Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers. Learn more about us here.
Hi, I’m a boxer with an underbite, the dog who can’t help but smile every time awkwardly he gets a tummy scratch or when his owner comes home from work.
It’s not my fault I look like this, but it doesn’t hurt that I’m also adorable!
Sounds like something your boxer might say if it could talk?
What should you do if your boxer has an underbite? Is this condition dangerous and requires you to take action?
In this post, I will share more about this somewhat common (and oftentimes cute-looking) condition and break down the steps you should take if your dog has it.
- What is an underbite in dogs?
- Is it normal for Boxers to have underbites?
- Can an underbite be bad for dogs?
- What problems can an underbite cause?
- Is underbite in dogs genetic?
- Can you breed a dog with a slight underbite?
- Can a boxer's underbite be fixed?
- When to seek treatment if your boxer has an underbite?
- How much does it cost to fix a dog's overbite?
- Will my dog's underbite get worse over time?
- How to care for a boxer with underbite?
- In conclusion: Boxer with underbite
What is an underbite in dogs?
An underbite is also known as canine malocclusion, and that is when a dog’s teeth don’t fit together properly, whether they’re baby teeth or adult teeth.
Determining whether a dog has malocclusion can be difficult since, unlike people, a dog’s bite does not have a uniform appearance.
When there is abnormal tooth-to-tooth or tooth-to-soft tissue contact, malocclusions might cause problems for your pet, and unless the malocclusion is corrected, this contact can cause pain and have long-term consequences that are harmful to your pet’s health.
Is it normal for Boxers to have underbites?
Boxers are often known for their distinctive “smile” and underbite.
The underbite is caused by the lower jaw being longer than the upper jaw.
This can cause problems with feeding, and chewing and sometimes make it difficult for your Boxer to breathe.
Many breeds of dogs have some degree of an underbite, including many terrier breeds (e.g., Jack Russell Terriers) and some hound breeds (e.g., Bloodhounds).
It is not common in other breeds of dogs, but there are some exceptions such as the Bulldog (which has a severe underbite), Boston Terrier (which has a mild underbite), and Boxer (which has a moderate to severe underbite).
Can an underbite be bad for dogs?
An underbite isn’t necessarily a bad thing for dogs. Some pups are born with this trait and it doesn’t cause any health problems, especially if their teeth are healthy.
However, an underbite can cause some serious issues if your dog has other dental problems or needs surgery on its mouth.
Dogs rarely have a problem with underbites because they don’t use their mouths for speech like how we humans do; instead, they use them for eating and barking (among other things).
So an underbite in dogs usually isn’t a problem at all unless it’s severe enough that it makes it difficult for them to eat properly.
What problems can an underbite cause?
A small underbite is not a cause for concern in dogs with skeletal malocclusion that is inherited.
In most cases, there is no discernible difference in the way their mouths work for eating, drinking, grooming, and other routine chores.
During frequent checks and checkups, cases like these can be monitored throughout a dog’s life.
On the other side, dental malocclusion might result in major health problems.
Normal functioning can be hampered when biting mesh difficulties are caused by jagged, oddly developing, or impacted teeth.
One of the issues that a dog with a more severe underbite may face is the inability to rip and chew food.
More significant issues arise when a tooth is so badly misaligned that it causes damage and hurts sensitive areas of the mouth like the gums and roof.
Is underbite in dogs genetic?
Malocclusion is normally hereditary, which means it is handed down down the generations.
And you might be interested to know that certain dog breeds are more prone to malocclusions than others.
Doggy recommends you to read this too: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With Underbite [Care Tips]
Can you breed a dog with a slight underbite?
It is not really a good idea to breed a boxer or any dogs with an underbite. More often than not, this physical trait will be passed down to the next generation and perpetuate for more to come.
When people breed dogs, they are seeking to preserve the most desirable traits and the highest quality genes to pass down to their descendants, so, unfortunately, breeding might not be suitable now.
Can a boxer’s underbite be fixed?
In most cases, there is no need to take any action to fix a boxer’s underbite. However, if this condition is posing problems for its health, intervention from a professional is most certainly required.
In some cases, canine dental specialists are available, but you should expect a hefty price tag.
Solutions might range from eliminating the problematic teeth and dog braces to corrective surgery after establishing the nature of the problem and the areas impacted.
Other methods are crown modification, interceptive orthodontics, and movement of secondary teeth.
When to seek treatment if your boxer has an underbite?
The best way to find out if your boxer has an underbite is to have him examined by a veterinarian.
An underbite is not necessarily a serious condition and may not require treatment.
However, it can be uncomfortable for your dog and may lead to other health problems if left untreated.
Here are a few key points you need to know:
- You should keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and bite patterns, and report any problems to your veterinarian.
- If your dog is in discomfort, he or she may be unreceptive to touch (for example when you try to pet its head), rub her head against the wall or with her paws, or have difficulty picking up or chewing food.
- Malocclusion can cause unusually foul breath, chronic drooling (sometimes with the presence of blood), or excessive slobbering while eating
- Difficulty opening mouth wide enough to take large treats or toys
- Inability to reach back molars when eating hard food (such as kibble)
How much does it cost to fix a dog’s overbite?
It is quite hard to determine the exact cost since each dog might differ from the other.
As a general guide, extractions can cost anything from $100+ to over $1000 per tooth. This depends on which tooth needs to be extracted.
If crown modification is required, prices can be from $1500 to $3000 per tooth.
As for dental braces, the cost would most likely be in the region of $2500 to $5000.
You will also need to factor in the ongoing costs of medication, consultation, and tests.
Ultimately, a canine orthodontist will be the best person to give you a more accurate gauge.
Doggy says, read this too: 4 Reasons for Dog Licking After Tooth Extraction + Care Tips
Will my dog’s underbite get worse over time?
In most cases, no. Although they do not grow out of it, they hardly become worse too.
How to care for a boxer with underbite?
Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Underbites are often genetic, so you can’t do much about it except make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise to prevent obesity and other health problems associated with being overweight or obese. You also need to make sure that your pup doesn’t overheat or overexert themselves during playtime or walks.
- Feed them high-quality food. Like humans, dogs need a balanced diet rich in nutrients to maintain good health and avoid diseases like heart disease and diabetes (both conditions can be aggravated by obesity). Consult your vet about what foods are best for your dog’s breed and level of activity, along with any special needs they might have related to their teeth (such as soft diets or food intolerances).
- If they have just gone through treatment for underbite, you should avoid feeding them any hard food. In fact, switching to a soft diet is ideal for dogs with underbite whether they need treatment or not.
- Do not let them chew too long on hard toys. Keep the time they spend on such toys to a minimum, up to 10 minutes a day. There are lots of benefits of a good chew toy so you do not want to remove it entirely from your boxer’s life.
In conclusion: Boxer with underbite
In the end, I believe that it’s important to consider each of the boxer dog breeds individually.
Underbite or not, each one may require a little different care.
Above all, they are adorable dogs with bundles of personality, and each one wants their new owner to give them some love and plenty of exercise so that they can live a healthy and happy life for years to come.