Is your dog moving his mouth as if he is talking? That's very strange to watch, isn't it? Does it seem as if he's about to start speaking or is at least trying to? Though guaranteed if he said a word, you'd probably fall over in shock. True or not? Has your dog's jaw been going up and down, in a sort of mechanical way, as if he were a clockwork toy, but there are no sounds coming out? As weird as it is, it probably does look as if he is trying to talk, but whether or not he actually is, well, who can guess. Are there other reasons why dogs do this? Yes, there are and quite a few too. So why do dogs move their mouths as if they're talking?
The Root of the Behavior
It can be quite amusing to watch your dog trying to talk. In fact, it is something we often encourage them to do. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they actually managed to spit out a few words or even better a full sentence to tell us what they were thinking? As much as we want it to, it's just not going to happen. Well, at least not until a few more million years of canine evolution have passed. Just consider the idea that your pup will do anything to please you and to get your attention. If he moves his mouth as if he's talking and you respond to it, he will be more than content to keep giving you his version of a wordless canine chat.
Sometimes dogs get things stuck in their teeth and they will move their jaws in a continual motion of mastication which will look as if they are trying to speak, but they're really not. All your dog will be attempting to do is to get that piece of kibble, fragment of bone, or whatever it was that he was chewing on, off his back tooth. It is really not much fun having something stuck on or between your molars.
There is one thing we all hate and that's feeling nauseous. There really isn't anything worse than feeling like you need to vomit. That awful sensation in the pit of your stomach which makes you salivate is horrible, isn't it? If you've been in that situation, then you might just have noticed how your jaw goes into involuntary spasms and your tongue rubs against the roof of your mouth in an attempt to prevent the inevitable. Believe it or not, your dog feels the same and if he's moving his mouth as if he's talking, he may well be hoping to avoid something he finds completely distasteful like throwing up.
Encouraging the Behavior
We all like to have fun with our dogs. They're what puts a shine on our day and somehow make life worth living. Sometimes we would like them to be more human than canine. Yes, we would like them to talk, but it's not a natural canine trait. If you encourage your dog to make mouth movements which look as if he's talking, yes, it's funny, but it can also mask the symptoms of some very serious dog health problems. So on that score, it's much better for him and you to just let him continue with barking as nature intended him too.
If there's a possibility your dog has something stuck either in his mouth or in his throat, you need to give him a helping hand and check it out. Us humans are fortunate because we can make use of a toothpick, but your dog cannot. All he can do is use his tongue or move his jaw to try and dislodge the offending object which may well make him look as if he's trying to talk even when he's not.
Dogs love to eat all sorts of disgusting things which they really shouldn't. Sometimes the things they eat can make them nauseous or even vomit. We don't always have one hundred percent control over what our dogs pick up and eat when they're outdoors. If you can prevent your pup from eating trash or the decomposed remains of a dead bird, it will be all the better for the both of you.
Other Solutions and Considerations
When a dog moves his mouth as if he's talking, it can be a sign of one of several serious medical conditions such as distemper or seizures. If you think your dog might be suffering from a medical problem, you need to make an urgent consultation with his vet. If your dog is moving his mouth as if he's talking, he may well have a problem with his teeth or gums. The best thing to do is get him checked over by the veterinarian as soon as you can to prevent him any more discomfort. If your dog is a habitual eater of things he should really leave well alone, he runs the risk of making himself very ill or worse picking up something which could poison him. Why not consider consulting with a qualified dog handler? They will show you some great techniques on how to teach your dog to leave things that are bad for him where they belong.
We all love the concept of a talking dog, but it is not natural for a dog to move his mouth as if he is talking. It can, in fact, be a matter for concern. If your dog looks as though he is trying to chat, get him a medical check over and leave the idea of having a talking dog to the movie directors.
By a Chihuahua lover Liz Correal
Published: 03/13/2018, edited: 01/30/2020