How Do Dogs Snarl?


Quick Answer

A dog snarls by lifting its lips to expose its teeth and growls. To distinguish between a snarl and a smile from a dog, look at the dog's body language.

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Full Answer

When a dog snarls towards its human or other animals, it is feeling extremely aggressive. In this state, it is important to notice what other signs the dog is displaying as to best see what kind of aggression it is feeling.

Fearfully, offensively and defensively are the different types of aggression a dog may be feeling when it is snarling towards someone or something. Before displaying full-on aggression, a dog will portray several warning signs, such as snarling. A frightened dog may not act on its aggression, but will instead try to make its attacker leave. This type of dog is unlikely to attack and will bite when it sees no other option.

When a dog is snarling and on the offensive, it means that it is preparing for an attack and it is not afraid to make the first move. A dog feeling defensive will not want to waste its time with an altercation, but is still prepared for a fight. Dogs of this sort will snarl as a warning sign that the other party should leave as quickly as possible. Defensive dogs may not actually fight at all, and will use bluffing as a tactic to keep other animals away from them.

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