Why Does My Dog Snap At The Air Before He Barks?

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Not all dogs snap at the air, but those that do may do so for a variety of reasons ranging from boredom to serious neurological problems. For dogs that snap at the air out of boredom, giving them more opportunities for exercise or stimulating play can help.  Longer and/or more frequent walks, puzzles and interactive toys can help provide more stimulating activity for bored animals. 

Snapping at the air may also be a warning sign. If a dog is feeling anxious or threatened, it may snap at the air to warn a person or animal. If the warning of snapping at air doesn’t work, the dog’s warning may progress from snapping at air to biting the nearest animal or person.

Finally, snapping at air may be an indication of a neurological or behavioral problem. repeated episodes may be a sign of seizure activity or obessive-complusive disorder. If your dog regularly snaps at the air, you should consult your veterinarian.

Have a question for Dr. Klein? Email him at CVO@akc.org

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