She's a 10 year old rescue shih tsu. When I carry her by her armpits with her facing forward (the direction I'm walking) she opens her mouth. When we carry her with her facing behind me, she doesn't open her mouth. She also doesn't open her mouth when she's walking normally or anything. She can jump on her elevated bed fine (1 foot off the floor).

  • How open is her mouth? Wide, or barely open? Are her teeth bared or covered? Does she pant?
    – Piper
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 11:52
  • @Piper wide, covered, no panting. she basically looks like the omg cat.
    – anon
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 14:25
  • Perhaps this is the same sort of interaction the dog would have when moving forward in a car, with her head out the window?
    – JoshDM
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 15:13
  • i doubt it, it depends on how you hold her. If you hold her up by her armpits then she opens her mouth, if you hold up her entire body then she doesn't
    – anon
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


My dog does the same thing. He is also a rescue and lived the first 7 months of his life fending for himself in the middle of nowhere. I am wondering if it is their version of “playing dead” as I assume he had probably been approached by wild animals many times over that seven months. It almost seems like a defense mechanism because he will just go to dead weight and crack his mouth open whenever I have to lift him!

  • 1
    Hi welcome to Pets, thanks for sharing; this site works as Q&A network and each post is required to formulate either an explicit question or an explicit answer to the question; please read How to Answer for more information.
    – lila
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:58
  • 2
    Please post your answer as an answer and not as a question. Saying "I am wondering if" is answering their question with another question disguised as an answer. Also assuming is not a good enough answer, You must have some sort of source or experience of this question. I agree with @lila . Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:24
  • I have chosen to attempt to edit your answer Brenna. Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:27
  • If you have previous experience, then say "I have experience of this due to..." and then finish it off. After that, then answer the question. If you are referring to a link, then put the link before your answer. An Example is; According to www.Dogsbrave.com, "Dogs are 50% braver when around their owners". Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:56

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