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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, so I've had three German Shepherds over the years the only dogs I've ever had until got Bandit my first Golden he's almost a year old in a few days, insanely different dogs.
So ever since we got him at 8 weeks he's always done this little snarl or wrinkle when playing or even belly rubs sometimes and especially when rough housing, and I don't know, it sort of worries me a little bit as my German Shepherds never did this if they did I would've been very concerned.
So is this normal?

He's always got good body language and I've had one Vet say it's a normal and when he has played with other Goldens they've both done it and the other owner wasn't concerned. So I don't know.
Oh and he'll do it when I'm brushing him also, and he loves to be brushed he often goes to the draw the brush is kept in.
As a side note, I'm able to touch his food, remove it, stick my hands in mouth and touch his paws to check them for grass seeds perfectly fine, though if he's a little exited he'll do the nose thing if I check his paws.

I've had family members say it's not normal, some say it is. So I don't know what to think.
 

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It is hard to tell from your description. Sounds like it could be a “submissive smile/grin”. It looks like snarling but is a calming behavior.
 

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My dog does the "snarly face" thing. It's very cute and playful in his case. He does it with humans and dogs. Many dogs do this. If his body language is good, I wouldn't worry about it.

As an aside, I'd urge you to stop playing in his food and, especially, to stop taking it away. It can trigger mistrust and guarding issues. Dogs generally do better if they're left alone at mealtimes.

Sounds like you have a great dog. Enjoy him!
 

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My 7 month old puppy has done this for as long as I've had her! It usually is when she wants to play (especially play rough). It looks scary because she often shows her teeth when she scrunches her nose (and when she was younger and hadn't yet learned not to bite, she would lunge and nip), but it is really a play behavior with her! I usually try to stop playing when she does this because you're right, it would definitely make an outsider think twice before coming near her. She seems to be able to calm herself down quickly if I don't engage.
 

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This is usually what I refer to as “bitey face,” which means they want to play. Basically it’s a common face in my house currently with my 19 month old and 10 week old goldens. I really don’t notice it with other dogs (never did with my labradors). And the face doesn’t exist Except when they play with each other.
 

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My 7 month old puppy has done this for as long as I've had her! It usually is when she wants to play (especially play rough). It looks scary because she often shows her teeth when she scrunches her nose (and when she was younger and hadn't yet learned not to bite, she would lunge and nip), but it is really a play behavior with her! I usually try to stop playing when she does this because you're right, it would definitely make an outsider think twice before coming near her. She seems to be able to calm herself down quickly if I don't engage.
Same here with once exception..sometimes my 10 month old gets so wound up that she needs a timeout in puppy jail before she quiets down. I notice it mostly after she has been full out playing with my other two..ZOOMIES too..LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It is hard to tell from your description. Sounds like it could be a “submissive smile/grin”. It looks like snarling but is a calming behavior.
My dog does the "snarly face" thing. It's very cute and playful in his case. He does it with humans and dogs. Many dogs do this. If his body language is good, I wouldn't worry about it.

As an aside, I'd urge you to stop playing in his food and, especially, to stop taking it away. It can trigger mistrust and guarding issues. Dogs generally do better if they're left alone at mealtimes.

Sounds like you have a great dog. Enjoy him!
Thanks.
I don't touch his food or take it away now was only when he was a pup, I was just saying I'm able to do it with no problems.
I trained Bandit the same way I did my Shepherds when they were pups I would reward them with something and then put the food back but I would first get them to stop sit back and wait, it's worked so far with all of them, always had kids and other animals around and they've never showed any food guarding/aggression and living in the country the Shepherds would often catch bunnies and I needed to be able to take them away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is usually what I refer to as “bitey face,” which means they want to play. Basically it’s a common face in my house currently with my 19 month old and 10 week old goldens. I really don’t notice it with other dogs (never did with my labradors). And the face doesn’t exist Except when they play with each other.
Yeah my Shepherds never did it so it's still really weird to me, only ever does it when playing or when brushing him, which he likes to be brushed.
 

