. Here, in part, is my response and a video with a great example of a muzzle punch from one dog to another: ["Muzzle punching" being a quick forward motion of the muzzle, jaws completely shut, making contact with another individual, "Air snaps" are when a dog moves exactly as if biting, but bites the air instead of an individual or object. Some people just call Read More