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Yeah my Shepherds never did it so it's still really weird to me, only ever does it when playing or when brushing him, which he likes to be brushed.
Mine would do it when playing with his sister too. I always thought it was the sweetest face. Our new Golden puppy hasn't yet, but I'm sure probably will.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My 7 month old puppy has done this for as long as I've had her! It usually is when she wants to play (especially play rough). It looks scary because she often shows her teeth when she scrunches her nose (and when she was younger and hadn't yet learned not to bite, she would lunge and nip), but it is really a play behavior with her! I usually try to stop playing when she does this because you're right, it would definitely make an outsider think twice before coming near her. She seems to be able to calm herself down quickly if I don't engage.
Yeah it's the same with Bandit, it's only when he's playing or wanting to play but never I've just never had a dog do it before.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mine would do it when playing with his sister too. I always thought it was the sweetest face. Our new Golden puppy hasn't yet, but I'm sure probably will.
Hmm okay, thanks. Yeah it's just new to me I'm 34 and all three of my Shepherds that I've had over the years since 12 never did it with me and they were great dogs, great family dogs but they were also on a farm living that life, Bandit on the other hand is just one big goofy sook who'd prefer to be inside.
 

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Hmm okay, thanks. Yeah it's just new to me I'm 34 and all three of my Shepherds that I've had over the years since 12 never did it with me and they were great dogs, great family dogs but they were also on a farm living that life, Bandit on the other hand is just one big goofy sook who'd prefer to be inside.
I love a German Shepherd. Beautiful dogs.
 

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"Bandit on the other hand is just one big goofy sook who'd prefer to be inside."

That sure sounds like a typical golden retriever! They generally just want to be where their humans are, which is why they are often called Velcro dogs.
Also, the snarly/nose wrinkling face you described is so typical. Mine did that as a puppy, and since she was my first dog I wasn't sure what it meant. I'd joined this forum by then and when I saw the posts and photos of "bitey-face", I was very reassured and since it was all done in play I finally could laugh at it, instead of being worried. In fact if you do a search for photos of it, you'll probably find one that looks just like your Bandit!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I love a German Shepherd. Beautiful dogs.
They really are and I love them but are a lot of work, my last Shepherd who passed a 6 years ago now was glued to my hip 24/7 It took me a long time to be ready for another dog, Bandit so different from my Shepherds it's crazy, so super chilled out, relaxed and lazy easier to train also. He's great.
 

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"Bandit on the other hand is just one big goofy sook who'd prefer to be inside."

That sure sounds like a typical golden retriever! They generally just want to be where their humans are, which is why they are often called Velcro dogs.
Also, the snarly/nose wrinkling face you described is so typical. Mine did that as a puppy, and since she was my first dog I wasn't sure what it meant. I'd joined this forum by then and when I saw the posts and photos of "bitey-face", I was very reassured and since it was all done in play I finally could laugh at it, instead of being worried. In fact if you do a search for photos of it, you'll probably find one that looks just like your Bandit!
Haha yeah he's definitely a velcro dog. Thanks I'll definitely have a look for some photos, I feel a bit better.
 

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You have a normal dog.
I hope you still have German shepherds one of my favourite breed.They are beyond.Very smart,lots of character and loyal.Actually my first dog and the last one I plan to adopt even I promised myself I won't anymore.
The reason I am writing this is last week 11GS were in code RED at a California shelter.7 of them have been euthanized.All loving dogs.No sign of aggression.Just dumped by some irresponsible owners.Ages from 2 upto 11.All gone.For nothing.This week newcomers in the shelter.It seems that german shepherds started to share the same fate as the pitts.Hope you still have one or soon adopt next to your new cutie.We have soo few GS lovers left :confused:
 

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both my goldens do the snarly face alot when playing! it looks scary but i know they are just playing. they know their own body language very well, and understand that its not an aggressive sign because their bodies are relaxed and the biting is very gentle.

i took this picture of my 4 year old & 4 month old playing. lily ( my older girl the one in the picture snarly faced) likes to growl as she plays too, she is pretty vocal during wrestling, totally normal! i think the face is really cute actually!!
870083
 
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